How to dress when you are short

Advices le 14 June 2013 par Joe the "tire-remover"

Ready-to-wear really started developing after World War II. To produce clothing in higher quantities, sizes start to get standard then. They were defined thanks to measurement studies. In a general meaning they were representative of the population though not including all specificities. Short people could have difficulties finding 28 trousers, XS tops or UK 5 shoes. Except when they know where to find some!

The right fit

As an introduction, let’s review few advices to get a better look according to the body shape. Always think it is often better to dress in a simple though elegant way. Prefer blazers to sweatshirts.

If you don’t find the perfect fitting piece, know that a good seamstress can help you get a better fit for a shirt, to short a jacket sleeve or to slim trousers legs for a few euros (most of the time for €10-20). Avoid long clothes like coats shrinkng your silhouette. Favour short jackets (over the belt) or at least not longer than your butt. In the summer, prefer shorter shorts wearing them over the knees.

A v-neck t-shirt with a blazer. Picture: this model comes from YesStyle

A v-neck t-shirt with a blazer.
Picture: this model comes from YesStyle


As far as possible, it is better wearing fitted clothes when you are short. In general, this works for all body parts among which tops. Large t-shirts, polos or shirts would give the impression you stole them from your older brother (even if you are the older). Avoid too narrow collar t-shirts. Prefer wider ones like v-necks.

For jackets and coats, bet on short pieces. Again, a too long jacket would make you shorter than you are, as they “cut” you legs in two. Wear single breasts 2 buttons jackets (even 1 button) to enphasize a scoop neckline. Be tough of the size, checking the same points you would for a suit: shoulders, lenght, sleeves and avoid eye-catching pieces like double-breasted jackets.

Where to find some?

The first tip is to check from major brands which propose wider size options. For example from Banana Republic, Gap, H&M, Uniqlo. Think about the kids area where you can sometimes make nice discoveries. Online, you will find many choice from the English ASOS and Topman. Also check the Asian website YeStyle! We recommend brands such as American Apparel, Eleven Paris, The Kooples as well. But go for tailored clothes if you can afford it.


Wear fitted trousers like slim jeans which will get your silhouette look taller. Find the right balance avoiding to choose too skinny trousers, because if you have thin legs, people will notice them. Never hem your trousers as the goal here is to try making your legs look longer.

These Levi's 510 jeans are available from size 27

These Levi’s 510 jeans are available from size 27

Regarding shorts, better choose over the knee models. Again, long shorts will make your legs look shorter. Wide shorts like baggues would give a “crushed” render. So, whether it is for casual shorts or swimming trunks, just check their length.

Where to find some?

American Apparel
April 77
Cheap Monday
The Kooples


Again, finding the right size for a pair of shoes is no easy task. You could want to try elevator shoes. But quality and price are never really met. Tell yourself it is better paying the price for a reliable and beautiful pair than putting your money into some tallish dreams!

Marvin & Co offers size UK 4. Here is the Actua

Marvin & Co offers size UK 4.
Here is the Actua

Don’t try too look someone you are not. Avoid items such as oversized shoes (taking half a size over your real size is no good tip), massive shoes, pointed shoes or square shapes. Prefer rounded toes and always bet on quality. Most of all remember that shoes (nice like ugly) are the first thing you notice when you meet someone new, so better making a good first impression.

Where to find some?

If msot sneaker brands propose small sizes, it gets complicated to find formal shoes. Note that Clarks or Marvin & Co offer UK 4-5 sizes. Well, if you whish to go for elevator shoes to get 5/10cm taller, Bertulli and Don’s Footwear are a top choice in that field.

Colors and patterns

We have now come to the hardest part of this article, as we are going to focus more on style than we did with practical things. Until now, we agree that it was always necessary to favour elegant clothes and choose the size punctiliously. An important thing is to prefer them in plain colors, sober colors and discreet prints. Because quirky matchings or flashy patterns would draw attention on you in a bad way, as it is better to look for a certain consistency and try to get a taller visual render. According to this perspective, horizontal patterns enlarging the silhouette should be avoided for vertical prints.

Finally, keep in mind that, if you are short but elegant, people will always remember you as someone more elegant than short :-)

par Joe the "tire-remover"

Retrouvez les conseils de Joe the "tire-remover" sur son site French Truckers

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