Fashion For Shorter Men: Our Top Styling Tips

There is no doubt about it: the key to great style always starts with the perfect fit. No matter your body type or height, finding what feels right ensures you look great. If you’re on the shorter side, check out our rules below for fashion for shorter men. We’ve got a few tips and tricks to slip into your back pocket to guarantee you’re always at your best. While these style notes apply to every man, they’ll really help those who are shorter in stature to stand out in a crowd. Ready? We are, too.

Fashion Tips for Shorter Men: It’s All About Fit

Let’s face it: fit challenges happen to us all. We’ve got a few pointers to share when thinking about fit tips for fashion for shorter men. At the top of our list? When compiling outfit combinations, choose close-fitting clothes. Regardless of your body type, stick to slim fits for shirts, pants and suits. Baggy clothes can overwhelm you, ultimately giving off a smaller appearance. In contrast, donning a tapered silhouette will elongate your look. Always buy the proper size clothing and look for shirts in a shorter length when available and pants in your preferred inseam. Count on your trusty tailor to take in your favorite pieces that you can’t find in your desired size. Above all else, fit is it.  

Finding the Best-Fitting Shirt 

So, what does the perfect fit look like, anyway? Believe it or not, it’s not too hard to find the best-fitting shirts for your build. Our fashion advice for shorter men is to pay attention to the four essential parts of shirt construction. These tips are for casual shirts, like T-shirts and henleys, as well as your dressier button-downs.

  1. Shoulders: Make sure that the shoulder seam hits just where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. 
  2. Sleeves: For long sleeves, you want the cuff to hit at your wrist. If it reaches your palm, they’re too long. When it comes to short-sleeves, make sure the sleeves aren’t too wide and hit halfway between your shoulder and elbow.
  3. Torso: Composed of your chest, stomach and hips, body proportions can get a little tricky here. Remember, you’re going for a fitted look, so you’ll want a shirt that follows the contour of your body. Not too tight, and not too loose. Basically, the Goldilocks of fits. When in doubt, do a pinch test. If you can pinch two or three inches, your shirt might be too loose. Conversely, if you can grab less than an inch, it might be too tight. Modern fabric blends with stretch are a great option and will help you achieve the right balance.​​ 
  4. Shirt Length: For the ideal size, look for your hem to hit about two inches past your waistband. 

We know, that’s a lot to remember. Above all, remember the fit mantra: it’s all about balance and proportion. 

Fashion for Shorter Men: The Ultimate Fit Guide for Pants

After crossing tops off our fashion for shorter men checklist, we’re on to pants and jeans. In addition to selecting a slim and tapered silhouette, pay close attention to where your pants break. What’s a pant break, you ask? It’s the spot where the fabric of the pant leg hits the shoe. To elongate your legs, your pants should rest right on top of your shoe. You don’t want to have extra fabric pooling, as this will detract from the sleek look you’re going for. Expertly tailored pants to the correct length give the appearance of more height. The trick is to have one seamless line, not broken by a peek of the ankle or patterned socks. So, keep your pants, socks and shoe color all in the same color palette. 

The Art of Layering Without Bulk

When the mercury on the thermostat starts to dip, you know it’s layering season. Our fashion for shorter men tips cover these cold-weather essentials, too. After all, there’s no need to sacrifice style for warmth. For a smaller frame, it’s wise to avoid bulky layers. If you still want to play the puffer game, select jackets with a slimmed-down silhouette and a small-scale puff design. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the length of your coat. The truth is, long and large coats can be overwhelming on any body type. For a not-so-tall guy, look for an overcoat that hits mid-thigh. Choose lighter-weight wool coats to master the art of layering. Fashion your favorite sweaters and vests underneath your outerwear for major style points.

Blazers can be a shorter guy’s best friend. A fitted blazer or suit jacket builds up your shoulders, providing a boost of height. A buttoned blazer creates a slim silhouette and adds proportion to your outfit. You also have the chance to add a bit of flair to your jacket with a pocket square. Add a pop of print or color with a two-point fold for an understated but eye-catching look.

Fashion Tips for Shorter Men: Tonal Dressing for the Win

One of our top suggestions when it comes to fashion for shorter men is to pay close attention to color. When aiming for a streamlined look, color plays an important role. The tried-and-true style rule most suitable for your modest body type is to opt for monochromatic pairings. Here, you’ll want to pick a palette and stick with it. Feel free to incorporate any shades, tints and tones of your chosen hue to add a little variety. Darker colors like navy, charcoal grey and brown work wonders and maximize your height. Planning to wear different shades of the same color? To draw the eye upward, wear darker tones on your bottom half. Reserve the lighter ones for your top half.

