Stylish Solutions For The Very, Very, Very Tall Guy – Ask MR PORTER
Style recommendations for very, very tall guys; a doctor’s prescription for “maskne”; the best boots for autumn and more. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do everything in our power to solve your style questions or we’ll rope in one of the world’s foremost fashion brains to help. Welcome to Ask MR PORTER.
I am very, very tall (6ft 7in) and have a hard time fitting in anything off the rack. It seems weird to get street clothes custom made the way I would tailoring. Any recommendations for tall-guy style?
Our friend Mr Jason Stewart – co-host of the podcast How Long Gone and longtime LA lifestyle impresario – knows a thing or two about big-boy sizing: he is 6ft 9in. “Long and slender frames tend to be the ones modelling clothes,” he says, rubbing it in. “Tall people are perceived as more attractive, successful and confident, a perception that I attempt to exploit daily. But is there such a thing as too long and slender? The answer is yes. It’s taken me years to figure out what works for my body type. Wide-leg trousers are a disaster unless they’re paired with an oversized top, which at that point makes me look like a toddler wearing their parents’ clothes, but if the toddler was also taller than LeBron James.
“I look at it as a numbers game,” Mr Stewart says. “The more common your body shape and size is, the easier it will be to find the right fit. My inseam is around 38 to 40in, depending on the brand. So, the only jeans that fit me are Levi’s 501s. (I’m fine with this because they’re arguably the best jeans you can buy.) If you are buying off the rack or online, just make sure you get the precise measurements and measure your body because not all size 40s are made equal. Find pants that are un-hemmed, then hem them as little as possible. (When you’re super tall, the tailor won’t just be your friend, they will become an essential worker.)
“Unfortunately, when shirts scale up from L to XL to XXL, they’re only growing horizontally, so try and find brands that offer a tall-size run and then scale down from XLs to an M or L (Brands such as J.Crew offer simple and timeless Oxford shirts in tall sizes, and a classic Hanes T-shirt in a tall size will never let you down either).
“As you do your shopping, try to pay attention to which brands happen to offer longer sleeve lengths as a style choice, or simply by coincidence, and then buy them. I’ve been able to find tons of great oversized tops that actually fit me like a glove, but are meant to be a shirt that my girlfriend would swim in, weirdly. She just found me a great Prada sweater that fits perfectly.
“To summarise, never wear long sleeves or trousers and you’ll be fine.”
What are the best shoes or boots for autumn and winter?
We are very glad that you asked. And, for that, we refer you to George Cleverley, maker of some of the world’s greatest shoes and boots. Co-owner and CEO Mr George Glasgow Jr says that, “the last few months has had most of us at home and in very casual attire, and it has been a lot of slippers for me (either the George Cleverley x Kingmsan slipper or Albert style).” But as the world begins again to spin on its axis, Mr Glasgow Jr, like all of us, is thrilled to get back into some proper footwear. “Currently, I am on my trunk show tour in the US,” he tell us, “and I am seeing that people are eager to get out and dress up again. Not just for others but for themselves, which is important.
“Autumn is a great time for footwear that can be dressed up and down. Our Robert Chelsea boots are a prime example; they can be worn with a pair of jeans and polo shirt on the weekends but can also be worn with trousers and a sports jacket,” he continues. “Coming out of lockdown and going into winter, I think people will want to invest in timeless classics. And investment pieces should be of the highest quality and enduring style, which is what we have always focused on – think: our Kingsman boot in roughout suede, or our William or Morris boots.”
In summary, Mr Glasgow Jr says, “ Invest in a quality boot or loafer. You won’t regret it.”
My new life pattern has me feeling disorganised. I no longer seem to know where anything is. And when I do manage to leave the house, I forget keys, wallet… Is it just me?
You are not alone. Our US Editor, Mr Chris Wallace, has been thinking a lot about where things go. He says, “now that the church-and-state separation of things has collapsed and we now live at work or work at the home or both, I can’t remember. In the great Before Times, I was constantly packing and unpacking, and had been getting in the habit of packing bags within bags so as to keep things discreet, which made my neurotic triple-checking of everything much easier – wires and tech of any description in one pouch, shoes in their dust bags and so on. The way I’ve been tackling the chaos of my schlubby life now is to make conscious talismans out of things – a nice new wallet (actually, this Bottega Veneta cardholder) to organise the fleet of cards in ascending order of usage, from Subway card to credit cards, including a traveller ID I feel compelled to carry but have no need to show to anyone ever. I also have a Rick Owens pouch for my computer that, when I stuff it away at the stroke of 5.00pm, makes my desk’s transition to martini bar all the more satisfying.”
My skin is a wreck from wearing a mask. I don’t suppose you have any advice for treating the breakouts and friction redness?
Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111SKIN, knows precisely what you are up against. “It is now widespread knowledge that PPE masks are not good news for the skin,” he says. “‘Maskne’ – the blemish-inducing effects of wearing masks – occurs for a variety of reasons: the physical abrasion the material of the mask can have on the skin as well as the trapped air in the mask, which heats up the region and causes bacteria overgrowth.”
That is the bad news. The good news is that Dr Alexandrides has a solution. “In order to protect the skin from irritation or breakouts from PPE, it is important to strengthen the epidermis,” he says. “This can be done using nourishing formulas that are antioxidant- and humectant-rich. Avoid strong synthetic actives such as retinol and instead opt for gentle botanicals and occlusive textures. I would personally recommend a fusion of the both, which can be found in our Space Anti-Age Day Cream NAC Y2. NAC is a wonderful complex that acts as a precursor to glutathione, the bodies master antioxidant. Glutathione has the ability to stimulate the healing processes in the skin, literally repairing trauma and damage to the dermis.”
If you are ready to go all in with the skin-spa treatment during your daily errands, Dr Alexandrides will happily encourage you to wear a sheet mask under your face covering. “The bio cellulose or hydrogel sheet mask will protect against all forms of chaffing and leave you with better skin when you take both masks off. Apply the Sub-Zero De-Puffing Energy Facial Mask (the lower half) or Anti-Blemish Bio Cellulose Facial Mask (the upper half) to the skin, pressing it firmly with your fingers before wearing your protective mask over it.”
Illustration by Mr Slowboy