Men have insecurities about their physical appearance that they always try to fix or hide. In many cases, these so-called “flaws” can be corrected by elevating one’s self-care routine, improving one’s lifestyle, and undergoing cosmetic improvements: acne and blemishes can vanish through a good skincare routine; bigger physiques can be toned through workouts and diet plans; other imperfections can be patched up through surgical procedures.
However, there’s one insecurity that’s just difficult to fix: falling short of height. It’s something we have no control over. Once your growth plates close, you cannot increase your height. Genetics also plays a significant role, but hey, we’re not here to blame your parents and ancestors.
We’re here to tell you two important things. One, there’s nothing wrong with being a shorter man. And two, there are plenty of ways to enhance your overall appearance and make you feel better about yourself. Also, we’re pretty sure you know the struggles of shopping for menswear that’s not cut for men of your stature, so we’re here to give you tips on how to dress for your height.
1. Consider finding a reliable tailor.
The best advice for a shorter man is to buy menswear specifically designed and made for your build. But if off-the-rack garments (that have an average man’s build in mind) don’t do you any favors, you can always find an affordable yet reliable local tailor.
2. Avoid oversized clothes and anything bulky.
Short men look best when they wear clothes that fit them. The idea is to eliminate the excess fabrics from your garments, which tend to eat you up. Avoid outfits such as pants that stack up on top of your footwear, sleeves that go past the wrists, shirts that look like tents, and knee-length jackets.
If you’re planning to modify some loose menswear with the help of a tailor, consider avoiding extra details that are too big for smaller and more slender frames. For instance, you might find an oxford shirt with a huge chest pocket that sits too low on the chest.
3. Look for ways to elongate the legs visually.
Style is all about proportions. If you’re slim and want to look bulkier, men’s fashion experts may suggest you opt for clothes that broaden your chest and shoulders. If you’re on the chubbier side, style gurus may recommend wearing dark tops to minimize weight visually. And if you’re shorter, it usually means you want to lengthen your legs.
Avoid low-rise pants at all costs. Instead, consider wearing a trouser worn nearer your waist than your hips. Try tucking your shirt into your trousers, too, to create an illusion of longer legs.
Try going for shoes that don’t contrast too heavily with your trouser to lengthen the leg visually. For instance, avoid white sneakers when wearing dark denim and go with black, dark shades of gray or navy.
4. Opt for clothes that create an illusion of length.
Since you don’t have much going on vertically, it’s a no-brainer to minimize what’s happening horizontally and create the illusion of height. Wearing vertical lines is the most obvious choice for short men. Aside from obvious vertical stripes, you can create subtle vertical lines by wearing a darker jacket with a clean cutover a light-colored shirt and leaving the jacket unzipped or unbuttoned.
5. Choose small-scale patterns.
While it’s okay to hear horizontal stripes, wearing thick stripes may look too big on a shorter man. It’s all about the small details…literally. When choosing clothes with patterns, opt for smaller-scale patterns like tiny polka dots, thin lines, small gingham or plaid, mini animal and floral patterns, and the likes.
6. Draw the eye upward
It’s best to keep interesting details on your top half to avoid drawing attention to your short legs. Keep the trousers neutral and inject fun into your shirts with prints, patterns, and other interesting details. You may also wear a hat or scarf for added visual interest. Wear layers too, but avoid anything too bulky.
7. Make it low-contrast and seamless.
Avoid harsh contrasts. If you wear light-colored tops, pair them with a bottom with the same or close light shade. If you’re going to wear dark shades for your top, wear dark colors throughout.
According to men’s styling guru Luke McDonald, wearing block colors in the same or similar shades help create an illusion of length. This approach allows the top and bottom to flow into each other, making your body seem longer because there’s less contrast.
8. Wear chunky, height-boosting shoes
Luckily, you can shop footwear that can give you at least 2 inches of extra height. Boots are one of the best options since they’re generally made with thicker soles. Sometimes, they go with heels too. You can also use some lift or special insole. No one will know you’re faking it…except your family and friends, of course.
Just because you’re of a shorter stature doesn’t mean it’s okay to go small on style. There are plenty of ways to make your clothes work for you and not against you if you’ll pay extra attention to details. We hope that your height won’t be the first thing people notice when you step into the room with the help of our tips—but your positive vibe and killer style.