BEING THE SHORT GUY

Trouser legs always need altering, shirt sleeves are often inches too long, and the typical winter scarf wrapped snugly around the neck tends to look more like a python constricting its prey than a luxury item to keep oneself warm. But take heart, some of the most well-dressed, best-looking men were, and are, short famous guys. Their style and confidence have proven that height is no barrier to impeccable fashion. And then there are those feel-good sayings like “Good things come in small packages” that have done an excellent job of making short people feel ‘tall.’

The golden rule for shorter guy dressing is not just a style tip; it’s a strategy to take attention away from your small stature, minimise unnecessary details and hang-ups on your outfit, and create an overall stylish look. Think streamline; limit pockets on coats and shirts and avoid big accessories like oversized watches and wide ties. That way, an onlooker can scan your body from top to bottom without getting caught on a ‘busy’ detail or something that ‘cuts’ your look in half. These practical tips will empower you to dress with confidence and style.

In toning down visual busyness, a monochromatic or loosely tonal colour scheme assists in creating a streamlined look. Bold colour-blocking is not an option for the shorter guy, as it cuts your body in two, accentuating either your stumpy legs or short torso (or both). Dark tones, navy, black, and charcoal are even better when thinking ‘monochrome,’ adding to the appearance of blended height as the dark hues run from your shoe to your collar. Typically associated with ‘slimming’ for the larger gent, vertical stripes are also the shorter guy’s print; unlike horizontal stripes, which ‘flatten’ or widen the torso, patterns that run vertically make you seem taller because the eye wants to follow the lines from the waist to the shoulder line. Keep the stripes narrow, like a pin’s width for suits, or slightly more candy-striped for casual shirts and pants.

Corduroy, a cloth with textural lines in vertical streams, offers the same effect. So, too, do herringbone weaves and tweed. The fabrics you choose should be flatter and less densely woven; going for mohair wool, cashmere, cotton, and linen. Denim is another excellent option, especially for jackets and shirts. The shirt length calls for a touch of sartorial rebellion from the shorter guy. Forget the rules governing the sleeve-length-to-jacket-cuff ratios—you need to look good. The shirt cuff should remain on show under your suit jacket or blazer, as usual, but aim for a quarter of an inch cuff-show and no more. This adds to the illusion of your arms being the normal size in proportion to your jacket.

Wear the shirt tucked into slim-fit jeans, chinos, or trousers for intelligent casual shirting without a blazer or jacket. This will prevent the shirt’s length from falling too far past your waist. Keeping the shirt collar unbuttoned will create a sophisticated Euro look, and opting for no belt adds additional casualness and visual length to the trousers.

By embracing these tips, shorter men can craft looks that exude confidence and style, proving that height is no barrier to impeccable fashion.