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10 ways for any man to look taller

These style tips will not only make you look taller, but some of them may actually increase your height.

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Men know that height matters. Taller guys make more money, get more dates, and are perceived as more dominant. Unfortunately, it’s also the one attribute that is completely beyond your control.

However, there are a number of tools and techniques you can use to look taller. These style tips will not only make you look better, but you’ll also be healthier. Depending on who you are, some of these tips may even cause you actually gain 1-3 inches in height.

I don’t want to promise anything outlandish though. All I can say is that if you follow these tips, you’ll definitely look better and taller. That’s an undisputed fact.

Whether you actually change your physical height depends entirely upon where you are currently.

Wear shoes that make you look taller

This is an easy way to look taller that women have been using with high heels forever.

Your footwear automatically adds .5-1.5 inches (1.27-3.81 centimeters) to your height. We can take even further advantage of this by either adding insoles or intentionally wearing shoes that give us 2-3 inches (5.08-7.62 centimeters).

Some guys scoff at this idea, thinking that they’ll be exposed when they take their shoes off and the illusion of height vanishes. I’m not going to tell you that this isn’t possible, but you don’t have to really worry about this for two reasons:

  1. Most of the time you’re around people, you have your shoes on. Until you’re in someone’s home or they visit yours, this won’t really matter. And if you’re in someone else‘s home, you’re almost certainly going to be wearing your shoes. If you aren’t, that brings me to the second worry.
  2. Increasing the appearance of being taller is just to get past human bias so people have a real chance to get to know you. Humans can’t help their programming. You might be the perfect match for someone, but because they feel a mismatch in attraction because you’re a little shorter, it never works out. This tactic can get you past that until they fall for you completely and a difference in two inches not only doesn’t matter, but it is unlikely to even be noticed.

Here are some great recommendations for men’s footwear to make you look taller.

Lose body fat

Losing body fat makes you look taller for two reasons:

  1. Weight reduction decompresses the spine. Depending on how overweight you are, this decompression could result in up to an inch of height gained.
  2. It is easier to have a proper posture when you’re slimmer and it helps one to appear taller after weight loss.

A research study published by Israeli neurosurgeon Zvi Lidar demonstrates how effective this approach can be in looking taller. The researchers noted that “disc height restoration after weight reduction was significant.”

They noted an increase of about 2 mm in just one intervertebral disc, between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. That’s not much in one disk alone, but if those results happen alone all the disks—or even just half—you’re looking at noticeable real height gain of potential 1-3 inches.

Also worth noting is that being slimmer automatically makes you look more elongated. Your limbs look longer and are better defined, which further accentuates the illusion of height. A slimmer waistline decreases the horizontal space you take up, which makes people pay more attention to vertical lines which make you appear taller.

This is yet another reason why you should lose the extra body fat that you’re carrying around.

Lose body fat to look taller
Lose body fat to look taller

Improve your posture

For most of my adult life, I was 6’0”. Then, when I was 28, I enlisted in the Army.

After 10 weeks of basic training and 16 weeks of advanced individual training, I got measured at my first Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and I had grown—at age 29—over an inch and a half to be almost 6’2”.

It’s not that I actually experienced cell division that would cause me to increase my height. Rather, after 26 weeks of standing at attention and parade rest in formations that were inspected daily, I improved my posture—and I didn’t even think that I had bad posture!

I strongly recommend you start training to improve your posture.

Most people do not have good posture. Correcting bad posture can result in a 1-2 inch “gain” immediately. The best part is that correcting your posture also has so many athletic, psychological, and emotional benefits.

Good posture also accentuates the neckline, giving an even better appearance of height. This is an easy lay-up and is almost certainly an area where you can gain an extra 1-2 inches in height.

Posture trainers like the following are what I used to help keep my posture gains after I got out of the military. Wearing one will save you from getting a hump in your back in your thirties from sitting at a desk 8-10 hours a day—>Posture training devices here

Wear fitted clothing

Fitted clothing makes you look slimmer for the same reason that losing body fat does.

