Women’s fashion has been all over the concept of ‘dressing for your body shape’ for decades now, and in recent years the men’s style pages have started to embrace it too. This shouldn’t be about any one shape or size being ‘better’ than any other: it just means knowing that certain styles will flatter your particular body better than others.
It’s no different when it comes to height. There’s nothing wrong, or unattractive, about being 5’7” – Tom Cruise was that height when he was billed as the sexiest man in the world! There are now so many labels catering to men at this height that you can afford to be choosy: if responsible manufacturing practices are your priority, for example, you might like Otero Menswear.
So if you’re bothered about looking ‘stumpy’; or you don’t want your height (or lack of it) to be the first thing people notice about you; or if you just want to know how best to dress to suit your shape; then read on: these tips and tricks are for you.
Thoughtful use of color is important whatever your style – but it’s an especially great way to streamline your look and avoid drawing attention to your size.
Although black itself is best avoided, a monochromatic color scheme with contrasting dark shades is a slimming, lengthening look. Liven it up by introducing muted colors like brown, olive, charcoal, plum and navy.
When mixing shades, avoid bold contrasts – you want to soften your vertical line rather than break it up – and keep darker tones on the lower half of your body, lighter on the top. This creates a lengthening effect. A bold way to achieve this look in summer is with dip-dye clothing.
Next, consider fit. If you can get it, tailored clothing is always best – for every body type, but particularly for shorter men.
If not, then bear in mind that slimmer and skinny fits will always add height: go for a slightly tapered cut, with more room at the top and a tighter fit lower down, if you’re not comfortable in skinny jeans or trousers.
Remember that many menswear brands base their inseam length on waist size, which is unlikely to do the shorter man any favors: pooling fabric around the ankle will shorten your silhouette. Consider a brand that caters specifically to shorter men and pays attention to fit, such as Ash & Erie.
Length is pretty important in general: whatever you’re wearing on your top half should help to accentuate your bottom half, and make your legs look longer rather than stubby. This means tucking in button-down shirts wherever possible, and if you can’t – with t-shirts, for examples – then avoid anything that goes down past your hipbone, to avoid looking swallowed up. Also, avoid short sleeves. Remember that the aim is to avoid breaking up your look: long sleeves will give you a sleek, unbroken line.
If you love to accessorize – who doesn’t? – the smartest way to do so is to focus attention on your top half. A scarf or pocket square can add the perfect finishing touch to your look, along with a pop of color (although avoid excessively long or dangling scarves). Meanwhile, anything that draws the eye downward is best avoided: if it’s possible to keep your look super-sleek by avoiding a belt altogether, then do so. Otherwise, steer clear of big buckles. And go for shoes in a color that do not contrast too sharply with your pants and socks.
Rules are made to be broken, of course, and the most important thing is to own your own style. But by knowing these few tricks – and shopping with a retailer who makes clothes with your shape in mind – you can accentuate your frame, and dress with confidence every single day.