UPDATED June 2008 with new sections: Style Tips for Short Men and Additional Links
Finding your measurements
A note about testosterone and clothing size
Tips on sizing and fit
Sizing in Pants
Sizing in Shirts
Getting the Right Fit
Finding smaller sizes
Shopping in the youth/boy's department
Jeans and casual pants
Suits and formal wear
Specialty/custom stores for shorter men
Style tips for short men
It can be a challenge to find clothing for guys who are shorter or trans male fashion who have a smaller build. If you happen to live in an area that serves populations of shorter men (this is not uncommon in large cities), your choices might be plentiful. But if not, you might need to do some extra research and/or order clothing through mail order or the internet.
This section includes contact information for companies that specialize in clothing for shorter men, as well as hints for finding smaller sizes in popular chain department stores, clothing stores, and internet sites.
Finding your measurements
Most men's clothing (unlike women's) tends to be sized according to your physical measurements, including waist size and inseam length for pants or chest size, sleeve length, and neck size for shirts.
You can have your measurements taken at a menswear store (this is especially recommended when you are shopping for a suit), or you can measure yourself at home with a cloth tape measure and the help of a friend.
Take your measurements while undressed or in lightweight clothing. For best results, have a friend take the measurements. Stand up straight when measuring, and keep the tape measure snug but not tight. For clothing sold in the U.S., measurements should be taken in inches.
Sleeve length measurement: Relax your arm, and place your hand on your hip with your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Start at the middle of the back of your neck, measure over your shoulder and elbow, and down your arm to your wrist bone. Or, take a shirt that fits you very well, fold at the elbow to 90 degrees, and measure from the middle back of the collar to the cuff.
Neck measurement: Measure just above the base of the neck, placing two fingers between your neck and the tape measure. Or, take a shirt that fits your neck very well and measure from the center of the button to the far end of the buttonhole. Neck measurements are recorded in half-inch increments; if you are between measurements, round up to the nearest half-inch (example: of your neck measures 16.25", round up to 16.5"). Remember that when you are wearing a dress shirt, you should always be able to slip an index finger comfortably into your collar when the shirt is buttoned all the way to the top. This ensures that the collar will not be too tight.
Chest measurement: Measure around your chest just under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest and shoulder blades. If you have not had chest surgery and are binding, take your chest measurement while wearing the binder you would normally wear, and then measure around the fullest part of the chest.
Waist measurement: Measure around where you normally wear the waist of your pants, keeping the tape measure a bit loose or putting one finger between your body and the tape measure. For suit pants, the waist is measured higher up than you would measure for a pair or jeans or chinos, as suit pants are to be worn higher. See the chapter "Suits and Ties for the Beginner" on this web site for more information on suit measurements and sizing.
Inseam measurement: Measure from your crotch to your ankle, or to the place on your leg or foot that you want your pants to rest while you are standing. It helps to wear shoes for this measurement, so you can get an idea of where you want the pants to fall over your shoes. You can also take a pair of good fitting pants, and measure from the crotch seam to the bottom of the pants.
A note about testosterone and clothing size
If you are in the beginning stages of testosterone therapy, remember that your body shape can change pretty dramatically during the first year or so, due to fat redistribution and increased muscle mass. Your shoulders and neck might get wider, your hips and butt narrower, and your belly bigger.
Even though it might be tempting for the newly transitioning man to rush out and buy a new wardrobe, it may not be wise to invest a great deal of money in clothing that might not fit in a few months. You may want to buy only a few new items as you need them, or look into used clothing as your body transitions.
If you know other trans men in your area or through internet communities, you could try "handing down" or exchanging clothing, as many trans men go through a few size changes during transition.
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Tips on sizing and fit
Sizing in pants
Measurements on men's pants are usually listed with the waist measurement first, followed by the inseam measurement. So a 30x32 jean would have a 30-inch waist and a 32-inch inseam.
