One of the first things I ask every man I work with is, what do you want to play up or play down about your physical appearance. Many responses include some combination of looking taller and leaner.
Knowing how to wear clothing well can help you accomplish this with greater success than you might think. The right look can create a smoke-and-mirrors effect that will have you earning more compliments than you may have ever received.
Fall is a great time to learn how to dress to look taller and slimmer because you can play with layers. Read on for my 4 top tips for looking like you've added inches onto your height and shaving lbs off your width.
When you have excess "puddling" of material around your ankles, the eye gets drawn downward, thereby making you look shorter. But, by having your dress pants hemmed to minimum break, you'll reduce all that unnecessary material, allowing the eye to rise up to the other details in your outfit (see #4), which make you look taller.
The eye follows whatever direction the lines go. So if you have vertical or diagonal lines in your outfit, that's how the eye will travel, making you appear longer and leaner.
These lines can be within patterns or as part of the lines in your clothing. This includes verticals and diagonals in your suit jacket and the vertical line created by a scarf. And don't forget about a hoodie and puffer vest combo. The vertical lines created by the zippers of the hoodie and vest work to elongate your look.
You live in a warmer climate? Not to worry. The diagonals in a v-neck t-shirt have a similar lengthening effect.
Bonus Tip: I tell clients who want to look taller or reduce weight around their face and neck to only wear v-neck t-shirts and sweaters, as crewnecks can make you appear choked up around your neck, which results in your looking shorter and wider overall.
Light colors make things look larger, so it makes sense to wear dark colors if you want to appear slimmer.
Another trick in this vein is to wear the same color or at least similar tones of color on top as you do on bottom. In this way, you avoid the horizontal line that a color break across your middle creates, cutting you in half and shortening your stature. Likewise, avoid wearing a belt that contrasts strongly with the rest of your outfit, as it both draws attention to your waistline and makes you look shorter.
When your look draws people's eyes upward, there's an automatic association with height, and as a result it creates visual length. One way to do this is to wear peak lapels on your suit jackets and sport coats. Another way is through colored button threading on your lapels, pocket squares and scarves. When you add these details you bring the focus upward toward your chest, shoulders and face.
Are you sensing a theme yet?
Looking taller and slimmer is all about controlling the direction the eye goes so that you can create a visual streamline. When you take control of your look in these four ways, you create dramatic and powerful results. It can completely transform both how you feel about yourself and how you're perceived by the outside world.