Navas Lab Apparel began because I couldn’t find proper fitting clothes. At 6’6’’ I had to work with what I could find. Moreover, I had to make them aesthetically fit with my long frame. Finding style as a tall man has often been my kryptonite. Being tall means you stand-out, so proper style is important, whether you like it or not. Over the years, these are some style tips I’ve compiled that remain my own best practices when creating Navas.
1. Hello Fit, Goodbye Slouchy Bulk
Find clothes that fit your body well and avoid at all cost oversize, baggy clothes. If you think baggy clothes will make you look bigger, you’re wrong! Rather, it reveals your greatest fear, it over-emphasizes your slim side. Dare I say skeleton? Rather, fitted clothes will celebrate your natural long muscles and drape to define your frame. To emphasize your shoulders, make sure the shoulder seams sits at the shoulder edge. This will help give you a wider shoulder look and v-silhouette. Dare I say superhero?
2. Good Fit Doesn't Necessarily Mean Tight
Being a tall slim man is a goldilocks balance. Too baggy, you look like a skeleton. But too tight, you look like a skeleton scarecrow! I’d like to cast a light on skinny jeans (especially the low rise), my arch nemesis. These are the lady’s leggings that men just shouldn't wear… outside of a Renaissance fair. Just like oversize-baggy clothes, tight clothes emphasize your slim slide with no wiggle room for your other great features (no pun intended). Pants should be mid-to-high rise and well fit with enough room to be mobile and breathe!
No! No! No!
3. I will only use the word ‘Bulk’ kindly twice in this blog. This is the first time.
So long as your clothes have a nice fit, you can include fabrics that have some bulk. This could include midlayer pieces, a good fleece, compact jersey, flannel and denim. Unlike bulky clothing that can make you look frail, fitted clothes with bulk-minded fabrics can give the impression of muscularity. This is the second hint of being a superhero. You’re welcome.
The Hawkins is a good example of a mid layer bulkier fabric that maintains a good fit.
4. Layering Makes It Look Like You Know Stuff
So this is the second time I will kindly nod to the word ‘bulk.’ Layering can add a complimentary bulk to your frame. But you need to know the following stuff to execute it properly. You need to layer from thin/light to thick/structured. An example might be a light crew-shirt, midlayer fleece, structured suit jacket or outerwear. Moreover, colors work similarly where you want to layer from lighter colors to darker colors. Same goes with patterns working with the smallest patterns (like gingham and tattersall), and if so bold, move to larger patterns like plaids.
Here is a kind side note from an old friend: Like pinstripes, Vertical lines do you no favours. Seriously just don’t. Vertical emphasis makes your body length look like it goes on for days. Instead, try horizontal stripes to help balance those proportions.
Done properly, layering provides a bulk that compliments tall frames. It also helps break-up that vertical-ness for some visual harmony.
We design our clothes to be layered with best practices in mind.
5. Honorable Mention to the Suit Jacket
Though I yearn to one day be James Bond, sadly you won’t find me in a suit jacket or any of his friends: sports coats and blazer. However, the suit jacket is a tall slim guy’s best friend. It carries the treasured tailored elements of structured shoulders and emphasis on the v-frame. It allows for layering that helps balance the tall man’s overall vertical line. However, when I do look for any kind of jacket, I do look for similar suit jacket elements: structure, defined shoulder and ability to layer.