Things To Avoid When Dressing Up for Shorter Men

While we’re definitely more about the do’s than the don’ts, we have a couple of exceptions. Our fashion advice for shorter guys includes just a few things to avoid. For example, try not to cut yourself in half visually. Here’s why. When combining colors, pairing a bright white shirt with dark pants creates a stark color contrast. This can have the unintended effect of highlighting your body proportions. Sticking with similar shades is less startling and lets the eye freely move up and down. Feel free to apply this style advice to all of your ensembles.

Fashion Tips for Shorter Men: Pattern Play

After selecting the color scheme for your wardrobe, it’s time to explore patterns. Our style advice for short men is to choose small-scale prints. From stripes to checks and floral prints, you can wear them all. Avoid bold and large patterns, and you’ll be good to go. For checks and plaids, opt for small gingham and tartans and put buffalo checks out to pasture.

Let’s get right to it and answer the age-old question. Can fashion for shorter men include horizontal stripes? We fall right in line and say yes to stripes in all directions. What’s important is the width of the lines. Whether you’re rocking horizontal or vertical stripes, make sure they’re thin. Leave thick stripes behind and keep the small pattern rule top of mind. The smaller the print, the better—no matter the pattern.

Casual Fashion for Short Men

It’s no secret that over the years, our style has evolved and become more relaxed. Casual fashion for short men includes all the closet heroes you’d expect, from T-shirts and flannels to pants and sneakers. Add a few layering pieces, and you’ve got your essentials covered. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. The key to dressing for your physique is to consider proportion to add balance to your overall look. 

Create a capsule wardrobe for easy, everyday casual styling. For shirts, you’ll need a few T-shirts (both crew- and v-neck), henleys and polos. Dark-hued neutrals are a great starting point to create any outfit. To pair with these shirting essentials, add a couple of pairs of slim-fit jeans, cords and chinos. Round out your rotation with sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets. And, of course, we can’t resist the on-trend shacket. A shirt jacket is an excellent length, hitting mid-thigh. Not to mention it’s ideal for those tricky in-between seasons. Above all, a capsule wardrobe takes the guesswork out of getting ready in the morning. All you need are pieces that fit perfectly, in colors and patterns that flatter. You’ll be able to mix and match to create a variety of ensembles instantly. 

Fashion for Short and Stocky Men

If you haven’t guessed, it’s still all about the fit when it comes to fashion for short and stocky men. If you have a short and stout build, hone in on the precise size for your shape. It can be tempting to cover up the body parts you don’t want to showcase. This can, unfortunately, have the opposite effect. Wearing tailored and tapered clothing will slim your frame. You don’t have to go too tight-fitting, though. You can opt-out of skinny and skin-tight fits. Instead, look for slim and straight-fit shirts and pants. The same color and pattern rules apply. Dark hues and small-scale patterns reign supreme and will be your go-to colors.

Fashion for Short and Trim Men

Are you wondering what fashion for short and trim men tips we have up our sleeves? In addition to all the style hacks we’ve shared, we’ve got just a few more. If you want to look taller and broader, focus on your upper torso. Adding layers—when the weather allows—creates just the right amount of substance. Lucky for you, cable-knit sweaters are a big fall trend. This style has a textured vertical line that will add breadth and length to your look. Pair a cozy cable-knit pullover with dark rinse jeans and chukka boots. We’re getting Chris Evans in “Knives Out” vibes, too. 

If you’re ready to suit up, reach for a sports jacket or blazer. The deep “V” that the lapels make will add balance and proportion to your frame. Tuck in a dress shirt with a narrow collar and keep your tie slim. A thin tie won’t take up too much space on your chest, giving a huskier look and feel. You can’t go wrong with choosing a simple knot for your tie for a timeless finishing touch. No matter your body type, following these simple practices will give you the confidence to conquer anything your day brings. 

Are you ready to broaden your horizons and add a few new pieces to your collection? Let our style experts do all the work. Take your style quiz, share your fit challenges and wardrobe wishlist, then sit back and relax. We’ll send you five styles that you can try on in the comfort of your own home. Or, head over to Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to instantly buy pieces curated for your style and size. Buy what you love and return the rest. Shipping, exchanges and returns are always free.

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