A little guide to looking good
The big man is lucky in most things. He makes more money than smaller men, he’s happier, has higher levels of life satisfaction, and comes in handy whenever something is on a high shelf. But it’s not all gravy. Travel can be torture, back pain is inevitable, and clothing choices dwindle for every piece of fabric you add.
Ready-to-wear brands tend to type at six feet two inches. On top of that, you’re in the Big & Tall world, which can mean puffy cuts and erratic hems. But all is not lost when it comes to tall men’s clothing. Here’s how to make your extra inches add up.
5 fashion tips for plus size men
1. Create contrast
If you are tall and thin, keeping it too simple only serves to make you look taller and slimmer. The best solution is to break things up, says Luke McDonald of the Thread men’s styling department. “Avoid wearing one color from head to toe and use things like texture and pattern to break things up. “
2. Add in bulk
You want to add volume, but you don’t want to disappear in your tall menswear, so consider the width. You’re all about the vertical axis, so look for clothes that create lateral weight. Horizontal patterns will help – think Breton striped tops or t-shirts in contrasting colors – but so will chunky knits, puffer jackets and structured suits.
3. Make sure things fit
One thing guaranteed to make you look even taller is that your ankles protrude from the bottom of your pants or your sleeves don’t reach your wrists. Finding clothes that are long enough but also quite thin can be tricky, so befriend a tailor who can take things up if necessary.
4. Avoid narrow cuts
As a tall man you have the freedom to experiment with more edgy silhouettes, so embrace it. “Try on pleated pants, but try tucking in your shirt or knit to accentuate the style,” says John Lewis menswear buyer Tom Saunders.
5. Think about the details
Loose might be your best partner, but those great expanses of fabric must be broken. To do this, bet on the pockets, buttons, shoulder pads and even patches. They will move the eye around rather than letting it focus on a large block of one color.
Essential clothing for tall men
Double breasted jacket
To give your torso a little more shape, opt for double-breasted cuts. “These add width to tall, thin frames,” says McDonald. It will create some contrast when you wear it with a suit, but it’s even better with mismatched pants, to create more separation between your top and bottom.
It is a style tip well known to short men that short coats make you look tall, so you should avoid anything that goes up to the thighs or waist. Instead, buy one that falls at least below the knee, maybe even mid-calf. The belted waist is also convenient as it will create a narrow waist, wide shoulder V-shape that will inflate your upper body to distort your figure.
Wide leg jeans
If you have all the legs, wide pants add width to everything up and down, which helps balance out what’s above and below the waist. It’s fine to go for a pair that narrows down, although nothing skinny, and certainly nothing high waisted, unless you’re going for the flamingo look.
Any military or adventure-inspired jacket that is covered with pockets (see also: tactical vests, for the streetwear giant) should have pride of place in the tall man’s clothing. They will break your frame by drawing the eye to your body, rather than letting it focus on your upright ability.
Regular Fit Shirts
You might think the slim fit should be your choice, but if you have a long torso, they won’t always sit well. “Often the slim fit is not only narrow in width, but also short in length, which doesn’t always work for taller men,” says Saunders. Stick to a regular cut and then get them set. Or try the military fold.
Big fashionable men
Over the past decade, the NBA has been the most stylish sports league in the world, proving that looking good is more about taste than body shape. LeBron is as sharp in the seam – slim but not skinny, often broken up with a waistcoat or hoodie – as he is in oversized street clothes or hardware-covered leather jackets.
At six-fours and in the gym, Armie Hammer isn’t exactly struggling, but that width can be a sartorial challenge. He makes it another highlight with a contrasting seam, which breaks his waist, and looser cuts that mean he never looks like he can Hulk without clothes on.
The nemesis of full-sized football defenders also exploits their strengths off the pitch. Peter Crouch’s outerwear set tends towards double-breasted pea coats and overcoats, which create volume to balance those long legs. He’s also a fan of the turtleneck, which widens his shoulders and makes him less gangly. Take note.
The best clothes for plus size men
Most brands don’t even make jeans with a 36 inch inseam. Levi’s makes some of his styles up to 40 inches, and his OG – the Levi’s 501 – now goes up to 38 inches. Her classic t-shirts and denim jackets are also cut for longer body types, so you can achieve classic style with a classic fit.
Allen Edmonds is not only one of the most famous brands in American style, having been making luxury shoes for almost a century. It’s also a friend of those with leaps and bounds, offering shoes in hundreds of size and width combinations, up to size 16, with no special orders required.
Son of a tailor
Son of a Tailor from Copenhagen takes a technical approach to men’s fashion, with its bespoke polo shirts and t-shirts. Enter your measurements (or let them predict your fit from your height, weight and shoe size) and you’ll have a t-shirt that fits perfectly no matter how far your neck is from your belly button.
T by Ted Baker
Designed in collaboration with Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, this collection takes everything Ted Baker does best – quirky prints, classic design – and polishes up fits for men over six to three. As well as being snug, it’s packed with the kind of pattern and texture that breaks large frames.
The wardrobe start-up Spoke set out to fix the shape issues guys were having. Originally, the brand only sold chinos, but now also offers shorts, polo shirts and t-shirts, which come in hundreds of different fit options. So you no longer need to choose whether your pants fit your waist or your legs.
Hugh and cry
The American brand Hugh And Crye designs its clothes according to body types. Rather than just adding a few inches everywhere when trimming from M to L, it produces a version to fit tall and thin, or small and heavy. Having started with dress shirts, he broadened the approach to beautifully made blazers, tees and even popover shirts.
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