How short guys can look taller

This post is dedicated to help the shorter guys look taller with some simple tips.

All it takes is some tweaks to your daily fashion style, habits and smarter menswear choices.

The struggle faced by short men is real and many suffer from low self esteem due to their height. Almost all of the men’s clothing found in Singapore (or anywhere in the world) was not designed for guys below 170cm (5 ft 7 in) and below.

For guys standing below 170cm, almost every pair of pants is too long.

If you are short dude, you can definitely use one or two tips from this post. These tips will help create the illusion of being taller. You can look taller!

And by the way, these tips work for all people of all heights

1) Wear matching tones & Monochrome color scheme

Monochrome mens style

Wearing top and bottom of like color or tones within the same range connects your top and bottom half of the body to create the illusion of height. Wearing different colors on the other hand divides a person’s body. The idea is to contrast shades rather than colors.

If you have to mix colors or shades, keep the lighter ones on top and the darker ones on the lower half of your body. This will help create a lengthening effect by drawing eyes upward.

Tip: The darker the better but avoid all black, as it will actually make you look shorter.

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2) Avoid baggy clothing

Oversized mens tee

Over-sized and loose clothing makes one look sloppy and ‘buried’, causing dude to look even smaller and shorter than they actually are.

3) Avoid baggy, low-waisted pants

Two young men with low-slung, baggy jeans walk in Trenton, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007. Wearing your pants low enough to show your boxers or bare buttocks in a small town in Louisiana could get you six months in jail and a $500 fine and Trenton is considering a law, where a first bust for low-riding trousers could soon mean an assessment by a city worker on where your life is going. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

As with your top, go for a more tapered or slimmer cut trouser with a smaller trouser rise (distance from the middle of the crotch seam, between your legs, to the top of the waistband), as that will help make your legs look longer.

Wear your pants at your normal waistline in order to utilize your maximize leg line. The appearance of longer legs will contribute greatly to the success of looking taller.

4) Invest in tailor clothes

Tailored Clothes

Fit is everything when it comes to looking taller.

Even tall guys tailor their clothes. It’s a necessity regardless of your height, but especially essential for short guys.

A tailored shirt removes excess fabric around the arms and waist area that can cause your silhouette to go way off which makes a huge difference between looking sloppy to seeming put together and on top of it. Most off-the-rack men’s clothing (even the slim fit ones) is designed to be more contemporary in order to fit as many body types as possible.

The benefits out-weigh the cost by so many folds. A tailored business shirt can seriously turn a good outfit into a great one.

>> Read our guide for men suit colour

5) Shirt hem length matters


A shorter shirt will add more balance to your body proportion. Wearing shirt with hem to low will make it look as if you’re wearing the wrong size or wearing a business shirt un-tunked (which is downright a fashion mistake).

It is recommended for shorter guys wearing a button down shirt to be tucking in 85% to 95% of the time. Tucking your shirt in will give a slimmer line and immediately make your legs look longer as your silhouette lengthens.

If you must let out the shirt or am wearing one designed to be un-tucked (i.e. T-shirt, designer shirts), ENSURE THAT THE SHIRT HEM DOESN’T GO BELOW YOUR HIPBONE. Anything longer will make your legs appear even shorter.

Tip: this rule of thumb goes for all tops.

6) Avoid patterns or stick to small ones

Big checkered Fabric

Stay away from prints with large patterns by opting for smaller and subtle ones.

7) Vertical not horizontal

Vertical Stipe Tee

This one is quite straight forward and common sense.

Vertical lines draw eyes up and down and lead the eye to see more height than width. Opt for vertical stripes, pinstripes, pleats, and even vertical zippers.

8) Avoid vests

Vests draw attention to the middle section of your body which takes the attention away from the overall long lines of your body frame.

Stick to the same color or pattern for your vest and the rest of your outfit if you really need to wear one.

9) Try V-necks instead

Dark Grey V neck Tee

A V-neck tee elongates the neck which gives the illusion of length. Again, opt for darker color V-necks.

10) Avoid short-sleeve shirts

Short sleeve shirts make your arms appear short and small as they have the effect of fore-shortening your limbs. If your arms look short, so will the overall look.

Try instead, to roll up your long sleeve shirt or cuff them up as this creates an unimpeded line that makes your arms look longer.

11) Avoid bulky or oversized shoe

Square Toe shoes

Avoid shoes that are bulky looking and always ensure you try your shoes before buying. Getting this wrong can throw your other efforts out of the water completely. Choose shoe designs that have a slim or sharp front.

Tips: For dress shoes, choose colors that matches your pants. For casual shoes, go for slip-ons or espadrilles that show more leg flesh (make sure to wear invisible socks).

12) Avoid belt

Brown mens belt

A belt breaks up your body line and making you appear shorter than you are. For office wear, make sure the belt matches the pants color (i.e. no brown leather belt with black pants). You can also try going for suspenders instead, skipping the belt.

That is also why we strongly advice to go for tailored pants that fits properly (not baggy or too loose), so you don’t have to wear the belt.

13) Keep accessories on top

Doing this help draw eyeballs of whoever’s looking at you to sweep upward.

The more you are able to achieve that, the taller they’ll register. Meaning anything that will draw their attention below your chest should be avoided (i.e. flashy shoes, watches, and big buckle belts (remember what we said about belts).

Instead, opt for a hat or even pattern pocket square.

14) Stand and sit tall

Good posture goes a long way.

Slouching and hunching are poor posture habits formed over time and might take some time to get back. Exercise such as yoga and other conditioning exercises can help increase core strength and work on certain muscle groups that are weaker due to the pro-longed hunched over posture.

Stand tall, sit tall and walk tall.

Over time, you will eventually be seen taller.

15) Keep your Hair cut checked


Long hair will hide and cover your neck and shoulders, creating the illusion that your head and body is one body part. Also, long hair makes your look appear very ‘pulled’.

Hence it’s recommended to go for short hair for shorter men.

Well there you have it, 15 tips and tricks you can implement to look taller.

Start implementing these and over time people around you will start forming a different perception of your height and how you look overall.

More importantly than nailing the fashion and style, you need to show confidence. And to do that requires you to first act and behave in a confident manner. Confident people are often come across as “taller” than a person of relatively similar size, but act without confidence.

And simple embrace the height you have because you are fine no matter what.

If anything, think Kevin Hart, find humour and convert them into your strength. Here’s one video from Kevin Hart’s famous standup show “I’m A Grown Little Man“.

Let us know in the comment if you have tried any of these and which worked well for you! Or if you have other tricks not mentioned in this post, feel free to share with the committee.


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