Dressing Taller: Tips for Shorter Folks

There used to be a widespread idea of “dressing taller,” where by wearing certain patterns, colors, or pieces, you could add the illusion of a couple inches. Nowadays, it is most commonly understood that there is no such thing as dressing taller, but by dressing better by wearing clothes that properly fit your body shape.

Tailored PantsInstead of dressing to look taller, you should dress with the right fit for your height in mind. This means wearing clothes that are the right length. If you wear things that fit you properly, or are even a little too short, you’ll look taller in comparison to the clothes on your body. However, if you wear clothes that are too long, as many short people do because of lack of options, you will seem too short for your clothes.

The best advice for people of below average height is take the time to find clothes that are the right length for you. Another great option is taking your clothes to the tailor: most tailors will hem pants for just a few dollars, and for a little bit more you can get shirts and jackets taken up as well. Make sure your shirt sleeves hit at the wrist, the hem of your shirt midway through the fly of your pants, and your pants at the ankle, and you’ll be all set!

The Visual Streamline

The Visual Streamline

There are certain tips and tricks you can use to create a visual streamline that will draw the eye upwards. You won’t necessarily look taller, but it can help flatter your body type.

Try to avoid “breaking up” the streamline with horizontals — things like thick, horizontal stripes, wide belts, or cuffing your pants can interrupt the vertical flow. Even still, properly fitting clothes are the most important thing.

(I’m not the tallest person out there, but I still regularly cuff my denim and wear horizontal stripes, and it doesn’t make me look any shorter. Fit is king!)

Lighter, Brighter Colors

Lighter, Brighter Colors

Another commonly-used technique to add height is by wearing lighter colors. The lighter and brighter the colors you wear, the “bigger” your outfit will look. Darker colors have a slimming effect, and likewise, their brighter counterparts have an enlarging effect.

For my personal style, I typically avoid brighter (not necessarily lighter) colors, but just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean you don’t have to! As I said before, this effect is minimal compared to the way your clothes fit. Wearing a properly-fitting black t-shirt will make you look better and more proportional than sporting an oversized neon yellow t-shirt.

Shoes

Shoes

The only way to add actual, tangible inches to your height is by your shoes. Keep the visual streamline by avoiding really bulky shoes, which could make you appear shorter, so stick to slim silhouettes with taller soles. Boots are especially great for this because it is common to have thicker soles, and even a little bit of a heel.

In sum

Dress the way you want, the style you want, the colors you want, types of clothes you want — you will look great the way you are! If you’re self-conscious about your height, try don’t worry about it. Guys, trans and cis, come in all shapes and sizes. No matter your height, you are valid! 🙂

Ryan SAbout Our Author
Ryan S. is a frequent Point 5cc contributor with an eye for trans masc style. He features rugged, modern menswear modeled by both trans men and cis men at his blog The Dapper Matter, in addition to general fashion tips.

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