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Flawless Fit Series – A Tall Men’s Clothing Guide


Everybody thinks tall men have it easy in life. Short dudes be hatin’ (register your complaints down in the comments section below) Average dudes be frontin’ (Uh, yeah, I’m 5’10”). But you, Mr. Tall Man, you know that being above average height comes with its own unique set of complications and a fair share of discomfort (we’re looking at you, guy who designed the coach section of the Boeing 737). While we may not be able to do much about helping you get an exit row on your next 8 hour flight, we can offer some helpful assistance to our tall brethren of style.

Being tall has its advantages and its disadvantages. When you’re 6 feet 4 inches tall (like this guy), things like playing pool can turn into a stretching exercise.

When it comes to shopping for tailored clothing, the rack at your local department store likely doesn’t include jackets with long enough arms for the truly tall man. Your best bet is to have your clothes made for you. That’s where made-to-measure comes into play. Made-to-measure suits for tall men are not just the domain of NBA millionaires. These days a made-to-measure suit will run you the same or less than a similar quality off-the-rack suit. That’s true whether you get one from the publishers of The Compass or from one of the other made-to-measure suit makers who have brought custom suits to the masses. But what you can only get here, a tall men’s clothing guide, is advice on how to spec out a suit for your height that’ll take your look to new heights.



Navy Plaid Custom Suit fabric swatch

Everybody knows that pinstripes will stretch out a tall guy’s look, but solid suits are not your only option. Choose large repeating checks to give you breadth and visual proportion. Here a big windowpane does the trick on the tall lean model making a
strong impression.


Navy Plaid Custom Suit, Three-Button Jackets

Yes, taller guys have an easier time pulling off the three button’s higher button stance, but the three button jacket will still get you a hefty fine and maybe even some jail time from the fashion police. Unless you are very tall (over 6’4”), we say avoid this move. The smarter move is the 3/2 roll jacket, a three button jacket where the top button is left unbuttoned and tucks under the roll of the lapel, thus breaking up the long lines of a tall man’s lapels while keeping the modern look of a two-button suit. This sharp detail hints at the three button jacket without fully committing to it and is perfect for that tweener who is tall but not, like, NBA tall.


Navy Plaid Custom Suit, Full Break

If you read The Compass regularly you know that one of our most frequent complaints about the average scrub is that he wears his pants that are way too long that bunch up at his ankles and create big fabric puddles around his feet. A tall man still shouldn’t go that far, but a full break is a smart way to break up the leg line of a tall man. While you should still be able to see most of his shoes, tall men look better when their pants touch the tops over their shoes and little or none of their sock shows when they are standing.


Navy Plaid Custom Suit, Cuff

While we’re in the neighborhood of the bottom of the pants, now is the time to also consider cuffs on pants. Traditionally pants cuffs and pants pleats are part of a package deal. You wouldn’t find a pair of pants on a stylish man that had cuffs without pleats. Of late the cuff has left behind its stodgy old friend and found its way to the ankles of fashion icons who wouldn’t be seen within a country mile of a pleated pant leg. For the tall man this is a good thing. Adding a cuff can beef up the bottom of a tapered pant leg so your long legs don’t make you look like you’re standing on stilts. Consider the cuff with or without pleats on your next pair of pants.


Navy Plaid Custom Suit, Ticket Pocket

Ticket pockets break things up – Ticket pockets, like all pockets on the outside of your jacket, are for show, not for storage. That said, they do serve a purpose, creating visual breaks in the front of the jacket and providing symmetry. Then there’s the ticket pocket, that bucks the symmetry trend. Situated on the right side only, this little pocket (flapped or piped) interrupts the flow of the front of your jacket keeping your torso from looking too long. Just what the tall
man needs.


Navy Plaid Custom Suit, Slim Lapel

The slim lapel can help distinguish a modern jacket putting an updated spin on classics, but for the tall man, they can throw off your proportions. On a tall man the slim lapel can look too narrow. Keep things in proportion with a broader lapel that covers more of the chest and keeps your look balanced.

Hudson Navy Windowpane Custom Unsuit


Of course, you don’t have to wear a suit at all. An Unsuit made from a high contrast combination of jacket and pants can break up a tall guy’s look by splitting him horizontally. The result: well, see for yourself.

All of these tips can make a small but noticeable difference from the taller gentleman. When you check every box on this list, it adds up to a well
put together look.

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3 thoughts on “Flawless Fit Series – A Tall Men’s Clothing Guide”

  1. Bronto Macklin says:

    great post!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thank you, tall sir!

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