Short Man Style
I would like to dress well. I like the idea of well-fitting, good quality clothes; I like the way it makes me look and feel. But there is a problem.
You see, any expert – or person with a passing interest – will tell you that fit is the key to clothes looking good. While off-the-peg clothes rarely fit perfectly, most people can find items which fit just about spot on to do the job.
But what if you don’t fit into clothes which are readily available, but still want to join in? Welcome to my world.
I am 5’5”, with a 29” waist, a 37” chest and a 29” inner leg. That is short, whichever way you spin it. I have written about the issues with finding clothes at my shape and size before, but it occurs to me that I cannot be the only person out there facing this issue.
According to the ONS, the average height for a man in the UK today is 5’9”, which means there are a lot of men dropping below that level.
When I walk into a high street shop, I can generally tell pretty quickly if I am going to have any success there. As a general rule, even the S and XS clothes can be too long in the body, while the occasional vogue for straighter and looser cuts can lend something of an “I stole this from my older brother” vibe.
And don’t get me started on trousers. If you ask most stores for trousers with a 29” leg, most shop assistants stare you like you are mad. Nor is this problem restricted to the high street; indeed, I have found that as a general rule, the more high-end brands cater even less for the smaller man.
This dress shirt, for example, did not fit. Still doesn't.
Now, I do understand the reasons behind this. Fashion is a business, they cater to the many and the market for clothes for smaller men is, well, quite small. I also am aware of the obvious fact, that it is possible to buy bigger clothes and have them tailored.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are options out there – and at a time when most of the retail options in the world are at our fingertips, it seems high time someone went to bat for the short guys.
Shorter male celebrities prove it can be done
So I’m going to. I am going to make it my mission to seek out the decent options for short guys and share them with anyone who might be interested. There are some out there, hiding in plain sight; Next does a decent line in suits for shorter men and River Island’s jeans selection caters to short legs if you shop online. But I’m sure there are more.
On top of that, I will seek out expert advice and tips on how – where possible – to make current trends work for shorter men and what pitfalls we might want to avoid.
I make no claims of being an expert or style guru. Anyone with a knowledge of my sartorial history can tell you that my own efforts ranged from lazy to disastrous for many years. So I cannot provide a handbook, but I will go hunting, seeking and asking and share what I find out.
Join me, it might be fun.