Clothing for the Tall & Thin Man – Menswear Tips For Men Taller than 6 Foot

Once you get to a certain height, it’s hard to avoid looking lanky no matter what you do.

Even a professional basketball player looks pretty twiggy in a group of shorter, stockier men, and it’s not because he’s short on muscles.

Men who are both tall and thin face a double challenge:  they have to avoid looking looming or storkish like every tall man, and they have to do it without looking like they’re swimming around inside clothes that are too loose on their frame.

The goal of this article is to help you dress sharp as a tall and thin man by helping you understand the clothing types that will best compliment a skinny and tall build.

 

 

Styles for the Tall – Thin – Skinny Man

Clothes for tall, skinny men should add mass and subtract height.

That means looking for lots of horizontal elements, and not just stripes — layered clothing, broad belts, trouser cuffs, jacket pockets, and vests can all add lines going across the body.  Casual wear can feature asymmetrical patterns or graphics to grab the eye and keep it at mid-body height; more business-dress outfits can incorporate windowpane or broad check patterns for the same effect.  Everything should be closely fitted — there’s no excess flesh to hide.

Spare cloth will billow where it’s untucked or balloon where it’s tucked for an unsightly effect either way.  Tailored menswear offers a great fit for those that can afford it, but even department store shoppers can benefit from knowing their measurements before they go in.

dress sharp for tall men

Pants & Trousers for Tall Men

Most retailers describe men’s trousers using two numbers:  waist and inseam.  Those don’t give any idea of how wide around the legs are at the thigh, or how far the “drop” from the waist to the crotch is, so there’s no way of telling how saggy the trousers are going to look until they arrive.  If you know a specific brand, cut, and measurements that looks good on you and you can find it online, go for it — otherwise, be ready for some old-fashioned, in-store shopping to try things on.

In the store, look for those spots we just mentioned — the thighs and the space between the waistband and the crotch.  There should be a close fit in both of these, enough room for everything to move around in and not much more.  If the fabric is heavy enough to fall smoothly and not swish around too much a little looseness in the lower legs will add some thickness to the lower body, but don’t overdo it.  Any fabric that billows is just saying “too skinny for his clothes.”  Pleats are also worth avoiding — a skinny man doesn’t need the added room for expansion they offer unless his trousers are very closely fitted, and the vertical lines don’t do you any favors visually.

A Man's Guide To Style

Cuffs shouldn’t really bear mentioning.  Tall guys are going to want them anywhere they’re appropriate, and that’s everywhere except black tie events.  If you’re lucky enough to have your clothes tailor-made for you, go ahead and have the cuffs made a little wider than usual.  No one will notice the extra width, and it will help keep the trousers looking proportional to your height.  More casual pants can have the side pockets slanted forward rather than straight up-and-down, which breaks up the vertical line a bit, and keeping the amount of stuff in them to a minimum can keep a key- or wallet-bulge from looking like it’s overpowering your whole thigh.

One last note on pants:  broad belts and big buckles are great for tall men, but don’t go too oversized if you’re on the skinny side.  Rodeo cowboys can get away with massive belt buckles because they have thighs the size of your chest.  Skinny guys are going to look better with a wide, monochrome belt and a nice, rectangular buckle.

 

formal sharp look for tall men

 

Shirts and Ties on Tall & Thin Men

If you’re a tall man, you need a tall tie.

That means that tie hands all the way to your belt when it’s tied — anything shorter is going to leave a weird-looking gap of exposed shirtfront.  Only circus clowns are supposed to have that.  A broader tie is also going to be a better look for skinny men, since it goes a long way toward bulking out their chest, and a properly-tied full Windsor knot will add some strength and definition to the neck and chin area.  Patterns with horizontal elements are as helpful here as anywhere, so look for heavily-slanted diagonals, wide diamonds, or check patterns.

T-shirts and dress shirts, like pants, should be closely fit.  They should also be long enough that they stay tucked in.  If the sides of the shirt are creeping up out of the waistband as you move, it’s too short.  If the shirt stays tucked in but balloons loosely around the waistband it’s too loose, and if it doesn’t do either of those things congratulations — you found a very rare shirt that’s actually made to fit a tall, skinny man.

Most store-bought shirts that are long enough are also too loose, and need tailoring to take the sides in.  Failing that, thicker undershirts can help take up a bit more space, and keeping the pants tightly belted will hold the tucked-in fabric in place as long as possible.  If you don’t wear your shirts tucked in, of course, you can get away with something slightly looser, but too much fabric blowing around will still make you look scrawnier than you want.

Suit Jackets and Sport Coats for Tall Skinny Guys

If you’re a smart dresser, your wardrobe will include suits and jackets. Blazers, sport jackets, and suit jackets are the secret weapon of tall and thin men every where -jackets add bulk to the chest and shoulders creating a more masculine look.

These are just as hard to find in a tall, skinny man’s size as shirts, though they are out there, and they can also be adjusted by most tailors.  The hardest fit to adjust is the shoulders, so prioritize a good fit there — anything else can be taken care of with relatively little cost, but a jacket that pinches in the shoulders or hangs off them loosely is going to be hard to fix.