The "rise" on a pair of pants or jeans refers to the distance between the crotch and the waist. For shorter men, the rise of standard cut pants is often too long, causing the crotch to hang too low, or causing the wearer to have to pull the pants up too high on his waistline. Pants that are made especially for short men tend to have a shorter rise that is in proportion to the rest of the measurements. The rise will vary among different brands and styles, so be sure to try on pants to make sure they look good on your particular body shape.
Some of the "low rise" jeans styles available at stores that carry shorter inseams (see jeans listings below) might be worth a try to see if the shorter rise flatters your body type. What is a very "low rise" on a taller guy might look perfect on a shorter guy (if he can find a short enough inseam or have the pants hemmed).
Sizing in shirts
Most men's shirts that are simply labeled "small" (but don't necessarily have specific measurements listed on the package or label) usually are around the ballpark of a 14-14.5 inch collar, a 34-36 inch chest, and a "regular" sleeve length of 32-33 inches. "Short" sleeve lengths of 30-31 are sometimes available. Of course, the exact measurements of a men's size "small" will vary among manufacturers-- you might find that some brands of small are larger or cut differently than others.
Men's dress shirts will be typically be sized with specific measurements for neck circumference and sleeve length, with the neck measurement listed first. The chest/waist size ratio of most dress shirts is determined by the manufacturer to be in proportion to the neck size. This can be a challenge in fitting for guys who are short and heavy. Dress shirts can be found in "regular" fit, as well as "athletic" or "trim" fit (with a slight taper toward the waist, for those with broader shoulders and a thin waistline) and "full cut" for those who need a little more room around the middle.
Getting the right fit
Keep in mind that some stores may have their own special fit charts and size tips. This is particularly good to check when shopping online or through catalogs. It's always a good idea to consult sizing charts, ask questions if you are unsure, and find out the return policy in case something doesn't fit as you hoped.
Clothes are designed with different cuts and styles that flatter some body types and not others-- just because a shirt or pair of pants is made with your measurements doesn't mean it is going to look good on you! Try clothes on to be sure. This is especially true if you are trying to find clothes to take emphasis away from wide hips or narrow shoulders. See the next section on style tips for short men for specific tips on fitting short men.
Finally, don't forget the option of alterations by a tailor or by someone you know with sewing skills. If you are just a little shorter than the average sized pant length available in your area, pants can be easily hemmed to the correct length. Sleeves can also be shortened, though for a good dress shirt you might want to check a short man's specialty store to obtain a better overall fit.
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Finding smaller sizes
Once you have your measurements in hand, check your local yellow pages and call around to see what stores carry clothing in your size. Don't be afraid to ask about smaller sizes! Sometimes the shirt or pants you want are available in a smaller size and simply need to be ordered for you.
Shopping in the youth/boy's department
Some smaller men can find clothing--especially casual items such as t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, athletic wear, etc.-- in youth/boy's departments. A youth size shirt in Large (14-16) or XL (18-20) might fit a small man perfectly. Also, the sleeve length on boys' shirts tends to be shorter, which may fit better on some.
The boy's department is also a good place to look for accessories such as socks, belts, winter gloves and hats, and baseball caps.
One word of caution: sometimes items in the boy's department are not made with the same quality and durability as men's clothing, though on the upside they are often less expensive than men's clothing. For high-quality shirts and accessories, you will be better off trying a short men's specialty store.
The Gap ( Gap.com ) carries shirts in extra-small men's sizes (this includes t-shirts, button-down shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, sweaters, etc.). JCrew ( www.jcrew.com ) also carries extra small sizes in a number of their shirt styles, including t-shirts, polos, and some long-sleeve button downs. American Eagle Outfitters ( www.ae.com ) features extra-small sizes in t-shirts, button-downs, polos, rugbys, henleys, and hooded sweatshirts. Old Navy ( oldnavy.com ) no longer carries extra-small men's shirts, but they do carry a XXL in boy's shirts that may fit some smaller men. Individual retail stores may not stock extra-small at all times, but a wider range of sizes is usually available online. Some stores will special order items for you in extra small, or they may refer you to their web site.
American Apparel ( store.americanapparel.net ) makes t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, collared shirts, and tank tops in extra-small sizes-- some styles even come in XXS. The company also offers organic cotton clothing options for those who are looking for environmentally sustainable products.
