Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

June 12, 2006

Short Male Clothing Tips - Live from the Today Show

In a previous post, I had mentioned that Jimmy Au's Menswear was doing a feature on NBC's Today Show to advise shorter guys how to look taller. Alan Au (he's 5'6"), Client Relations Manager, was there live in Rockefeller Plaza this morning to give tips and oversee a mini-fashion show. The full list of tips and the video of the show are here.

I had spoken with Alan on the phone last week, and he was encouraged me to come to see the live taping. So this morning, I hiked down to the plaza and watched the feature live and got a chance to meet Alan. I've included a few of the shots I got from my side angle. Definitely watch the clip to get a better images - plus the other 3 models.

They started with a few video clips of some short men bashing footage, including the notorious Sex and the City short guy episode. Moving on, Alan mentions that there is a proliferation of stores catering to the big and tall segment, but only about 10 stores for short males.

The main theme brought up is to always keep things proportional - you're already short, so don't look stubby! This is true for both men and women. And realize that sportswear such as sweaters, which are incredibly difficult and expensive to alter, can be hard to find for shorter people.

  • For suits, 3-button, single-breasted jackets (only 1 row of buttons) elongate and slim your frame.
  • Pinstripes are great for lengthening.
  • Short people should avoid horizontal patterned shirts.
  • Slim cut shirts are best, as they cut down on fabric. (I find that slim cut shirts are particularly necessary for thin people; not just short ones. Some people may need the regular fit if they're stouter.)
  • Pants should be low rise, meaning shorter distance between waist and crotch, to avoid bagginess.
  • Lighter colors tend to make you look bigger, darker ones for a slimmer look.
  • Avoid contrasting colors for the top and bottom, as they break your line.
  • A shorter (lower) collar can help elongate your neck.
  • If the tie is too long, shorten it from the longer end.
I was particularly impressed by the fit of the casual beach-type clothes on a 5'2" model. The shirt doesn't hang too low, the short sleeves aren't too long, and the shorts are the right length. Typically, when you see a shorter guy walking down the street, everything tends to look too long, or too baggy.

The ideal presentation would have had an extra model of roughly the same proportions for each of the guys he did bring - to model standard clothing that's currently available in menswear (with only hemming so that pants don't drag). It's the subtle, or even drastic, direct contrast that makes people realize what a difference an alteration can make.

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Blogger Steven Swain said...

Those are good tips. I've never been short, but if I was, I'd find that segment useful.

June 13, 2006 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Gene said...

I'm surprised at the advice to wear three-button jackets. I have yet to find one that fits, never mind looks good, as I've felt that three buttons emphasize how close together the buttons are when you're short. (Presumably he's referring to short and wide men?)

It's good to know there are short men of all races, too :)

June 15, 2006 11:01 AM  

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