Suit style advice for the taller chap

Last month we looked in detail at how to accentuate height using a well tailored suit. This month we thought it was only fair to focus on the taller gents and how they can use bespoke tailoring to get the best look for their body shape.

Getting it right: Clint Eastwood (6ft, 4) looking great in a 2 button notch lapel jacket.

 Jacket

Some tall people have long legs, others have a long body and some have a bit of both. Whatever your height or build, the key to looking sharp in a suit is balance. As a general rule of the thumb, the distance from the knape of the neck to the bottom of the jacket and the distance from the bottom of the jacket to the ground should be exactly the same.

How many buttons?

Traditionally tall people have often been advised to opt for a three button suit, as a long lapel will only serve to accentuate height rather than hide it. However, three button suits are out of style at the moment so very few people want them.

 

Getting it wrong – Vince Vaughn (6ft,5) in a 3 button, ill-fitting suit.

Getting it wrong – Vince Vaughn (6ft,5) in a 3 button, ill-fitting suit.

Thankfully, a tailor can make sure that your two button suit will flatter you perfectly. This is because a tailor can choose the best place for the first button to sit. However, we would advise against a one button jacket if you’re over 6ft. A one button jacket creates a skirt (the section between the buttons and the bottom of the jacket) that is too long and empty. The space needs to be filled with detail – in this case the second button (even though it is never done up).

You may also wish to consider adding a ticket pocket as a great way of filling space on a long jacket.

Sleeves
Sleeve length is vital. Taller guys will be familiar with their sleeves looking too short and will know how frustrating it can be. The sleeve should meet the break of the wrist at least, but some customers prefer the sleeve a little longer – just because they like the feeling.

 

“Please don’t photograph me – my sleeves and jacket are way too short”. Josh Hartnett (6ft, 3) getting it wrong… and knowing it!

Trousers

Length
Trouser length is obviously very important to our taller clients. They find it extremely hard to find a trouser that is comfortable, looks good and is a good fit. The key to trouser length is to ensure that the back of the trouser nestles gently at the heel of the shoe, and that there is a single break at the front.

Rise
Also of concern to the taller gent is the trouser rise. This is the distance from the front of the waistband to the back – around the crotch. Often this is very large on off-the-peg trousers and the fit is awful. Too tight and… well – it’ll make your eyes water!

 

Getting it wrong – Ben Affleck (6ft,3). The rise on these trousers is far too short and he’s having to wear them really low – with disastrous results!

Getting it wrong – Ben Affleck (6ft,3). The rise on these trousers is far too short and he’s having to wear them really low – with disastrous results!

 

Width
The width of the trouser is vital. The trouser must be wide enough to cover a larger shoe, but narrow enough to be a good fit and look stylish.

Waistcoat

 

Rupert Everett (6ft,4) looking fantastic in this peak collar pinstripe – mainly thanks to the waistcoat.

Rupert Everett (6ft,4) looking fantastic in this peak collar pinstripe – mainly thanks to the waistcoat.

A waistcoat is a great addition for a tall guy. It breaks the body up, adding detail where there would otherwise be an expanse of shirt and tie. It therefore allows the wearer to open the jacket and still look sharp.

If you’re not wearing a waistcoat a tie clip is a worthwhile investment. It adds extra detail halfway down the tie as well as keeping it secure.

Here’s Will Smith wearing it well:

 

Getting it right: Will Smith (6ft, 2)

Getting it right: Will Smith (6ft, 2)

 

Other options:

Turn-ups are an interesting and fashionable addition to a suit which create the illusion of a shorter leg.

Double breasted jackets are also very fashionable at the moment – especially amongst the slimmer of our taller clients. The added detail fills what would have been empty space.

 

Getting it right: Denzel Washington (6ft) showing how it’s done in a 2 show 1 double breasted.

Getting it right: Denzel Washington (6ft) showing how it’s done in a 2 show 1 double breasted.

Does being tall limit my style choice?:

At King & Allen we believe that if you follow the above advice and the suit fits you well there are no rules on cloth choice: pin stripes, checks, block colours, light or dark – there’s no need to feel restricted. Whether you’re having fun or keeping it conservative, your suit is a combination of your personality and the requirements of the garment. If the suit is cut well your height should have little consequence.

 

 

King & Allen suits range from £299 – £1299. . Call 0800 0274430 or contact us here for more information.
We have fitting locations in London: Liverpool St, Savile Row and Charing Cross; Nottingham; Leeds; Wilmslow and Surbiton.

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