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I wish I was shorter — said no guy ever! Nearly every dude out there wishes he could add a few more inches to his height. Sadly, no amount of stretching or straining will make him grow any taller. Perhaps you’re doomed to be the short friend. You know, the one that complains when his partner wears heels because it makes him look comically small.
But wait! Have you considered altering your clothes? Your wardrobe has more power than you realize, and the first step towards looking taller is changing the way you dress. Fool your friends and family into thinking you grew an inch or two with these sneaky style tricks. Odds are you already have a few of these looks hiding in your closet.
1. Wear Small Scale Patterns
Many stylists recommend wearing vertical stripes as opposed to horizontal ones because they make you look taller. However, this is only half true. Vertical stripes can create illusory height, but so can horizontal stripes or any other pattern, for that matter. As long as the print is small scale, it’ll help you look larger than life. Just avoid large patterns that look more like color blocks. These tend to make you look even shorter than you are.
2. Play With Diagonals
Diagonal lines create length and can help you look taller if you know how to properly incorporate them in outfits. They also have a slimming effect so not only will you gain a few inches, but you’ll shed a few pounds as well. Try wearing v-necks and long pea coats with a v-shaped collar. Just avoid short vests as they can emphasize a short torso and make you look tiny.
3. Try the Cropped Look
People with longer legs automatically look taller, no matter what their height is. That’s why it’s essential that you know how to accentuate your legs. One way to accomplish this is by wearing shorter shirts and longer — or higher — pants. For instance, you might create the illusion of having longer legs by tucking your shirt into your pants or hemming your top so that it just barely grazes the top of your jeans.
4. Choose a Snug Fit
Unless you’re a famous rapper or Billie Eilish, you probably shouldn’t be pairing oversized tops with baggy bottoms. This look can shrink your stature, especially if you’re short to begin with. A streamlined structure makes you look taller than loose, flowy fits, so stick with snug clothing or at least form-fitting tops. It’s usually ok to wear oversized coats and tops so long as your bottoms hug your legs.
5. Go Monochromatic
Nothing looks suaver than an outfit that’s all one color. What’s even better is that it can make you look taller, too. Monochromatic attire creates a cohesive look that forces others to look you up and down instead of just glancing at your top half. Keep it classy with neutral colors or play with bright shades and patterns like vertical pinstripes, matching both your top and bottoms. Go big or go home, right?
6. Don Longer Layers
Winter is here, which means it’s time to don your thickest, coziest coat. Opt for a long topcoat to create the illusion of an extended torso. Make sure the hem falls near your mid-thigh or just above your knee. Anything below that will make you look shorter or make your legs and torso look like they’re the same height, which may be even worse. Pair your coat with a long scarf to really accentuate your torso and lengthen your frame even further.
7. Wear Pointy Shoes
If you’re in the habit of wearing Vans or Converse, it might be time to rethink your footwear. Shoes with a round or square-shaped toe can make your legs look short and your feet stubby. On the other hand, pointy-toed footwear tends to elongate your legs and make you seem taller. You don’t have to wear elf shoes to reap the benefits, either. Look for loafers, boots and dress shoes that are slim and sleek, especially at the toes.
8. Use Thicker Insoles
When all else fails, try adding some literal height to your frame with thick insoles. You can even get height-increasing pads specifically designed with smaller dudes in mind. Simply slip them into your sneakers before taking photos with your friends or meeting your girl for lunch. Then, enjoy being tall for a few hours. You can also opt for heeled loafers or athletic shoes with extra cushioning if you want more height without the added hassle of inserts.
Creating More Style Illusions
Clothes that make you look taller and slimmer are difficult to find, especially if you have a unique body type or are currently working on your physique. That’s why it’s so important to know these style tricks so you can learn to work with what’s available. Oh, and getting a reliable tailor wouldn’t hurt, either!