The average height for men currently is 5'9" meaning that everything under that should be considered short. The problem is that this wasn't told to the people in charge at the various suit design houses as they, currently cut their "short" version suit for men in this height range. This poses a big problem for short men who wear suits, as a "short" suit still has a tendency to be too long.
For short men, when it comes to looking your best in a suit, fit is the most crucial ingredient. Creating the straightest and most streamlined silhouette possible can go a long way to making your body appear longer. Wearing a suit that is too long and baggy can make you look like you borrowed your suit from your dad, and worse yet, the sloppy appearance this creates can diminish you expertise in the eyes of your colleagues.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Look for suits with vertical striping. This may seem obvious, yet it is still the best way to add a little length to a shorter frame.
- Wear a shirt with vertical striping as well. This can get tricky as too many stripes can feel like an optical illusion, but to pull it off make sure that the stripes are varying in weight, boldness and spacing.
- Look for a shorter cropped jacket. Custom suit makers have been using this technique for years, by cutting the jacket a tad bit shorte,r they create the illusion of longer legs.
- Monochromatic coloring. If you wear a dark suit match it with a black belt and black shoes. This gives the longest lines possible for your legs.
- No cuffs. Again creating the longest line is the goal here.
What to watch out for:
- Choose the brand carefully. Some brands, like Hugo Boss for instance cut their jackets with a longer silhouette. It is very flattering for avg height and tall men but can look like a three quarter length suit jacket for shorter men. All "short" suits are not created equally, finding a brand that cuts their jacket shorter is always the best way to start, because...
- You should always watch out for the sales man! They will almost always put you in a coat that is too long and tell you it is fine, or even worse, tell you that they can chop an inch or two off the bottom of the jacket. The latter is a very bad idea, as this destroys the proportion of the suit I.E. the lower pockets become too close to the jacket.
- Avoid any type of horizontal patterns. checks and window panes can make for a nice suit but create horizontal lines that rob you of height.