For every gentleman that wants to stand out with perfectly fit clothes and unique, stylish appearances, custom tailoring their attire is an excellent option. However, tailoring outfits also delivers impressing results to those into custom-made clothes out of necessity, such as short men that find off-the-rack clothes a bit too big or looking shabby on them. It goes without saying that even if you do find brands geared towards guys with a small, slim silhouette, nothing compares to the fit (and outfit ideas) you can get with the help of an experienced tailor. Today, we will be focusing on men with a smaller frame. So, below, are some fashion and tailoring tips that you could find handy!
1. Cut Out the Extras
We all know that the key to a head-turning look is wearing pieces that provide shape and flatter our best body areas while taking eyes away from the areas we feel more self-conscious about. Since the suit is one of the most important components of a man’s attire, let us reveal some secrets to having a great one perfectly cut for you.
Rule number one is to make sure your suit fits your shoulders. This is the most costly alteration as it requires advanced techniques and a high level of expertise. Rule number two is slim your trousers. Some small men prefer to wear their suit trousers like skinny jeans, which is a very appealing decision that helps elongate the torso and make you appear taller when people are looking at you from a distance.
The secret, in this case, is to understand that this is a game where you need to master proportions, which is why you have to cut anything extra to keep them right. For the same reason, gents with a smaller frame look great with skinny ties (see below-accessories). Now, if you love wearing slightly cropped jackets, you can consider those that barely cover the seat and hit over the crotch line.
2. Mind the Waistcoat
For some men smaller in stature, having a waistcoat ordered whenever they have a suit made is not in their plans. However, it can add a more streamlined physique if you decide to take off your jacket and let the full pant line show. Not to mention that it gives you the opportunity to look a tad more formal.
Ideally, the waistcoat should not go beyond the waistband; on the contrary, it should cover it just slightly. And, make sure your shirt is not showing between the pants and the vest, which will “break” the outfit and make you look shorter (and somewhat sloppy).
Idea: A waistcoat with a deeper neckline, a slimmer shoulder width, and a tight spacing of the buttons (don’t overdo it with them; just 4-5 will do just fine) is a piece you definitely want to have in your wardrobe.
3. Pant Length
The length of the trousers is perhaps the single most important element that can help shorter gents look taller. The more professional and traditional slight break is the best way to go and a much more preferred option than wearing cuffs that hit 5 inches above the shoes. Along with a slim taper, pant length can make or break your outfit and allow you to look taller or shorter in an instance. Consider pants that slightly kiss the lace ups, with almost no break, which will help elongate your figure. The only piece you can go a bit shorter is with a loafer.
Tip: The length of the sleeve is just as important. So, better show, at least, half an inch of cuff.
4. Overcoat Length
Whether you are elegant and classic or fashion and expression, fit is THE most significant thing you want out of your clothes if you want to dress with style. Wearing a suit is a superb idea for the times you need to look formal. But, for the cases you do not feel like sporting a full suit, a jacket or blazer is definitely a must-have item so that you look put-together every time you walk out the door. After all, you never know who you may bump into while walking your dog in a big city! Speaking of overcoats, it is paramount they are slim through the body and, of course, narrow through the shoulders. Also, it is equally critical they do not hit past the knee; otherwise, you run the risk of having your upper body looking shorter. Ideally, go for pieces that are mid-thigh long.
5. Accessories the Right Size
As previously mentioned, it is all about proportions. Knowing how to play with them will make you a game changer and a stylish, taller-looking gent. Accessories play a vital role in every outfit and can help us deliver the exact look we want to achieve quite easily and effortlessly. So, for a smaller guy, accessories should be on a smaller scale too (i.e. a skinny 2” tie paired with a tiny tie bar).
6. Jacket Length
Keep in mind that the length of the jacket should ideally hit at the bottom of your behind or a bit higher, depending on the shape and size of your hips and abdomen. If you are still experimenting with the ideal length of your jackets, feel free to play around with various lengths to see what works best for you (it might take a while before you settle to the desired length). Alternatively, you could ask your tailor for some bits of advice. A good one will know what will look great on you the moment he lays eyes on your body physique for sure.
What we want is to make the leg line look longer (hence, look taller) without making the jacket look oddly proportioned or noticeably chopped. That way, the eye line will flow naturally and unobstructed from your jacket to your pants.
Another point to notice is where the button-stance of your jacket hits. It is important to limit fabric pulling as much as possible and cut the jacket as narrowly as you can. Making sure it hits the smallest part of your midsection will help you achieve that.
Choose Dark Colours – We all know that dark colours are slimming, which, in turns, means lengthening. We are not saying you adopt an all-black attire; just the wardrobe essentials (i.e. your suits and pants).
Footwear – You might be surprised, but many gents will a smaller frame shop the children’s “menswear” (and even women’s) section and find stylish pieces on the cheap. Trust us; nobody will tell that you are wearing women’s chukka boots!
For more tailoring tips for gents, we have put together The Ultimate Clothing Alterations Guide for Men, as well as a piece mentioning the top 16 Alterations a tailor can do for men. Browsing our blog will also give you ideas about how to tailor your pants, your suit jacket, and more, so feel free to dig in!