This ManMade guest post was written by Ben Robbins of Silas Jackson
It ain’t easy being a short guy. Women “swipe left” on our dating profiles based on height alone, we don’t make as much dough as their taller peers, and there’s no shortage of nicknames that seek to box us in (“shrimp,” “small fry”…I could go on and on). This isn’t fair, of course, but you as a fellow shorter dude actually have some power to fight back – it’s called the ability to “dress taller.” Now, I didn’t coin this term, but I do have some unique insights into how shorter guys can share in some of the benefits that taller guys take for granted. All you have to do is follow these five simple tips for making tweaks to what you wear and how you wear it:
1. Avoid Too Much Contrast
Color contrast can be the enemy of shorter men, as vastly different colors between your shirt and your pants will visually subdivide the body, drawing attention to a shorter torso, shorter legs, or both. The same goes for belts; choose a muted color such as brown or black, nothing so loud as to draw attention to your midsection. Stay away from big belt buckles, too. What you want is to limit the alarm bells that go off when someone scans you from head to toe.
2. Go for Slim Fit (even if you’re not slim)
Baggy pants are the bane of short guys’ existence. Ever seen someone who looks like they’re swimming in a sea of fabric? It looks awful and the clothing effectively dwarfs the person, making him appear smaller than he really is. Now, you may think this is a trick that only slimmer men can take advantage of, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those of us with a few extra pounds should be able to wear slim fit pants as well, as it’s more about the thigh, knee, and calf measurements than the waist size. It may take some digging through clothing racks, but I’ve seen slim fit pants with waist sizes up to 40-42.
3. Tailor Your Clothes
Going to the tailor is a pain and costs money – that’s undeniable. But when you’ve already shelled out for a pair of pants or a blazer, it’s a complete waste not to go the extra step to make sure it fits properly. This is true for all guys, but particularly for shorter men. For shirts, blazers, or jackets, spend the extra few bucks getting the shoulders just right. For pants, getting the hem perfect is key to keeping attention away from a shorter leg length.
4. Tone Down The Patterns
Do you fancy big polka dots or other showy patterns on your shirt? Keep it to yourself. The last thing that you want to do is draw attention to how small you look compared to the garish checkers covering your torso. Don’t get me wrong – it’s perfectly ok to wear some color here and there – but choose small, muted patterns instead of loud ones.
5. Wear Tall Shoes, But Not Lifts
It’s one thing to wear shoes with a bit of height in the sole (which is totally fine) but another to wear lifts in your shoes. We think having a bit of natural height in the heel is a good idea, but would caution against going too far. An extra inch in the sole is subtle enough to increase perceived height without much notice, but any more than that and you’re bound to hear “nice try, buddy” as you walk by.
Oh, and one Bonus Non-Style Tip: Be confident! Standing tall and exuding confidence will immediately change how people see you. So stop slouching (there’s a reason short guys are called shrimps!), stand up straight, and be comfortable in your own skin… that’s enough to add at least a couple of inches to how tall people perceive you to be.
Benjamin Robbins is the Founder & CEO of Silas Jackson, a classic clothing brand for men 5’8” & under. Learn more at SilasJackson.com