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7 style tips for shorter men
24 October 2018
What do Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Kanye West, Tom Cruise and Bob Marley all have in common? Apart from all being wildly successful in their individual fields, they all also fall under or around the 5’8” mark making them, by standards of modern society, on the short side. And it’s safe to say that being in this category has not hindered their success – so it shouldn’t do yours, either.
When it comes to style, there are no longer excuses for getting it wrong. And all of the resources that we continue to have at our fingertips – from online forums, to age-old tailoring practices and high street stores that cater to our every need – only make it easier. So, if you’re on the shorter side of the chart and are looking for ways to improve your style, we’re here with tricks and tips to continue to help you look your best.
1. Use colour wisely
Monochrome colours should be at the top of your agenda but don’t fear, that doesn’t always have to mean pure black and white (unless you want it to). Instead, focus your attention on neutral, simple tones, always opting to wear the darker colour on the bottom and the lighter one on top. Not only are darker tones more flattering for your legs – no matter what height you are – but drawing the eyes up the body with a lighter colour on top will create the illusion of height and elongate the body.
2. Trousers can be the most important component
Carefully considering your trousers will make the world of difference to not only your outfit, but also to the outward appearance of your body. Baggy, low-waisted trousers, for instance, have the propensity to be incredibly unflattering, making you look shorter – and wider – than you actually are. Instead, wear your trousers at your natural waistline and opt for slim, tailored or skinny fit.
3. Keep accessories to a minimum
In the same way that a lighter colour on top will create the illusion of height, accessories on shorter men should always be worn on top, and kept to a minimum. Sunglasses, hats, pocket squares and scarves should fast become your best friends, and anything other than that should mainly be simple and functional.
4. Always consider your proportions
It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to getting dressed and instead, it’s about taking each piece of advice and applying what’s most important to your individual body type. Trends can be a good inspiration point, but what works on a 6’2” guy might not work on you – so take your own proportions into consideration before you test the waters.
5. Fit is everything
To keep your entire outfit streamlined, there are a few easy guidelines worth remembering. When it comes to your suit, keep it slim fit or skinny for optimum flattery: a slimmer blazer gives the illusion that your chest and shoulders are larger and your waist is smaller. Trousers, no matter whether they are chinos or suit trousers, should always fit you properly, preferably be slim-fit and should sit just above the ankle. Your shirt - you guessed it - should also be slim-fit and the sleeves should always sit perfectly in line with your wrists.
6. Visiting a tailor is always an option
Whilst it might be an occasionally costly expense, visiting a tailor is something worth investing in if you’re struggling to find the perfect fit off the shelf. Shopping around for a cheap option is something that takes time, but is worth it. Once you find a decent tailor, hold onto them and use them for everything from your overcoat to your shirt and trousers. Remember: making sure your clothes fit properly should always be at the top of your agenda.
7. Never forget about your suit
No matter what height you are, a suit should forever be at the forefront of every man’s wardrobe. When it comes to shorter men, it can often be your biggest asset and will flatter you from top to bottom. Again, the challenge is to create the illusion of a more elongated body. Suit jacket lapels should be thin, single-breasted rather than double-breasted is always going to be most flattering, and slim ties should be your go-to. From your shirt to your shoes, your entire outfit should be neutral in tone without drawing attention to one particular body part. And finally, add brogues or boots for extra height.
Images shot exclusively for Next.co.uk by Saskia Rumbelow and Jason Lloyd-Evans. The men in these images are not associated with Next or their products.
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