Tall & Lean in Style feat. Calvin Saunders

February 15th, 2013

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

In response to requests for more body-type-focused content, we linked up with Westley’s neighbor Calvin Saunders.

“I used to always see this tall slim guy in my building, looking fresh. Turns out he works in the buying office at Ralph Lauren and he’s been a fan of TSB for years.” – Wes

Indeed, we get a ton of inquiries from guys looking for advice to flatter their specific body type(s). Not just short or heavy guys, either. You’d be surprised how many questions we get from tall and skinny guys too.

Here, Calvin, an NYC native who stands 6’2″ 150 lbs, gives us some insight into finding the right fit for the tall and lean.

 NEXT LOOK >>

1. Business Casual

01

Calvin, like many tall & slim “ectomorphs, has a hard time shopping because everything is too big for him. Even “slim fit” pieces from brands with modern cuts. When he does find something that’s slim enough through the body, it’s usually too short.

“The first stop after I make a purchase is my tailor. Most pieces call for a straight-forward slim-down, but sometimes I have to be a little creative. For example, this nylon quilted jacket couldn’t be properly taken-in due to the fabric and construction, so I had my tailor attach belt loops to the back of the jacket. Now I use an old knit tie as a belt to cinch the back of the jacket. Not only does this slim down the jacket considerably, but I can adjust the tautness based on the bulkiness of the layers I have on underneath.”

03

A lot of tall slim men are self conscious about looking “too skinny” and wear oversized clothing to “add girth” as a result. Don’t do this. Baggy clothes do not make a skinny guy look bigger or more muscular. They make him look sloppy, less confident and, in fact, skinnier.

Embrace your lean frame and allow your tailor to help you show if off with comfort and confidence. “Adding girth” is much more effective and flattering in the way of tailored layers and textured fabrics.

04

“When shopping, look for the size that fits best in the shoulders and, most importantly, has the proper length. Then work with your tailor to slim down the sides, sleeves, legs, etc.

If it’s too short, you often can’t lengthen it…then you risk looking like you’re wearing your little brother’s clothes.

Personally, I own and wear a ton of plaids, checks, marled fabrics, etc. Combining textured pieces is a great way to add depth to a look, creating the illusion of a more three-dimensional frame. Horizontal stripes help too.”

05

  • Navy quilted jacket by Ralph Lauren
  • Khaki houndstooth check blazer by Rugby
  • Navy flecked crewneck sweater by Wallace & Barnes
  • Navy/Green/Tan plaid sportshirt by Club Monaco
  • Brown gloves (in jacket pocket) by Ralph Lauren
  • Bracelet by Miansai
  • Slim olive cargos by Uniqlo
  • Brown captoe boots by To Boot New York
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail
ADVERTISEMENT
  • bhamilton

    this was shot in the bronx?

  • http://themodernprep.wordpress.com Marshall Mulherin

    That second look is everythingggggg
    That’s such a good idea to add a heavy cuff in addition to tapering. Will definitely be doing that from now on.
    I love this blog

  • Curvissa.co.uk

    For one thing thank you for publishing this.
    Secondly there is an issue with your stylesheet or possibly it’s just my netbook but it doesn’t display right.

  • Anonymous

    Another amazing post!!

  • http://undefined Chris

    Any plans for advice for the shorter fellas?

  • http://www.staykempt.com Robert

    Great post! I know make light-hearted comments sometimes in jest, this is a great article. I, having the same problem as Calvin (5’9/135), have difficulties finding a proper fit, usually always coming down to “length” of garments. I thank you, Dan, for turning me on to MAB, I have now become a regular client in their DC location, they have helped me alleviate my fit finding problems.

  • The Stylistocrat

    Kudos Sir! I will retweet! You have MY ULITMATE respect!
    Thank you!

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Thx player. Great name.

  • Anonymous

    This type of helpful article is why you guys are on top. Your website is my homepage

  • Anon

    I love the tip about adding a belt to the back of the jacket. Never thought of that. This guys layering is on point. Contrary to C, I think the suit and pants fit perfect. I’m a 6’1 167lb ecto-meso. Big shoulders and long arms, with a slender torso, big thighs and slim legs that make up 3/4 of my body (exaggerating)! Thanks to TSB, I have learned the importance of a tailor. I don’t spend much on clothes but I look like I do after I get the sides and sometimes sleeves taken in, taper the pant leg and get a clean low break hem.

  • http://www.thecufflink.com Jarrod King

    Good article here! More and more I’m learning that a relationship with your tailor is key to getting the best fit possible for people of all sizes.

  • Luigi Cuneo

    What about tall & fat guys ?

  • http://www.jonathansquare.com Jonathan

    Great post! My style is less conservative than Calvin’s, but I’m 6’4″ and have a similar body type, which can make shopping difficult. Sleeves are often too short. Shirts are often too boxy. Inseams are often not long enough. J.Crew, L.L. Bean, the Gap, and a number of other brands offer tall sizes. Brands like American Apparel, Primark, and Acne do not offer tall sizes, but I find them to be tall friendly.

