The Best Suit Style for Tall Slim Men

Reader Question

Jeffrey M. from Atlanta, GA asks:

“Thank you for the article on vents. Very clear and thorough overview, history and explanation.

I am 6'5" and interested in replenishing with some quality suit pieces. Which vent would you say works better with a tall slim frame? And also do you have any recommendations for particular labels/designers who may work well with Tall/XL sizes? I'm a 44/46 XL, 37W.

I am certainly considering made-to-measure. Any thoughts?

Also, with the transition over the years from pleats to flat front, what's your view on cuff/no cuff for the suit pants?  Again this is on the more traditional/business suit.

And finally, what's your take on double breasted these days?

Thank you in advance.”

My Reply

Thanks for your questions, Jeffrey. Glad you found the article helpful.

Since you're tall and slim, I'd say you can't go wrong with any of the vents. But since you're looking for quality, you should try the side vent. Side vents require more fabric and craftsmanship to make (although a perfect ventless also requires incredible skill) over the single, plus the ventless isn't as familiar to the American man over the other two vent options.

Style-wise, the side vent is very British in that sharp-tailored look, quite graceful, and has more character than a more generic single vent. The extra side seams should also help carve out a nice figure for you, which will help balance your verticality (the single will be more boxy in comparison).

Regarding cuff/no cuff: Generally speaking, flat front suit trousers do not have cuffs, as to preserve the clean lines. Although fashion-forward designers lately have been creating flat front pants with cuffs, it would be safe to say that it would be somewhat of a novelty in traditional business suits.

With that said, cuffs have been making a big comeback as men's tailoring has been in high focus the past few years, and a man of your height would certainly benefit from cuffed trousers. Since your suit is to be worn for traditional/business purposes, I'd recommend that you add cuffs only if your suit pants have pleats. Further, I suggest you opt for a shallow single pleat, which is more streamlined and renders a trim and elegant line to your legs.

As for the double breasted, it will – when done correctly – take you to another sartorial level. It's been the hottest suit style for the past few years, and a wonderful choice for men of your physical stature. The DB is especially ideal for custom work because it requires much attention to detail to create a modern version that’s slimmer and shorter than its previous incarnations.

Due to your height, it's going to be tough to find an off-the-rack suit that's not going to require some additional dedicated tailoring. That being the case, I strongly advise the made-to-measure or custom route. Try Suit Supply – they have a location in Atlanta that offers various levels of customization at attractive prices. They should be able to create one helluva DB for you, paired with a perfectly single pleated, cuffed trouser!