8 Tips for Taller Guys Who Want to Look Shorter

We all have things we want to change about ourselves. Heavier guys want to be skinnier. Short guys want to be taller. And while it might sound surprising, tall guys might want to look shorter.

There’s a wealth of information on the internet designed to give short guys the illusion of being taller (see our guide for short men who want to look taller), but for tall guys who want to look shorter, information is pretty scarce.

If you’re tall and you want to appear shorter, there are some key things you can do. While there’s no miracle, especially if you’re standing next to someone shorter than you, the tips we’re going to look at today will definitely help.

1. Wear Horizontal Stripes

Horizontal stripes are the perfect pattern to wear when you want to appear shorter (and wider) than you actually are. Whether you’re wearing t-shirts, button-downs, polos, or just about any other style, you should be able to find some with horizontal stripes.

2. Wear Crew Necks Instead of V-Necks

V-necks make your neck look longer, which is exactly what we want to avoid. Instead, you should always wear crew necks when you want to look shorter, as they make your neck look shorter.

3. Wear Contrasting Colored Shirts and Pants

contrast pants shirt

When you’re short, wearing pants and shirts of similar colors creates a look that flows together and makes everything appear longer. So if you’re tall, you can go the opposite way and wear a shirt that contrasts with your pants. This breaks your torso up, which will take a couple of inches off your appearance.

4. Avoid Overly Slim or Skinny Fits

This is important because baggy clothes play a critical role in making you look shorter. However, baggy clothes aren’t on-trend right now, so you’ll need to walk the line carefully. Add a little bit of looseness to your clothing, but don’t go overboard, as you’ll trade some height for clothing that looks sloppy and out of style.

Learn more about pants fit in our Levi’s jeans guide.

5. Wear Patterned Shoes

Patterned shoes actually serve two purposes when it comes to making you look shorter. They will shorten the appearance of your feet. Taller men tend to have larger feet, so shortening them is a good strategy. Additionally, the pattern will draw attention to your feet and away from the upper body.

6. Wear Shoes That Contrast Your Pants

Wearing shoes that are close in color to your pants makes everything flow together, making your legs look longer. Going the other way and wearing shoes that contrast with your pants makes your legs look shorter, which is actually what we’re trying to do.

7. Stick With Long Shirts

Long shirts do a great job of making your legs look shorter, which shrinks your body down overall. Just like with baggy clothes, you don’t want to go to crazy with the length, as you’ll end up looking sloppy and out of style. But if you just add a couple of inches to the length of your shirts, you’ll be able to make yourself look a bit shorter.

8. Avoid Shoes With Big Heels

This might seem pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t wear any shoes that add to your height. Stick with shoes with flat heels to keep yourself as low to the ground as you possibly can. While we all love a nice pair of Timberland boots, the thicker heels will add an inch to your height, which is exactly what we’re aiming to avoid.

It’s Time to Shrink Your Height!

We won’t question why you want to look shorter—we all have things we wish were different about ourselves. Thankfully, with some creative use of clothing, you can fight off some of that height and create the shorter look you desire.

Dave LeClair

Dave is a staff writer at Modern Ratio. He's a long-time geek who turned on to style late in life, and now writes to share what he's learned with those who are just starting their own style journeys. He's based in Pennsylvania.