    You can see more style solutions for the vertically privileged on my blog (jonathansquare.com)!

  • Rich

    Good to see us big lads getting a shout.
    im 6ft 5″, and get disappointed when that awesome shirt or pair of denim in the store doesnt have my size.
    On the up side, i can see the band at gigs, and reach the top shelf for my short Mrs!
    love from the UK

  • ernie

    for most guys, wearing pants that hug your legs in that slim fit way is typically the best way to go, however, for guys like me and calvin, who have less meat on the bone (i.e., we have chicken legs), it really does seem best to go with something more loose fitting like the suit pants in the second pic. the other pants make calvin’s look a bit too feminine and will likely attract snickering from both men and women.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      You can certainly switch up the fit from one pair of pants to another, no matter your size or shape.

      Nevertheless, it’s this “fear of snickering” that inspired me to start this site. Wear it with confidence!!

    • Khalid

      No snickering here! There are certain cuts that do look silly and feminine (on all sorts of frames) but Calvin looks great and perfectly masculine to my eyes.

  • HD

    Fantastic post – very helpful for all of us tall slimmer guys.

  • Felix

    6′, 135 pounds. Extreme ectomorph. Definitely, definitely have taken away from this article.

    Thanks for the relevant content – I’ve been waiting for this article for years now, after seeing short and lean, as well as larger builds have the focus in size-specific content.

    A+ to Calvin for repping the thin frame incredibly well, and a+ Dan for the good post!

  • Jim

    Thanks so much for this post, guys. I’m 6’2″, 169 lbs. and have had a devil of a time finding stuff that fits. I’m on the hunt for a good tailor and hoping to find one soon. I love the advice on the layering, by the way. That’s what I’ve always done and it works well.

  • james

    For all the ectomorph hard gainers posting below 2 words. Trenbolone acetate. Lol that will get you fitting into those large shirts.

  • Jon

    Longtime reader first-time poster.
    Great article, myself being tall and thin 6′/140. I loved this post because it gives practical information for building layers. The most difficult part of finding clothes for me is fitting shoulders. I’m 34/35, very few off the rack items are made for my specific frame. But your posts are just great for building ideas for fitting my body-type.
    Btw, I think it’s pretty neat that Calvin looks like Thierry Henry, for all the soccer fans out there. Can we do a side by side feature of the two?

    • Calvin

      Lol @ Thierry Henry. Of all the ‘look a likes’ I thought I would get I did not expect that one.

      But honestly, custom shirting is your best bet for if you can afford it.

      Or look for brands who have neck and sleeve sizing and then work with your tailor to take in the sides if needed.

  • Joe

    “For example, this nylon quilted jacket couldn’t be properly taken-in due to the fabric and construction, so I had my tailor attach belt loops to the back of the jacket. Now I use an old knit tie as a belt to cinch the back of the jacket.”

    Brilliant! Would love to see a view from the back to see how this worked out.

    Another note, one of my favorite singers, Justin Townes Earle, has a similar build and is always dressed impeccably (see http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2012/03/exclusive-stream-justin-townes-earles-new-album-nothings-gonna-change-the-way-you-feel-about-me-now.html and http://www.gq.com/how-to/fashion/201002/25-most-stylish-men)

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      We definitely dropped the ball by not getting a shot of the back of the quilted jacket… That’s my bad.

      • Joe

        Oh I suppose I’ll get over it. Though maybe Calvin sees this and sends in a pic?

        Anyway, nice ideas and great post.

  • Mr E

    It is nice to see an ectomorph be featured here.

    I’m built the same way and recognise a lot of the Club Monaco pieces here. They really seem to pay attention to dressing our body shape.

    As an aside, that navy cashmere toque Mr Saunders is wearing (the Kensington) is the most perfect toque for not messing up your coiffe.

    I own it and do not suffer the dreaded “hat hair” after I remove it indoors.

  • http://www.thekacar.com Mustafa Kacar

    The lack of useful style articles out there for tall/skinny individuals makes this one pure gold. Forwarding to all my tall stylish buddies now. Thanks TSB team.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      I’d say there’s a lot lacking in the way of practical style articles.

      Thx Mustafa.

      • C

        Unfortunately, this article doesn’t add much to any ‘practical’ style conversation. Nothing fits properly, which is the source for a majority of style affections. Those interested/investing in menswear, remember: stay away from tight. Wanting clothes to fit is proper, but having your tailor nip suit pants to that degree isn’t refined in any way.

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Thanks for sharing your opinion C. How would you define “tight”, and which of Calvin’s pieces do you consider “tight” in this article?

