Our newest addition to the men’s team is the engaging and whipsmart Chris Veal, straight from the snowy (and as I hear in live weather reports from my family, still shockingly chilly) Burlington, Vermont. Chris became part of tHoS family through our own Adam DeMasi, with whom he shares a house and a vertical vantage. Fresh out of UVM, Chris is working in breast cancer research at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, while applying to med school—with aspirations no less inspiring than serving for Doctors Without Borders and returning to Vermont to develop an internist practice. Though I have yet to formally meet Chris, my conversations with him have revealed a gentleman so positive and vibrant that it’s impossible not to feel the light he casts. Please welcome Chris to our team—we’re lucky to have him!
Chris Veal, 6’4″, for The Height of Style
Tell us a little bit about your experience as a tall guy. Were you exceptionally tall growing up?
CV: Believe it or not, I am actually the shortest male in my family. My older brother is 6’7″, so it has always been a dream of mine to be taller than him—but I guess I’ll settle for 6’4″. I love my height, but I am always looking out for low-hanging chandeliers (I’m sure many can relate). I always found it funny growing up, everyone assumed I was good at basketball because I was tall. Yet to everyone’s disappointment, I wasn’t just bad at basketball, I was awful! On another note, I had a very tall and slim phase in high school; it seemed as if overnight, I jumped from 5’10″ and 145 lbs to 6’2″ and 150 lbs. A dangerously skinny phase in my life indeed, but thankfully I filled out as I entered college.
Elaborating on that, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a tall man? What are some of the triumphs?
CV: I would say the greatest challenge I faced as a tall man was maintaining my weight in high school for the sport I loved—crew. I initially rowed under the lightweight category (under 155 lbs.), but as I began to grow through my junior year, it became harder and harder to stay under 155 lbs. So I ultimately gave it up my senior year to focus more on school and my overall health.
My greatest triumph as a tall man would be at concerts. I love music, especially when it’s live. So being able to always have a good view is a great triumph for me (often at the expense of others…sorry to everyone standing behind me!)
I think the view is well-deserved! So In terms of tall clothing and shoes, what are some of the fit challenges you’ve faced? How have you gotten around them?
CV: Well, I feel I speak for many tall people when I say I find it hard to find a shirt with sleeves that extend the full length of my arms. Often I resort to rolling up my sleeves to avoid an awkward look. Another issue tends to be my legs. I wear 32″ x 34″ pants (small waist, long legs) and it is incredibly hard to find pants that are the proper size and are in the style I desire. Typically, I wind up ordering the pants I want online, or settle for what is left over in stores. I also have relatively large quadriceps, so if the pants are not of a certain quality, they tend to rip in the inner thigh region after a few months (I have this issue with jeans all the time). My solution? Place a small patch on the inner thigh region of the pants to strengthen that region and avoid ripping. It’s an annoying process, but it prevents me from having to buy a new pair of jeans every 2 months.
I hope we can find you some more resilient pants—no patches necessary! So what are your favorite clothing brands to wear?
CV: I am a huge fan of Banana Republic and the Gap, but since moving to Vermont 5 years ago, I have become very fond of flannel and The North Face. I honestly tend to find great quality pants in my size at the Gap, but it can be a bit pricy. For the tall and thin crowd, I would suggest Gap or Banana Republic but NOT Old Navy—the quality is just not there, and they tend to have limited sizes.
Good tips, Chris! If you could work with any brand (style or lifestyle) or interview any tall celebrity/public figure through The Height of Style, who/what would you choose and why?
CV: I would work with either Brooks Brothers or Banana Republic because as I get older, I see myself wearing more professional attire. Brooks Brothers is also a favorite of mine because my older brother wears many of their suits and coats while looking very dapper. It fits very well with his Manhattan lifestyle.
I would love to interview Justin Timberlake (standing at a moderately tall 6’1″). I think he is the most talented person in Hollywood right now, and honestly—he has the best style. His song “Suit and Tie” is basically my theme song.
Thanks, Chris, for your helpful responses. Stay tuned for Chris’ reviews on The Height of Style, as he seeks out the best mainstream and specialty brands offering a great fit for the tall, slim gentleman.