Look for thicker shoulders to add some bulk and padding to your frame.  The back of the jacket should hang at least to the top of your buttocks, and there’s no harm in letting it hang a few inches further than that — this helps shorten the line of your legs and makes you look more balanced.

tall mens casual sharp dressed look

Double-breasted jackets are also a great option for tall, slender men, though only appropriate as part of a matched suit.  The extra cloth across the chest fills the frame out and can be made to fit quite closely.  It’s also an elegant and eye-catching style — people are going to notice you in the crowd anyway, so have a little fun with it.  An alternative is the three-piece suit, where the waistcoat serves the same function of adding cloth and breadth to the torso.

Bad Looks for Tall Skinny Men

The only real cardinal sins for lanky men are loose clothes and sleek, vertical lines.

A pinstripe suit with nothing to break up the verticals is a poor choice as well.  Never select a loose shirt and baggy pants – it’s about the worse thing you can wear.

Final Tips for the Thin and Tall Man

You want thick, layered clothing close to the body to add breadth, and you want lots of visual activity and horizontal elements to keep you from towering.  Pad the frame out, clutter the style up, and relax — you’re never going to blend into the crowd, so wear something fun once in a while.

RAW Transcript

Clothing for the Tall & Thin Man Menswear Tips For Men Taller than 6 Foot
[0:00:00.0]
Hi, my name is Antonio Centeno, I’m the founder of Real Man Real Style and today I’m going to be talking about clothing for the tall and thin man. Noticed I didn’t say big and tall because we are going to leave the big out of this. There are many men out there who are well above six foot two, six foot three and they don’t have a lot of weight on them actually proportionally. And they go throughout life looking at things very different from those of us that are average height. By the way, I’m five foot nine so how do I know anything about this? Well, I’m a custom clothier by trade so I deal with men all the time who have fit issues.
And over the years and through my research and study I have learned that there are certain things that a tall, thin man can do in order to look more proportional. And that’s the key, is you want to look more proportional. It’s not about looking short or looking bigger because when it comes down to it you’re always going to look tall and thin. And that’s not a bad thing. Women are attracted to that it’s a little – that is very healthy. You have a lot of advantages but one of your big disadvantages as you know is that it’s very difficult to find clothing that fits you properly.
So let’s go ahead and talk about your best friend is going to be a tailor when it comes to clothing because he’s going to be able or she, a seamstress is going to be able to take clothing which is just too big in the torso or you know, possibly even too long. You know, that would be a great thing there but they’ll be able to adjust that to fit you better. Because a tailor can always adjust things and they can make anything fit you. The key is you need to go out and be able to find clothing which is close because there are issues with proportions and that’s going to be the lemmoning factor for you.
So even though you may find a great jacket which wow looks good on the shoulders, it looks great in the sleeve length but if it is needs literally eight inches taken out of the torso, it’s just not going to happen. The reason being is proportion so the placement of the pockets, all of the lines if it has any type of pattern over all, the jacket is just going to start to look off. And it’s not something you would want to use.
You would always want to find a piece of clothing which is at least close. And then you can get it altered. Whether it be a trouser, whether it be shirts, whether it be a – even ties can actually be altered to some effect. But those are actually probably one of the easier things.
So let’s start off with you know, I think one of the most difficult things for a tall man to find and that’s going to be trousers. And if you’re – and the reason being is that most of the pants out there are made to fit, not just to tall men but the tall and big men. They want to go for as many body types as possible. The problem with that is you get a very, very long rise. And the rise is from the top of the trouser all the way to the bottom of the crotch area.
The problem with that is that it makes your legs look shorter. And when the rise goes a lot lower than your actual crotch area, all of a sudden you haven’t – your legs I mean you basically, you can’t move your legs and that’s a huge problem and that’s something that for a larger man who’s got a little bit of weight here, he wants that extra room. You do not want that room.
So avoid any pants no matter how well they may fit your lengthwise, if that – if you’ve got too much room in the crotch area and the rise is too long, avoid them. You’re never going to get them to work. Look for brands that suit your body type. In jeans, I know that AG Jeans they specialize, they’ve got maybe not necessarily in the stores but you can go to their website and you can find clothing that’s going to fit taller men.
And another option I, you know besides tailors, I have a friend whose name is Lisa Bruckner. She owns a company called Hendricks Park. They do a great job of working with men who are harder to fit and don’t even want to go out there and deal with all the shopping and they can – so they know exactly what brands you want to, you want to go look at. And they will deliver right through your door. So that’s an option as well. You’re going to have to have a little bit more [0:04:19.0][Inaudible] but when it comes – you think about how much your time is worth, I think they’re a great service for what they offer.
Another option of course is custom clothing. You can check out my website if you want to know more about that. But that’s something I’m sure you’ve thought about. Not always affordable but there are many options. I mean there’s a [0:04:38.2][Inaudible] is one price point. There are guys over in Hong Kong they’re another price point. So you may who want to take a trip over season, have your entire wardrobe done over there.
I specialize in wardrobes that are tailored suit, my custom clothing company. And that’s something I find that I may be able to kind of bridge the gap. I offer really good quality and I think I offer pretty good prices as well. Alright, so getting back to the points why you’re listening to this.
[0:05:01.2]
So ties, there are companies like ties-necktie.com, my friend Hendrick Paul owns this company and it ties-necktie.com you’ll see that they’ve got 60 inch and above ties. You want a tie which is long because as you know if you dealt with a tie that’s maybe only 56 inches or 58 inches, you’re going to find that you got a tie actually a small knot in order for it to end at the right point which is right at the center of you belt buckle. Instead, simply buy ties which are longer. So you can find ties for 62 inches and that’s exactly what you should be looking for. In addition, you want a tie that’s proportionally and a bit wider. So 3.75 inches is about what you’re looking for if you’re over six foot two, six foot three.
Another thing is shirts. So this is one area where you may want to go custom. There are companies that are coming out and I haven’t – I’ve seen companies that one that was Longshot Apparel and these guys are focusing on the big and tall men. But another option is custom. And this is where it could really pay dividends because so many men, you can usually – you can’t find a brand often times that will fit you. But it’s a long and treacherous ordeal, that’s why I like Lisa and her services over at Hendricks Park. But you want to find a brand that has and can you know, meet you on the sleeve length, can meet you – you can actually get the collar adjusted so if you end up finding some great deals on shirts, don’t be afraid to have it tailored, take off the entire collar. He can split the back and make it a little bit smaller.
Now as far as adding room that’s a lot more difficult so you always, that’s why you always want your clothing to be a little bit bigger. But you can actually dart shirts up to you know depending on your size and your proportions. But I would say four inches. You can bring in a short in the torso area and just have it darted. Mostly in the back, you may even have some darts in the front if you’re really needing to have some room done although I don’t really recommend them in the front.
So we’ve talked about shirts, we’ve talked about trousers, we’ve talked about ties. Now let’s talk about jackets. Okay, on jackets they’re great because they’re going to help you look more proportioned and you’re with the one item I think that every tall, thin man should be wearing. And the reason being is it’s going to build out your shoulders. And when it builds out your shoulders, it’s just going to make you look more proportion. It’s going to add weight to you. Putting on a jacket that fits you well, and if you’re really thin, I think can easily add 50 pounds to your frame. Not really, well unless you put some weights in there or something, but no really when I look at this jacket on you it’s going to build out your shoulders, it’s going to make your arms look a little bit bigger. I mean, all of this points are what – you don’t want to look like a – you want to look normal. You want to look proportioned. You don’t want to look skinny and lanky.
And if you wear clothing that fits you too close and you know the big thing is going to be your shoulders and if those aren’t built out a little bit or if you have really narrow shoulders, that’s where you’re going to start running any issues because if it’s your shoulder in proportion to your head which is going to make you look skinny and unproportioned and lanky and that’s not what you want.
So, hopefully are here are a few points here which are useful for you in the article which I linked to down below. I try to expand on a few of those points in addition visit me over at Real Men Real Style. I know you a lot more – I give a lot of information about men’s style and how to dress for different body types and hope you find this useful. Take care, bye.
[0:08:33.4] End of audio

