Being short is by no means a cripple on any man’s character, ability, or intelligence. Some of the greatest heroes of our time have been under 5′ 8”. Martin Luther King (5’7”), Ghandi (5’4”), Bruce Lee (5’6”), Bob Marley (5’8”) and even Lionel Messi (5’7”) are all perfect examples of how height does not influence one’s ability to change the world. What it does mean however, is that you have to pay close attention to the way you tailor your suit and what styles and patterns you choose to use when you dress yourself. Here is how to make sure you are selecting the right fit when you are purchasing your next suit.
When in Doubt, Round Down
Whenever you buy a suit from a store that sells factory fit sizes, it’s a good idea to take the suit to a tailor to make adjustments for length and fit. But when you find yourself caught between 2 factory fit sizes, always choose the smaller size. I’m not suggesting you suck in your stomach to make it fit or restrict the ability to move your arms over your head, I’m simply recommending to take the tighter choice as long as you still feel comfortable with the shoulder fit. This tighter fit will slim your build and aesthetically stretch out your frame.
Cutting Those Limbs Short
When you choose to take your suit to the tailor, it’s a great idea to have the sleeves on your blazer adjusted. Most men want their suit sleeve to end a little high on their wrist, exposing about a half-inch of shirt cuff beneath it. A shorter man can go a little bit longer, leaving just a small band of cloth visible; this makes the arm appear longer and makes the visual impact of that band of cloth less distracting. Don’t, however, let the sleeve hide the shirt entirely — that makes the suit look too big for you.
You know that area where your dress pants hit your shoes and make those ripples? That’s called a pant break. Pants with minimal or no break at all will visually allow for a better impression of height. The last thing you want is your pant leg to be bunched up over your shoes. Just slightly sitting on top of your dress shoes also allows you to show off some of your sock game.
Something that our taller friends don’t have to do is tailor the length of their blazers, but I can’t stress enough how sharp this can make an outfit look. If your jacket is an inch too long, it makes you look an inch shorter. A simple rule of thumb I like to follow is the bottom of your suit should not pass your sleeves if your hands are right by your sides. Shortening your suit length will allow your legs to appear longer and add a modern style to your outfit.
Now personally I think vertical stripes on a blazer make me look like a 90’s Wall Street banker but there’s no doubt that vertical stripes make you look taller. If you don’t mind the look then go out and purchase a blazer with some vertical stripes. Personally I find the same rule applies for the dress shirt underneath so that’s where I recommend using your vertical stripes most.
Following these guidelines will ensure that you are buying a suit that will not only last but will be a versatile option in your repertoire. Dressing up and looking the part allows shorter men to make up for what they lack in height. The right girl will always favor a well-dressed short man over a tall guy who is dressed like a bum. Quote me on that.