Zappos.comis now selling clothing in addition to shoes. Their search engine allows you to sort by size (down to XS) in numerous product categories, including eco-friendly clothing. They offer a large number of items, ranging from casual to designer shirts. Not everything is available in XS, but there is a large variety available in small sizes. They offer a 365 day return policy and free return shipping.
Bluefly.com ( www.bluefly.com ) is an online clothing store that features a size-specific search engine with over 350 different brands of clothing at discounted prices (between 25%-75% off). They list extra-small sizes in casual shirts, t-shirts, and dress shirts for men. The prices can vary tremendously (from to 0) depending on the brand and the discount, but you can usually find some good deals. Their search engines for jeans, pants, and belts also run in very small sizes. To shop by size, choose the type of clothing you are looking for (such as "shirts-- casual") from the "shop by category" menu.
Another online menswear store that features a search engine with smaller sizes is Hugestore.com ( www.hugestore.com ). Their search engine allows you to specify the type of shirt you are looking for by size as well as color, collar type, and fabric.
Paul Frederick MenStyle ( www.paulfredrick.com ) makes quality dress shirts in short sizes, and they periodically feature clearance items, searchable by size.
Lands End features a custom-made clothing option on their web site ( www.landsend.com ). They offer custom dress shirts in solids and patterns, dress pants, chinos, and jeans.
RustyZipper.com ( www.rustyzipper.com ) is an online vintage clothing store with a wide variety of clothing ranging from the 1940s through the 1980s. Their selection is large and varied, and they have a keyword search that can be narrowed by size, including extra small and small sizes. They often have extra small shirts and jackets in varying styles. Photos can be enlarged to view the quality of the items, and they have a fair returns policy if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
If you simply need a regular size "small" shirt, but live in an area where stores usually only stock men's mediums, the abovementioned resources should also prove helpful to you. In addition to the companies listed above, there are a number of retail web sites that feature small sized shirts for most of their inventory, including Lands End ( www.landsend.com ), JCPenney ( www.jcpenney.com ), Banana Republic ( www.bananarepublic.com ), Eddie Bauer ( www.eddiebauer.com ), Fossil ( Fossil.com ), Nordstrom ( www.nordstrom.com ), and Macy's ( macys.com ), to name a few. Target ( www.target.com ) also carries small sizes in some (but not all) of their inventory, as does Kohl's ( www.kohls.com ) and Sears ( www.sears.com ).
Finally, if you are looking for durable work shirts in smaller sizes, check the "Work gear" section below for resources.
Jeans and casual pants
The Gap ( Gap.com ) and Old Navy ( oldnavy.com ) carry various styles of jeans and pants with waist sizes down to 28 inches and inseam lengths down to 28 inches. You may need to check their web sites to get the specific pants you want, but most of their styles are available down to 28 x 28. L.L. Bean ( www.llbean.com ) makes inseam sizes for their jeans down to 29 inches. American Eagle Outfitters ( www.ae.com ) jeans run down to 26 x 28, but they don't offer larger waist sizes paired with short inseams.
Levi's makes jeans in their popular 501, 505, and 550 styles down to 28- and 29-inch waist and 30-inch inseam in men's. They also make "student", boys, and husky boy's sizes (in 569, 550 and 501) that are available in a range of waist sizes with shorter inseams. The "Husky" sizes are good for those guys who are short and heavyset-- they feature larger waist sizes with short inseams. Levi's are available at department stores such as JCPenney ( www.jcpenney.com ), Sears ( www.sears.com ), and Macy's ( macys.com ), and online at numerous web sites (www.denimexpress.com features a variety of youth and boy's sizes). Ebay ( www.ebay.com ) is also a good place to check for affordably priced Levi's in men's and student sizes.
Eddie Bauer ( www.eddiebauer.com ) features their Classic, Relaxed, and and Loose fit jeans styles in specially-designed short sizes. Waist size can be chosen down to 30 inches, and inseam can be chosen in quarter inch increments between 20 and 29 inches. They also feature numerous styles of casual and dress pants that go down to a 27 inch inseam. Their special "short" jeans styles are available online only.
