Having a below-average height can be tough. So many normal everyday things look like a challenge, and short men’s fashion is no different. It is very easy to slip into the mindset of “I can’t dress well because of my height,” which is not true at all.
You will have to put a bit more effort into understanding how men’s fashion works and how you can mold it to fit your needs. But it is still very much possible.
Fashion for Short Men
Before we get started with this guide, remember that fashion for short guys is still men’s fashion. Your outfits are just like other men’s outfits, just with a few alterations. For example, a beach outfit for short guys is similar to everyone’s but with a difference that they should avoid shorts that go below your knees as they will make them look shorter.
With that established, there are two aspects you have to learn about. First is the list of essential clothing for short men. Owning these will allow you to craft dapper outfits that also make you look taller or take attention away from your overall stature.
Secondly, you have to understand the dos and don’ts of dressing as a short man. Getting a grasp of these will allow you to create outfits that are unique to you without having to rely on pre-existing “best outfits” lists.
Clothing Items for Short Men
Here is a comprehensive list of all the clothing items you need to become a master of the short man style.
Plain White T-shirt
White t-shirt outfits are some of the easiest to pull off while also providing tons of customizability. You might think that wearing a basic white t-shirt on a regular basis will get boring and stale over time. However, that is not the case at all. These t-shirts are great at hiding elements in plain sight and will divert attention away from them. So, instead of thinking of them as the focal point of the outfit, understand that they are more like fillers that make the ensemble look cohesive and complete.
Another factor that eliminates the repetitive aspect of white t-shirts is their variety. Juggling between crew neck, V-neck, and turtleneck types of white t-shirts should keep your day-to-day style fresh. You also have a choice between full-length, short-sleeved, and sleeveless shirts.
As far as the different types of t-shirts are concerned, there is nothing that exudes the same level of maturity as a polo shirt. They are the perfect balance between casual comfort and professional maturity.
This blend of two different tones is also helpful in making these shirts fit almost every situation. A well-fitted polo shirt looks right in place in everything from business meetings to hangouts at a coffee shop. You can even wear them to the beach on a hot summer day.
However, the reason why this shirt is on our list of essentials is because of its mature vibe. It makes you look like and feel like a mature adult man, overshadowing your physical height.
Dress Shirt / Button-Up
T-shirts are great, but they are also casual or smart casual at best. So, you also need quality button-ups in your collection. The safest bet is to go with plain shirts with soft colors like white and light blue.
Black button-ups are also an option, but they are more challenging to style on their own. They can work in your favor in certain outfits, especially with suspenders. But they can also make you look shorter if outfitted incorrectly.
If plain shirts are not your jam or you want something with a pattern to spice things up a bit, opt for dress shirts with strong vertical stripes. These stripes narrow down your stature and make you look taller – making these the ideal dress shirt for short guys (we’ll discuss more about this below).
Suits are essential; every man with even a hint of fashion sense knows that, and the same stands true short man fashion. But what most folks don’t realize in their search for the best suits for short men is the importance of that suit being tailored to the right size.
Finding well-fitting pre-made suits as an average-sized man is a hassle, to say the least, and it is nigh on impossible for shorter men.
So, the best course of action here is to hire a tailor and get a suit that is built from the ground up to fit your body. This is critical as a tailored suit will not make you look taller, but a poorly-fitted one will work against your height. Also, getting shirts and ties with vertical stripes will help.
Blazers are the middle ground between formal professionalism and preppy casual fashion for short men. They allow you to look sharp while also being comfortable. The best part about something like a white blazer, however, is how efficient it is.
Wearing a well-fitted blazer will take the outfit to the next level in an instant, even if the outfit is as basic as a white t-shirt with blue jeans. This versatility, combined with the comfortable, professional use, makes blazers a must-have for you.
If you had to pick just one type of outerwear for the rest of your life, opting for leather jackets would be the right choice. They are versatile, durable, and comfortable. As great as these qualities are, however, they are not the reason why leather jackets are on this list.
The real reason why we are putting leather jackets as essential for shorter men is because of their fit. A lot of winter outerwear tends to be quite bulky and fluffy. This is fine if you’re taller than average. But, if your height is on the lower side of the scale, these fluffy coats can make you look like an adorable teddy bear.
Leather jackets, on the other hand, provide near-identical levels of cold and wind protection while also being lean and clean-cut. You can go even slimmer as well, with the help of lightweight suede jackets.