          • C

            Much of what’s shown, particularly suiting, is a drastic combination of too short jacket length and tapering to a degree in which isn’t flattering the individual. While it may be a presentation of someone’s personal style, it certainly isn’t a representation of practical style with any nuance. Take care.

            • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

              Hmmm. Let’s agree to disagree. Thx for reading and sharing.

              • C

                I would just remember to place as much emphasis on the many faults of undersizing, as there are many, if your attempt is to inform. At any rate, just clothes. Have a good one.

  • Joe

    Guys, this is a great post. I’d appreciate something for the mesomorphic body type if you can. As an athletic guy I have some pretty large quads and could use some suggestions.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      In the works Joe.

  • https://www.facebook.com/hunter.brodt?ref=tn_tnmn Hunter

    Putting on a little bit of muscle is a great idea if you’re tall. I was always disappointed with the fit of my clothes when I was Calvin’s weight. I put on just twenty pounds of muscle and clothes fit ten times better and I have way more options.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Haha. That would have been a great post. Tips for tall skinny guys: put on 20 lbs of muscle. Thanks for reading.

      Seriously, though, for some people it’s not that easy. That’s why I wanted to use the word “ectomorph”.

      Anyway, thx for reading.

      • David

        C’mon Dan, it is easy! I put 25 pounds on my previously 6’1″, 125lb frame and all I had to do was get a kidney transplant and take a fist full of meds (including steroids)everyday.

        But in all seriousness, thanks for this post. I hope there will be more to come for us ectomorphs! I can use all the help I can get…

        • https://www.facebook.com/hunter.brodt?ref=tn_tnmn Hunter

          My point can be broken down into this…. me before… ectomorph and no clothes would really fit…. me after deciding to work out…. clothes tend to fit much better off the rack.

          Dan, havent you yourself talked about how working out makes clothes fit better on TSB? Correct me if Im wrong, but I’m 99% sure you have.

  • cam

    being 6’3 165 myself, this is the most personal post for me ever to be on this site. way to represent for the ectomorphs of the world calvin. i used to wear everything in large and even extra large size hip hop gear in high school and college and look back and laugh. i think the most important takeaway whether you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph is to embrace it an dress with confidence. thanks for this post dan

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Confidence is everything.

      In the world of style, “swagger” is much more important than “fashion”.

  • ian

    I have been waiting for this post for a long time, being 6 4′ and weighing 160 as well as having disproportionately long arms makes it hard for me to find anything at all. recently through some ebay hustling I scrapped together a significant amount of money to take all my clothes into the tailor or buy ones that fit. (ps michael bastian is your friend if you are tall and slim)

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Well played Ian.

  • John

    Awesome texture mixing on the first look. While I’m not that slim (I’m 6 ft and 155 pounds) I’m usually trying to do something similar.

    By the way, how do you feel about the fit of the suit jacket? It looks a bit tight over the cardigan. Some of my jackets look like that when worn over a thicker cardigan/denim jacket and I want to know if it’s “acceptable”!

    Also, the brown boots on look #1 are absolutely stunning.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Doesn’t look tight at all to me. A little pull at the button is expecting when layering under a suit.

      As long as you have a comfortable range of motion, you’re good to go.

  • http://undefined Mathieu Lavoie

    Nice post even for a short, could loose 15 lb, kind of guy like me.

    Very nice color palette and use of texture, but there is something I find frustrating with that kind of layering.

    Looks super sharp outside, but once inside, you end up removing 1 or 2 layers, your sunglasses, gloves, bag etc

    The indoor result can still look fine, but is less spectacular.

    I’m jalous of my wife who can look super stylish with a single layer

    Keep the good work guys!

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Hmmm. I see what you’re saying, but I disagree.

      I think the simplest outfits can be the coolest – or at least the best for showing comfort and confidence.

      It’s the finer details that really matter – fit, quality, grooming, attention to details, etc.

      Anyway, thx for reading Mathieu.

      • itsjlev

        I totally understand what Mathieu is saying! This blog has inspired me to change my whole style and I am slowly building a nice collection of stuff to wear. Walking out of the house, I feel/look great- like any of these photos but by the time I get to my (warm a*#) office and take all the layers off I am wearing a shirt and tie with some chinos! lol

  • LouCaves

    I would’ve liked to see how the knit-tie looked as a belt on the quilt jacket.

    Love the way the shoes are laced (I do it myself) in Look #1 instead of the common crisscross lace jobs.

    Good stuff, TSB and Calvin.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Me too…

  • DK

    Thanks a ton for this guys a lot of the information in here was incredibly useful! I’m a similar build (6’5″ 165) and definitely try out these tips.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Glad you enjoyed the post brother.

  • Brian

    Awesome. And I think those shots were taken at my building.

    I’ll have to watch for this cat, maybe roll him for that fresh bag he’s got.

    ;-)

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Hahaha. Don’t forget, he probably knows where you live too.

      Thx for reading.