Land's End ( www.landsend.com ) makes some of their jeans and pants down to a 28- and 29-inch inseams, as well as offering custom-hemmed jeans and pants via their web site that can be made in shorter inseams.
Bluefly.com ( www.bluefly.com ) features a size-specific search engine for jeans (the site is described above in the "Shirts" section). Bluefly.com's search engine for jeans and pants allows you to search down to 26-inch waist size. To shop by waist size, choose "pants" from the "shop by category" menu.
RustyZipper.com ( www.rustyzipper.com ) is a quality online vintage clothing store with a wide variety of clothing ranging from the 1940s through the 1980s. Their selection is large and varied, and they have a keyword search that can be narrowed by size, including extra small and small sizes. They often have pants with short inseams. Photos can be enlarged to view the quality of the items, and they have a fair returns policy if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
UJeans ( www.ujeans.com ) makes custom jeans to order using information provided by the customer (they do both men's and women's jeans). You choose the style features you want in your jeans (i.e., pocket, leg, rise, fit, belt loop, etc.) and the fabric type and the color/wash. Then you provide 11 body measurements, and your jeans are made to order. Delivery takes about 5 to 7 weeks. UJeans uses natural washes and dyes to provide the coloring to their jeans so that they have a minimal impact on the environment when safely disposed. Their denim is sourced from sustainable growth cotton, and their packaging is made from reclaimed material.
True Jeans ( TrueJeans.com ) is a unique site that suggests a variety of designer jeans styles based on your specific measurements and body type. To use the site, you set up an account including your measurements (waist, hips, thigh, inseam) and body features (height, weight, belly type, seat type, thigh type), as well as your styling preferences (i.e., loose-fitting or tight, low rise or high, brands you like, etc.). The site then chooses styles and brands to match your data. Please note: many of the jeans on this site have longer inseams than optimal for short men, but True Jeans offers a hemming service for an additional.00. The styles featured are mostly higher-end designer jeans, but there are also sale items, and your results can be sorted by price.
See also the "Work gear" section below for other alternatives in pants.
Sears carries a line of rugged work clothing called "WorkWear," which is available in-store and on their web site ( www.searsworkwear.com ). Their men's plain front work pants run as small as 28x26, and they have a full range of small sizes in a variety of colors. They also carry long- and short-sleeved work shirts in small sizes in a variety of colors. The Sears WorkWear line is quite affordable, and varied in its styles and selection.
Uniforms Manufacturing Inc. ( www.unifmfg.com ) stocks a wide variety of work shirts, pants, coveralls, and jackets in numerous colors and sizes. They carry a basic Ike jacket (with or without liner) in extra small, and they carry short sized coveralls.
Aramark ( www.aramark-uniform.com ) features a "rugged workwear" department with work pants measuring down to 28x26, and heavy-duty work shirts in extra-small sizes.
The Coverall Store ( www.coverallstore.com ) is another online retailer featuring selections of work shirts, pants, and coveralls in small and short inseam sizes.
Dickies ( www.dickies.com ) brand makes their traditional work pants in sizes down to 26x28, though their matching work shirts do not come in extra-small. Dickies also makes a 28-inch (short) inseam coverall. Dickies are available in many retail outlets, though you may have to order online to find their smaller sizes.
For suits and quality dress shirts, check the listings below in the "Specialty/custom stores for shorter men" section, as many of those retailers will provide the best choices for men of small stature. You might also try the Men's Wearhouse ( www.menswearhouse.com ), as they do carry some suits in short and extra-short sizes, though their stock will vary from location to location.
If you are new to buying suits, you may also want to read the chapter on this web site called "Suits and Ties for the Beginner," which goes over the basic points of suit quality and fit, as well as providing advice on how to buy a suit.
Most men's neckties are proportioned (in both length and width) to fit average-height or taller men. Typical sizes are between 58 and 60 inches in length and about 4 inches in width. Smaller ties can sometimes be found in the boy's department, or at retailers who specialize in clothing for shorter men.