The last outerwear on our list of essentials is peacoat. Wearing a long coat can have a similar effect as wearing stripes, i.e. making you look taller. However, regular coats are not long enough, while trench coats are a bit too long. Peacoats are the perfect middle ground. They are long enough to make you look taller without engulfing your whole body like a military trench coat would. Plus, pairing these coats with a pair of chinos will make you look like the most polished gentleman out there.
There isn’t much you can do about it when it comes to pants. Going with regular slim-fit jeans and right-sized chinos is your best option. But there is a new emerging trend that has proven to be a great style for short guys; cropped trousers. Wearing these with low-top shoes and with no socks/invisible socks will make your legs look longer due to the exposed ankles.
The footwear situation is quite similar to trousers as you can’t do much in this regard. You can wear fancy sneakers with gigantic soles, but people will perceive them as you trying very hard to look taller. There is one exception to this notion, however, one ideal pair of shoes for short men; combat boots. Their large soles make you taller without anyone even noticing. Also, they are the ideal type of shoes for leather jackets and other rugged clothing.
Fashion Tips for Short Men
Now that your closet is filled with the essentials, it’s time for the guidelines. These are the essential style tips for short men that you should know about.
Don’t Wear Loose-Fitting
Among these style tips for short guys, this is the one that you should never forget. Loose clothes will make you look shorter, and there is no doubt about it. So, try to avoid such clothes as much as you can. However, this does not mean that clothes should be tight-fitting either. Instead, focus on wearing the right proportions.
Wear clothes that are as close to your body as they can be without restricting your movement. That said, the fitting of your clothes depends on a lot of other factors like the material of the clothes and their design. So, instead of going by numbers and body measurements, try to see if an item looks loose or not.
Wear Small Patterns
Plain monotone clothing can get boring, especially if you can’t mix it up more. Patterns help eliminate this issue by giving your outfits a personality. But these patterns can also affect how tall you look. We’ve already mentioned how narrow vertical stripes make you look taller. Small patterns have the same effect. This effect is quite logical as well; wearing small patterns makes you look larger than you are.
Even if you don’t notice the positive effects of small patterns, wear them regardless. This is because wearing patterns with thick lines and a large presence will make you look smaller.
Accessories are great for putting a personal flair into the outfit. Unfortunately, they are also the most overlooked part of men’s fashion. You shouldn’t ignore them, though, as they can be quite beneficial to short men.
A brilliant trick with accessories is to wear bold, colorful glasses. The idea here is to take the attention away from the rest of the body and focus it on your eye line. This won’t make you look taller, but it will make people notice your height less.
As for the rest of the accessories like watches, hats, and scarves, make sure that they are proportionate to your body. Do not wear hats that are too large or wrist watches that are too big next to your hands. This proportional accessorizing goes the other way as well—for example, professional fashion for short, muscular men. Wearing regular-sized tie knots would look odd at best. So they should try knots that are a bit wider to stay proportionate.
Hire A Tailor
Whether you intend to find the best suits for short guys or t-shirts, locating the right size of anything will be challenging and time-consuming. So, a better idea is to buy clothes that are close enough to your size and then hire a professional tailor to size them for you. This will cost more than just finding the right size, but it will be faster, and the end result will be worth the extra cost.
FAQs – Short Men Fashion
The key to looking attractive as a short man is to be confident in your height. You can follow all of the right tricks for looking taller, but they won’t do much until you are in the right headspace. So, just be confident and don’t let your height drag you down.
The best dress option for a short person is a low-contrast A-line dress that sits 3-4 inches above the knees.
Yes, they should. Pairing cropped pants with low-top shoes and invisible socks is a great way of making your legs longer.
Short guys should not wear oversized clothes. They will make them look even shorter than they already are, which is not a good idea.
No, they should not. Tucking in the shirt creates a dividing line on the body, which puts further focus on the height. This is also the reason why short men are encouraged to go beltless.
A large part of how we perceive the heights of folks around us is perspective. So, manipulating this perspective allows us to alter how tall we look, at least to an extent. This is the main idea behind using height-enhancing clothing techniques like wearing vertical stripes, avoiding sharp contrasts, streamlining your silhouette, and having a good posture.
If done correctly, these short men’s fashion techniques combined with the right clothes can make you look noticeably taller than you are in reality.