Fit may be the most important aspect of style, but color is a very close second, especially for shorter men.
Here's one of the most common questions I get from men under 5'8″ who want to start dressing better:
It's an important question, and the answer can be complicated. In fact, I did a full presentation about color – including skin tone and contrast – that you can watch right here.
But if you want to skip the complicated, theoretical stuff and get some quick, actionable advice about color, you're in the right place.
In this post, you'll learn about seven color combinations that are perfect for shorter men (or anyone who wants to maximize their perceived height).
These are not monochromatic color schemes, such as black on black. Those are also great for shorter men, but today we're focusing on…
While monochromatic colors are different shades of the same color, analogous colors are different colors that are closely related.
For example, blue and green are analogous. They're neighbors on the color wheel. Analogous colors combos are perfect for shorter men because they blend into each other smoothly, creating a streamlined appearance and minimizing jarring contrast.
Blue and orange, on the other hand, are complimentary colors because they're complete opposites. When used in an outfit, complimentary colors can be pretty jarring, so they're best used in small doses (like in the pattern of your necktie).
If you pay attention, you'll notice that many of these color schemes contain analogous colors.
So without further adieu, here are seven color combinations that will make you look taller, with examples from some of the most stylish men of modest height on Instagram.
#1: Blue + Grey
This is a classic, sophisticated color combination that anyone can pull off and that will never go out of style. The blue can be anything from light blue to deep navy, and the grey can can be anything from light grey to charcoal.
Just keep in mind: the closer these colors are in shade (lightness/darkness), the more powerful the heightening effect will be.
For example, navy and dark grey works better than navy and light grey.
#2: Blue + Green
Green is another color that pairs really well with blue. From forest green to hunter green to olive, the choice is yours – it's going to look great.
Blue and green are both very natural colors that go well with earth tones and neutrals (like white or brown), which makes them very easy to pair with layers and accessories.
#3: Black + Burgundy
This is a decidedly formal color combination, but it's a great way to break out of the ubiquitous “all black everything” look that you see at every formal event.
Of course, you can also wear this combo casually.
The most basic version of this would be black jeans and a burgundy t-shirt. It's a solid look that most guys can pull off with very little effort.
#4: White (or Light Blue) + Tan
My go-to summer color scheme is tan and white. And by white, I mean any very light color, especially light blue or pink (think unsaturated, washed out versions of these colors).
You've probably heard that wearing dark colors makes you look taller and thinner, and there's some truth to that.
But light colors are okay too. What you want to avoid is a light top and dark bottom (or vice versa). A dark jacket worn open over a light outfit is totally fine because it maintains the unbroken line from neck to ankle (example).
#5: Green + Brown
This is a natural, earthy color scheme that takes a little finesse to pull off. If you don't do it right, you could end up looking like Robin Hood (or worse, one of his merry men…).
But if you do it right, green and brown can look very suave, and it's great for shorter men because it helps cut down on horizontal contrast.
Like all of the color combos on this list, wearing green and brown won't cut you in half visually, which is the major benefit of wearing analogous colors.
#6: Grey + Brown (or Tan)
This is one of my favorite color combos, and it seems to be kind of underrated. Like the grey/blue combo, it works with many different shades (light and dark).
I personally love lighter greys and browns together (e.g., light grey and tan).
#7: Black + Brown
Wearing black and brown together isn't easy to pull off, but you'll look downright elegant if you get it right.
It's kind of like navy and black – somewhat controversial amongst the proletariats, but a well accepted secret amongst the style elite.
Since black and brown are so closely related (i.e., both pretty dark colors), they work well together on the shorter frame.
These seven color combinations are by no means your only choices, but they're a safe bet for shorter men who want to look as tall as possible.
But even if the idea of “dressing tall” doesn't sit well with you, look at it this way: the right colors ensure that your outfit doesn't make you look shorter, regardless of your height.
Questions or thoughts? Leave a comment below!