J. Raffiani ( www.jraffiani.com ) is an online store that specializes in neckties for men 5' 8" and under. The ties featured on the J. Raffiani site are specially tailored to be 54 inches in length, as well as slightly narrower than your average tie, to be better proportioned for shorter men. There are many styles to choose from on the site, and all ties featured are handmade from 100% Italian silk.
Most men's socks are made to fit shoe sizes 7 and up. If you wear smaller than a men's size 7, you'll probably need to shop in the boy's department or in a short men's specialty shop.
For white athletic socks, try Fruit of the Loom boy's crew socks (they usually come in a 6-pack), or Gold Toe brand boy's athletic socks. Both of these brands are commonly available in department stores and discount retailers.
For dress and casual socks, Gold Toe brand boy's socks ( www.goldtoe.com ) are of good quality; they can be found in many department stores or ordered directly from Gold Toe's web site. The Gap ( Gap.com ) and Old Navy ( oldnavy.com ) both carry kid's socks; the Gap's come in white, navy, and tan. Size large in both brands will fit shoe sizes 3-4, and size extra-large fits shoe sizes 5-6.
Your belt size is usually 2 inches more than your waist size (example: if you have a 28-inch waist, you would choose a 30-inch belt).
The Gap ( Gap.com ) stocks a classic leather belt in both brown and black that runs down to 28 inches. Numerous other retailers stock leather belts in 30-inch sizes on their web sites, including Banana Republic ( www.bananarepublic.com ), JCrew ( www.jcrew.com ), and L.L. Bean ( www.llbean.com ), to name a few. Call ahead if you are visiting one of their retail outlets to see if they have the size and color you need in stock.
Bluefly.com ( www.bluefly.com ) has a search engine for belts that allows you to search for sizes as low as 28 inches. To shop by size, choose a "belts" from the "shop by category" menu. This site features high quality leather designer belts at extremely good discounts.
Another online retailer with a searchable option for belts is Hugestore.com ( www.hugestore.com ). Their belt search begins at 28 inches.
Belts found in the boy's department sometimes lack the same quality as a good men's belt, but boy's belts made by Levi's are of good quality, and can be found in many major department stores.
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Specialty/custom stores for shorter men
This section lists short men's specialty and custom clothiers that currently have web sites. There are a lot more short men's stores out there! For stores near you, check your local telephone directory for men's specialty stores. Keep in mind that "big and tall" shops sometimes also carry short sizes, so it pays to call ahead and ask.
An online store that specializes in neckties for men 5' 8" and under. The ties featured on the J. Raffiani site are specially tailored to be 54 inches in length, as well as slightly narrower than your average tie, to be better proportioned for shorter men. There are many styles to choose from on the site, and all ties featured are handmade from 100% Italian silk.
Boy's Italian Suits
157 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Toll free: 866-782-0108
An option for some smaller men is to choose a quality boy's/young man's suit; this retailer carries a very large stock and variety of Italian boy's suits, will ship overnight, and work with you until you find a suit to your liking. They prefer to do business over the phone (or in person at their Brooklyn location), but you can check out their web site for a few general ideas (they also carry boy's clothing and jackets), as well as information on choosing a suit.
Avenue Road Location
1975 Avenue Road
Toronto Ontario Canada
Queen Street Location
545 Queen St. West
Toronto Ontario Canada
Brown's features proportioned clothing for shorter men, 5' 8" and under (specifically, they use three fitting categories: "extra short" for men 5'1" to 5'4", "short" for men 5'5" to 5'8", and "stout short" for heavy short men). They stock casual and dress clothing (plus small men's shoes), and offer a made to measure service that can provide a suit, sport coat, blazer, slacks, dress shirts, or overcoat in as little as seven working days, tailored specifically to your measurements.
For The Fit, Inc.
For The Fit, Inc. is an online menswear retailer specializing in clothes for fit/trim men who are 5'9" and under. They carry premium name brand business and casual clothes, accessories, and shoes. They carry short rise, short inseam pants proportioned for the shorter man and for smaller waists. They offer a shop by size feature, a "find my fit" consultation service, a fit and style guide, and a made-to-measure suiting service.