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About Antonio

Antonio Centeno is President of ATailoredSuit.com and the founder of RealMenRealStyle.com. He has created over 700 articles & videos on men's style, blogs over at the Art of Manliness, and is the creator of the internet's best selling personal presentation course - A Man's Guide To Timeless Style. Antonio has studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine with an MBA from UT Austin and a BA from Cornell College. He loves to hear from old friends and make new ones.

  • Vjstrong68

    What if you are tall, but not so thin. I stand 6’8″, but I would hardly call myself skinny at 340lbs!

  • Jared

    Thank you, Antonio. Great information for a 6’5″/190lb man who has struggled with this for a while.

  • Anonymous

    You are welcome Jared – we’ll try to write even more content for men with your body build sir!

    R/S

    Antonio

  • Anonymous

    Sir – you are clearly tall and husky – a lot would depend on where you carry the weight.  Feel free to upload your measurements and I can give you more guidance!

    R/S

    Antonio

  • Faraz

    i am 6 foot 3 and 126 lbs.. I have broad shoulders.. what would u suggest for me?

  • Idesigntallmen

    I like you video. A lill slow but, good and very useful it Helps. Over all thank you. I have a tall skinny son and found it hellish to find any thing that fits him right so I started to make his clothes. At first he hated it as a teen, now He loves me for it. How do I start this as a business.? Any suggestions. Other that working for the warriors basket ball team.

  • Idesigntallmen

    My son really like the undershirts I make for him long enough and perfit fit. You can reach me at Rorobin@yahoo.com

  • julia13

    For skinny guys such like things are okay but there are some simple steps to be considered before a selection of any kind of suitings for men.

    http://www.socialjunk.net/five-tips-for-selecting-elegant-mens-suits/