How to Look Taller - Part 2: Color

Love thy neighbor - and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.         -Mae West

Men want to be taller. You can read the statistics in the previous post where we talked about three ways to make up the inches: Color, Proportions, and Fit. There is a lot of crossover between the three but color is certainly one of the easiest to master...just wear black.




I'm sort of kidding; I don't want you to go all Johnny Cash on us but there are some strategic advantages to darker colors. When you want to brighten up a room and make it look more spacious, you paint it a light color. Most people don't want to make their midsection look more spacious so wearing a darker color is going to minimize the overall impact of the area you're looking to hide. But how does this make you look taller?

Because darker areas look slimmer they also elongate. Take a look at this optical illusion. Does the figure appear taller on the left or the right?

Yes, I know it's an easy one but the image does a great job illustrating how effective darker colors can be.

Dark colors draw long lines on your body that the eye perceives to be longer than an equal line of a lighter color. So while this picture shows how a dress might make a woman taller, the same is true for men if they wear darker jeans instead of lighter ones. Couple that with a darker shirt or jacket and you look that much taller.

Courtesy of Dr. Peter Thompson

Courtesy of Dr. Peter Thompson

The longer the line is, the better. This is why people always warn about wearing horizontal stripes. Not only do they draw lines across your body, letting us know just how wide you are, they also create contrast against your height making you look that much shorter.

For more optical illusions that can enable your wardrobe, head over to Bridgette Raes' site for a more in-depth read or to the BBC to understand the "Helmholtz Irradiation Illusion" that provides the scientific backing for the 'black is slimming' theory.

Joshua DavisComment