Giorgenti Men's Custom Pants and Shirts
Designer Janine Giorgenti creates high-quality custom-made suits, pants, and shirts made to order from the measurements you provide. All three Giorgenti sites listed above cater to men of all sizes, including shorter men (you can click on "shorter men" from the main menu). First-time customers submit a series of measurements (you can work with an online consultant if you are unsure about taking measurements), and your clothes are then made to fit and sent to you in about 3 weeks (it may take up to 6 weeks for a suit). There are a range of fabrics, prices, and styles to choose from.
Joe Sugars of St. Pauls
119 West Broad Street
St. Pauls, NC 28384
910-865-5149, Fax: 910-865-1576
Toll free: 800-367-8427
Joe Sugar's specializes in clothing to fit big, tall, short, big and tall, big and short, extra short, or extra big men. They also have a "personal shopper" feature on their web page where you can request the type of items you are looking for and they will show you options and prices in your size.
Jimmy Au's For Men 5'8" & Under
2168 Glendale Galleria
Glendale, CA 91210
Jimmy Au's specializes in suits, tuxedos, dress shirts and casual shirts for men 5'8" and under; they also make a line of suits and tuxedos for men 5'5" and under called their "special" short line.
Lebow Bros. Clothing
127 West Central Street
Natick, MA 01760
Lebow's specializes in hard-to-fit men, and stocks short, extra short, and portly sizes in formal wear, outer wear, shirts, pants, and jeans. Their web site does not currently have an online catalog feature, but you can order by phone.
Lubin's of Westchester
91 Knollwood Rd.
White Plains, NY 10607
Lubin's has been in business over 50 years, and specializes in high-quality boys and young men's dress clothing of all sizes. They also have experience fitting trans men. Their web site does not have a searchable inventory, but they can be called with questions.
Muldoon's Men's Wear, Inc.
1506 South Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Toll free: 866-321-7865
Muldoon's caters to big and tall men as well as short men. They feature short rise pants and jeans, casual and dress slacks, suits, outerwear and dress shirts.
Toll free: 800-233-9522
317 N. 76th St. Milwaukee, WI 53213
7254 W. Foster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60656
Napoleon's Tailor carries a full line of casual and dress wear for men 5'8" or under, including casual and dress shirts, pants, suits, sweaters, and outerwear.
Short Men's Sizes from Jockey Club Ltd.
3940 S. Bristol St. #209
Santa Ana, CA 92704-7451
For men 5'7" and under, they carry suits, sport coats, blazers, dress slacks, casual pants, jeans, shorts, dress shirts, hosiery, sport shirts, knit shirts, sweaters, casual jackets, neckwear, rainwear, footwear and more.
6051 Mayfield Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44124
800-272-9000 (To order)
440-605-1000 (Customer service)
Short Sizes issues several color catalogs yearly offering suits, sport coats, slacks, shirts, shoes, sweaters and sportswear. They specialize in clothing for men under 5'8", and they feature shirts with short sleeve sizes, as well as extra short and portly short sizes.
Thaku's Big Tall Short Men's Wear
4320 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
16055 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center Dr.
Peoria, AZ 86381
Thaku's specializes in the hard-to-fit man, including short and heavy men. Their online store features a "short men's goods" section and short men's fitting chart.
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Style tips for short men
If you are a short man who wishes to appear taller, the overall goal is to choose clothing that makes the body appear longer. This is done, in part, by creating a straight, streamlined silhouette. In general, clothing should not be baggy or otherwise ill-fitting; you want to create a clean "straight up-and-down" line with little interruptions, as this adds the illusion of length.
Another problem with baggy and ill-fitting clothing on a shorter man is that it ends up making you look like you are swimming in your clothes, as though you borrowed them from your larger brother or uncle. Of course, this also tends to make you look shorter as well.
