From the Feet Up: Fashion Advice for Shorter Men
Looking spectacular doesn't have to be a challenge - even if you are on the shorter side. TallMenShoes.com knows men who are below-average in height can still be the center of attention if they look the part. We're here with the best men's fashion tips for looking taller from head to toe.
One way to elevate your stature is by wearing height-increasing footwear or apparatuses such as lifts, thicker insoles, elevator shoes and shoes with thicker soles. These can all easily add a few inches to your height.
But how you wear your shoes also matters. Keep the color contrast with your pants to a minimum, as doing so will make your legs appear longer. When you're wearing shorts, you can pull this off by wearing shoes that closely match your skin tone. And avoid flashy footwear; this draws the viewer's eyes downwards, making you look even shorter.
Shopping Tip: When shopping for shoes, try sticking to bulkier styles so that your feet don't look too small.
Do not wear your pants too high; this shortens the torso. Also, avoid wearing baggy or low-rise pants (even if they are the trendier alternative), as they tend to make legs look shorter than they already are. You should wear pants just above your hips close to the natural waistline. Furthermore, avoid any kind of puckering around the hips from tucking in your shirts or having full pockets. This will make you look wider and hence shorter.
Your trousers should break on your shoes slightly more than average to help make your legs look longer by covering your socks properly. And shun cuffs altogether, as this creates a visual break. If you do decide to wear them, have your tailor hem them slightly narrower than normal (that is, 1¼ inches instead of the usual 1½ to 2 inches). Finally, keep in mind that pants with no pleats or a single pleat are more flattering than multiple pleats. The multiple pleats make for a baggy look that you're trying to avoid.
Shopping Tip: If you can't find any pants that fit properly, you can always have them custom-made or visit a specialty store near you.
A blazer is a great style choice for shorter men as it will build up your shoulders. But avoid wearing blazers (and cardigans) with more than three buttons because they will draw unwanted attention to your shorter upper body. When wearing a sports jacket, make sure there's as little contrast between your jacket and trousers as possible to maintain the natural vertical lines. Center and side vents also add the effect of a prolonged vertical line.
You should try to avoid double-breasted suits, but if you do choose to wear one, do up all the buttons (including the lower ones), as this will give you a longer look. Also, make sure your blazers and jackets fall slightly below your buttocks, as this will make your body look slightly more elongated.
In terms of sweaters and T-shirts, V-necks can help make your torso look longer. Turtlenecks, on the other hand, can make you look stumpy as they conceal your neck. Aim for shirts with short tails and long sleeves; tails hanging past the hips make your legs look shorter, while short sleeves make your arms look shorter.
Look for formfitting shirts in order to avoid excess fabric when tucking them in and opt for point collars instead of spreads. Finally, keep in mind that tucking in your shirt can place the emphasis on your legs and torso, which might make you look shorter, especially if there's a lot of contrast.
Shopping Tip: Shortening the length of a shirt is generally easier than reducing the length of its sleeves, so make sure the shirt fits properly around your shoulders and body, first and foremost. If it does, then you can have the overall length and the sleeves adjusted.
When it comes to accessories, shorter men should avoid bow ties. Instead, they should wear narrower ties; solid, regimental and diagonal patterns work best. Also, choose the less intrusive four-in-hand knot over the bulkier Windsor variety. All of this has a streamlining effect that adds the illusion of height. Watches, bracelets, rings and other jewelry should be slim as well.
When buying a belt, remember you can have it adjusted to any length by simply adding more holes. A belt that doesn't have holes is even easier, as it's fully adjustable for a perfect fit. Finally, keep in mind that suspenders can emphasize your natural vertical line, so avoid them.
Shopping Tip: Again, you can find many stylish accessories in special catalogs, at local specialty stores or in the boys' section of larger department stores. If you're having trouble finding socks that fit, you can always give the socks in the women's department a try.
Just Look Good
Last but not least, remember this: the key is not necessarily to look as tall you can, but to look as good as you can. The proper fit and the right styles can make you look great regardless of your height. A 5-foot-6 man who looks good and is confident will be more attractive than a 6-foot-2 man with no sense of style.
Until next time, keep on stylin'.