Menswear - Fitting Men with a Short Body Type


The gentleman defined as the short man is 5'6"and under. He does not want to appear lost in his clothing but wants to appear proportional in what he is wearing. Here you will find a few tips to help the short gentleman appear more in proportion and similar to Mr. Average when it comes to the fit of his clothing. Included are dressing tips for classic mens styling you can use today!

Short Mans Style Tip # 1 - What to Avoid
The short gentleman naturally wants to appear taller. There are a few things he can do to avoid drawing attention to his vertical challenge. First and foremost proportion is very important when wearing the mens 2 pc suit. Avoid garments that are oversized, especially trousers that are too long. You will know they are too long if excessive fabric rests around the ankles. Avoid using a belt, instead use braces or suspenders where the eye is drawn in a vertical direction. Be aware that horizontal details such as wide pocket flaps, large check patterns, and even too many accessories can clutter the short mans appearance.

Short Mans Style Tip # 2 - Easy Height Enhancers
Vertical stripes either in the suit or shirt fabrics will help to give a taller appearance. A pointed shirt collar can help draw your eye in a vertical direction this helps especially If you have a wider jaw. If your face is long and narrow I recommend a spread collar. When choosing a bespoke suit, a short mans friend would suggest a 2 or 3-button single breasted suit in medium color shades, lapels not too wide and a center back vent. If he is not considered stout, back side vents would also be acceptable.

A more substantial shoe works best first of all to give a little more height and second it helps to balance out the look. A shoe that is too close fitting can draw the eye down to that tiny shoe, our point here is to draw the eye up and out with your upper body at center stage.

Short Mans Style Tip #3 - Color Can Make the Difference
Wearing pants higher on the waist will give the illusion of being longer and pant cuffs should be on the efficient side 1" to 1 1/4" if they are used. When choosing colors for suit and shirt, another tip would be to use solid colors, from the same family, for example a medium to dark blue jacket and pants combined with a lighter blue shirt, accented with a tie same shade or close to the jacket and pants or one with a vertical pattern. This works well together and creates a vertical draw to the eye. Choosing a camel hair fabric for the colder regions is a good choice since lighter colors give a bolder statement. A shorter mans coat length is most appropriate at the knee. When it's too long it creates that barrel effect which makes the lower legs appear even shorter. Try to avoid belts on the longer coats, by avoiding belts it leaves a leaner appearance, open spaces draw more attention to height.

Mr. Short and Stout
Sometimes Mr. Short is dealt another card that can make being vertically challenged even more of an issue and that's when weight is added to the equation. In this case we'll need to include a few more tricks to help minimize the roundness. The Short/Stout man will need to take a combination of these suggestions into consideration since the issues are now compounded.Stout men want to appear thinner, so to achieve this, color can play a key role where the use of navy blue and a narrow pinstripe or even sticking to solid colors in the same family range helps. This will give a coordinated appearance without too much variance lending the vertical to draw more dominance. Again note that suspenders on a stout man is more appropriate than a belt. Going without pockets on shirts is ideal, but if you can't live without them is would be best to use a pocket with a point at the lower center or slightly rounded curves to avoid the horizontal breaks. Wearing pants higher on the waist again will give a longer legged look. He will need to avoid pleated trousers and bulky back pockets.

A classic fit, not too loose, not too tight and clean lines take the illusion of heaviness away. Sometimes we add to our own demise when we wear things that do not contribute to a desired outcome. Straight lines with ventless or single vent is best, side vents will add width which is not desirable in this case. Same as with the short man, the stout man should avoid too many accessories, it tends to draw the eye towards the body instead of away. Another trick is to utilize slanted or even flapless pockets and to avoid horizontal lines.The coat length to the knee is best for the short/stout man to avoid causing the lower legs to appear even shorter.

Avoid placing your hands on your hips since this draws attention to your middle as well. You can see this can be a lifestyle change but once you are aware of the things that work against your best appearance, you can utilize this information to help improve your image. This can start you on the road to a more positive outlook and you will begin to feel like Mr. Average afterall.