For all pants, including jeans, make sure your pants are hemmed to the proper length so that they break only slightly. The term "break" refers to where your pants fall on your shoes, creating a horizontal crease in the fabric across the front of your pant leg. If the break comes too high or is not defined enough, your pants will look too short when you stand or walk. If the break is too low, there will be a lot of excess fabric around your ankles, and your pants will look oversized-- this can especially be a problem for shorter men. A slight/short break is the best choice for shorter men. If you also happen to have smaller feet, a slight break will keep your pants from "drowning" your shoes. Jeans can break slightly lower than dress pants-- but one should still avoid lots of excess material around the ankles.
Cuffing jeans or other pants makes the legs appear shorter-- have your pants hemmed to the proper length as described above. Avoid white or light-colored shoes with jeans, as this breaks the overall line of the leg.
As mentioned in the "sizing in pants" section above, another thing to consider when choosing pants is the "rise"-- the distance between the crotch and the waist. If the crotch of your pants hangs too low, the legs will again appear shorter, and the area around your seat and crotch will look odd or boxy. Look for low-rise (or short-sized) jeans, or have a tailor alter the crotch of dress pants if it is too long.
In dress pants and khakis, pleats should be avoided, especially deep pleats. Flowing, full-cut dress or suit pants should also be avoided. Pleats can take away from your clean vertical line, and bagginess in pants can make you look like you're drowning in too-big clothing. When possible, it is generally better to stick to flat front pants and avoid lots of extra material.
In general, baggy jeans should also be avoided. Very baggy jeans will tend to make you look like you are drowning in them, making you look smaller. This is not to say that you should wear ultra-tight jeans, but rather that when observing fashion trends, keep overall proportion in mind, and remember that certain cuts of clothing may suit your better than others. If you do choose a relaxed or baggier cut, be sure it fits you well and is proportioned for your frame to begin with (i.e., proper rise and inseam length).
Try to find shirts that are hemmed to rest only and inch or two below the waistline of your pants; if your shirts are longer than this, tuck them in to avoid giving the appearance of short legs. In general, button front dress shirts should always be tucked in for the same reason (in addition to the fact that it is a tidier look). Keep in mind that a tailor can alter the hem length of shirts in addition to the sleeve length for a better fit.
Avoid very baggy shirts, or shirts that puff out when you tuck them in. Look for shirts with higher armholes (to avoid extra material under the arms) and that fit properly-- neither baggy nor clinging to your torso.
Shirts and jackets with vertical stripes can add height to your look. Choose vertical stripes that are on the thinner side-- too wide and you may start to look squat, or the pattern may overpower you.
On casual shirts, a lower collar can make your neck appear longer (for example, on a polo shirt). A V-neck t-shirt can also have the effect of making your neck seem longer.
When choosing a suit, request a "short" cut-- short-sized suits are proportioned better for shorter men. Short men's specialty stores will stock a larger selection of short suits than your average men's clothing store.
Adding a slight taper at the waist of the suit jacket can create a longer look for the legs. A two-button jacket with a relatively low stance that shows more of the tie will make the upper body appear longer. Very subtle pinstripes can emphasize length, but avoid any strong pattern that will overpower.
For suit pants, avoid cuffs; the goal is to create long lines, and cuffs interrupt the line. As with all pants, make sure the rise on your suit pants is short enough, and avoid pleats and excessive bagginess. Keep your pants streamlined, like the rest of your silhouette.
Match the color of your belt and shoes to your pants for an even longer look-- a monochromatic color scheme creates an uninterrupted line.
Most men's neckties are proportioned (in both length and width) to fit average-height or taller men. Typical sizes are between 58 and 60 inches in length and about 4 inches in width.
For shorter men, a tie of length of 54" to 56" usually fits well. A narrower tie width also usually looks more proportional on a short man-- too wide a tie ends up making a short man appear smaller and stout. Look for ties that are between 2.5" to 3.25" wide at their widest point.
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An updated, expanded, and easier-to-navigate version of the information found on this page, www.shortmenstyle.com is a new project devoted to more frequent updates and detailed postings on clothing for short men.
An excellent blog/resource concerning clothing and style for short men. Though based in New York City, many of the chains mentioned exist nationwide and often have Web site/mail-ordering options. Highly recommended!
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