This post is about fashion for tall skinny guys. At 6′7″ and 215 lbs, I’m moderately skinny for my height. Growing up I was even slimmer and struggled to find clothes that fit and didn’t accentuate this. After nearly a decade of testing out tall men’s clothing from a variety of brands, I’ve got some tips I hope you’ll find helpful. But if you don’t have time now to read much, then the single best tip I have is to shop with the tall specific brands below. Their uncompromising commitment to tall slim builds makes a huge difference.
Mindset on Fashion for Tall Skinny Guys
As far as male physical appearances go, being tall is commonly seen as a good thing. Being a particularly skinny guy, on the other hand, usually has the opposite effect. But oddly enough, taller people tend to be relatively skinnier. That’s just the way people scale. Unfortunately, that’s not our expectation. Rather, men are expected to be proportional regardless of height. This leaves tall guys, particularly the skinniest among us, pressured to appear more ‘normal’.
On the one hand, you might reject this and say, “I am what I am, take it or leave it.” On the other hand, you might acknowledge that appearances have a huge impact on our lives, and improving them can enhance your confidence and success in life. Since you’re reading this, I’d wager you lean towards the latter (I know I do). If so, it doesn’t mean you have to look like something you’re not. But at least you can dress in a way that doesn’t accentuate your slim build. And that’s what this post on fashion for tall skinny guys is all about.
Not Too Baggy, Not Too Tight
Back when I was in high school, a girl told me straight up that I was never to wear skinny jeans ever again as they made my legs look too scrawny. That was the ninety’s when baggy jeans were in style. But styles aside, really tight clothing accentuates a slim build, namely the skin-tight skinny jeans popular at the moment. And while this can be flattering for more women and more average men, it can make tall skinny guys look lanky and fragile.
Being me, I overshot and went the monstrous baggy route. And not just baggy at the bottom like the bell-bottoms of the 70’s, but rather baggy all the way up. Intuitively, you might think more material gives you a larger appearance. But it actually has quite the opposite effect. A gust of wind, for instance, wraps fabric around your leg as if you were in fact wearing skinny jeans. And it can seem almost as if you lost a lot of weight and that’s why your clothes are so baggy now.
The solution is to take the middle ground–not too baggy, not too tight. Depending on your age and style, this will vary a bit. My point is just that both overly baggy jeans and skin-tight jeans are problematic when it comes to jeans for tall skinny guys. Below are a two different styles of jeans (tapered and straight) from American Tall that are well suited to tall slim men.
This same rule of course applies to tops as well. Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly as many sizes nor as clear a distinction between styles when it comes to tops. You’re not out of luck though–do read on.
Fashion for Tall Skinny Guys from Tall Specific Brands
Let’s trek back to the ninety’s for a moment. Back then, people shopped almost exclusively in stores and mostly in malls. I detested the experience. Forget finding the right style–it was hard just just getting the right length, if not impossible. But then came the rise of e-commerce and brands began offering tall selections over the web. It was such a huge step up for me that I didn’t realize things could get even better. That realization didn’t come until I became aware of niche tall specific brands. These brands cater to the same tall people as big brands with their tall selections. And they also cater to even TALLER men who tend to be even relatively skinnier.
Not only do these niche brands have long enough sizes, they’re also fully aware of what kind of styles and fits can help us tall skinny guys appear to have a more normal build. They do this with that middle ground–not too baggy, not too tight. That’s their business–that’s what they do. It’s a huge relief to be able to leave this task up to them. There are a bunch out there, including American Tall, Tall Slim Tees (TST), Navas, and Cleaner Brighter. Below is a shot of me wearing a medium tall TST shirt with a top notch fit.
More Tips on Fashion for Tall Skinny Guys
Regardless of where you buy your clothes from, there are some other important considerations when it comes to fashion for tall skinny guys:
- Choose horizontal over vertical stripes: Vertical stripes draw the eyes vertically, giving the viewer the impression of greater length and so a relatively skinnier build. Horizontal stripes have the opposite effect. Personally, I prefer a more natural look via no stripes at all.
- Avoid big accessories: Belt buckles are the obvious ones here. There are some humongous buckles, particularly cowboy ones, that will dwarf your waist, making it look more like a branch than a trunk. The same rule applies for large watches, jewelry, and even wide ties (hopefully you’ve picked out an extra long tie).
- Choose Crew Neck over V-neck: I don’t have a scientific explanation for it, but I’m not alone with this opinion: V-necks have a tendency to accentuate a slim build. I suggest avoiding V-necks.
- Choose stiffer fabrics: A stiffer fabric is less likely to drape around your torso and limbs and accentuate their slim girth. So a stiffer fabric, for instance, can actually let you get away with slightly baggier bottoms. This is particularly true for shorts. Thin silky athletic shorts make legs look a lot skinnier than stiff cargo shorts.
- Layers and padding: People definitely look bigger in the winter with winter jackets etc. Similarly, wearing more layers, like a hoodie over a button-up, can give a tall skinny guy a more proportional look. But it’s important not to go overboard here, otherwise it can become pretty obvious what you’re doing. And besides, on warm days it can be uncomfortable!
Did I miss anything? Do you have any other advice on fashion for tall skinny guys?