When you carry extra body fat or your clothes are baggy, it creates the appearance of being wider by drawing more attention to the horizontal line across the body. When attention is drawn to horizontal lines, it not only makes you look out of shape, but it takes attention away from the vertical lines and makes you look shorter.

Learn how to dress like a man, from a man

If you look good, you’ll feel good and do even better.

Unfortunately, men are rarely taught the values of style, dressing well, and picking clothing that gets them massive attention.

Too many guys are taught that it’s effeminate or  “gay” to care about their appearance but NOTHING could be further from the truth. Tanner Guzy is who I used to get my style right and who I wholeheartedly recommend for any guy looking to do the same.

He’s got many offerings depending on your budget!

Get your masculine style on point

Baggy clothing also is generally viewed as low-status. If you want to take full advantage of the halo effect, then it‘s important that your fashion does not look low-class.

This means that it‘s well-fitting, clean, and void of logos. Those things won‘t make you look taller, per se. But because we associate good things in clusters, and being tall is good, dressing well goes a long way in creating the illusion of height. Or, at the very least, it draws attention away from how short you are.

Well-fitting clothing on Ed Latimore
Well-fitting clothing on Ed Latimore

Wear a hat

Hats are excellent for making you appear taller.

They extend the top of your head, and people looking at you wearing the hat will assume that you’re as tall as the hat makes you appear.

Depending on the style of the hat, you can gain 1 to 2 inches in appearance of height immediately. This is also a stylish way to look taller and allows you to immediately express yourself creatively as well.

I personally love a good Panama hat or a Driver’s Cap. You can’t go wrong as a man with either of those two.

Ed Latimore in driver's cap
Ed Latimore in driver's cap

Don’t wear belts

Wearing a belt does two things that actively work against making your look taller.

  1. They create a horizontal line. Horizontal lines are bad because they make you look wider, which simultaneously makes you look short.
  2. Belts visually divide the body and they draw attention to the lower half of you when that division occurs. This is a subtle trick of the eye that people don’t think about, but it’s the same reason why wearing a hat works. It draws your attention up and slightly exaggerates it. Belts do the same thing but pull your eyesight down.

Obviously, there will be situations where this isn’t feasible. If you must wear a belt and try to look taller, get one the same color as your pants.

Keep the waist button of your jacket above the navel

Choose jackets and blazers with a high waist button.

This is another example of a feature that draws the eye higher up on the body. This has the effect of making the legs appear longer because the legs seem to visually start higher.

In this same regard, a shorter jacket has the same effect. Longer jackets and coats take the focus down and create the appearance of shorter legs. The appearance of shorter legs creates the appearance of less height. If you wear a shorter jacket, it makes you look taller by making your legs look longer.

Ed in blazer
Ed in blazer

Wear high-waisted pants

High-waisted jeans make it appear as if you have longer legs by making it appear as if your waistline is higher. High-rise jeans and high-rise pants create a powerful visual that makes you look in shape and taller.

Making your bottom half look even longer makes you look younger and healthier as well, as longer legs are typically a feature of youth. Combine this with good posture, and you have a powerful hack for looking much taller than you really are.

Latimore wearing high waisted pants
Latimore wearing high waisted pants

Dress in a monochromatic color scheme

If you only wear one color, your eye doesn’t have to factor in any breaks. This will do a great job of making sure that we don’t create any horizontal lines when the color changes. For example, even if you follow all of the instructions above, if your shirt and pants are two different colors, you will automatically create a horizontal line at the transition point because of the different colors.

If your shoes, pants, shirt, and hat are the same color, you will naturally appear taller. Monochromatic outfits are not only good for making you look taller but wearing them is also a great piece of fashion advice.

Wear vertical stripes

Vertical stripes have the opposite effect as horizontal stripes. Horizontal lines and stripes make you look wider and shorter. Vertical lines and stripes make you look leaner and taller.

Sweater vertical stripes
Sweater vertical stripes

This sweater is the closest thing I have to vertical stripes. I personally don’t have many striped outfits in either direction, but all vertical lines have a lengthening effect on your physique.

 

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.