Dress shirts are an important part of your appearance. Even if you don’t have to wear one everyday, you still need some to turn to when the occasion calls for it. However, if you’re a shorter man, dress shirts can be tricky. Often, the most important parts of the fit to you, simply aren’t there with regular dress shirts.
The good news is that more and more companies are expanding their lines to include plenty of dress shirts for short men. So if you’re getting sick of the dress shirt struggle, we get it. That’s why we’ve created this guide so you know how to find the absolute best dress shirts for short men.
Bess Dress Shirts for Short Men | 2020 Must haves
When you’re a shorter guy, sometimes it can feel like finding a decent shirt means you have to choose between style and fit. First, you don’t have to worry about the fit with this shirt. The shirt length is trimmed to avoid all that extra, hanging fabric that regularly sized shirts can create. Likewise, the sleeves are trimmed to avoid the cuffs slipping over your wrists and looking sloppy. They’re also more fitted than most other shirts, which helps maintain that tailored fit all along your arms, without baggy fabric.
Many shirts for shorter men keep the shoulders slimmer, but this shirt also has a more trimmed, streamlined back. It does wonders for the overall fit and appearance of this shirt. It has a nice, subtle checked pattern of white against navy. The pattern is actually inspired by an ancient Asian board game. It gives you just enough flash, without being overdone or distracting from the rest of your appearance.
- Tailoring through arms, shoulders, and back is high quality
- Gives just enough visual interest with the pattern, but isn’t overwhelming
- Small details, like semi spread collar and red accents
Nimble Made also has some great classic white shirts here.
This is a classic for upscale, more formal occasions. Every guy needs a good go-to shirt for the occasion, and this one is an absolute staple. However, unlike the classic dress shirts you may be used to, this one is tailored to fit men under 5’9”, with proportions that flatter your stature. It hangs shorter, so you don’t have to worry about that extra length that adds to a perception of less height.
The mid section of this shirt is more streamlined and fitted to your torso, which helps to create an elongating effect. It’s also designed with less broad shoulders, to help even out your proportions and create a ‘taller’ look. It’s great quality, which you can feel immediately; if you’re going to dress it up, you will definitely want the construction to match. This comes in both a classic blue and lighter blue, both of which you can seamlessly pull off for any setting.
- Very carefully tailored to create even, elongating proportions
- Shorter in length, a noticeable improvement on other shirts
- Classic, sleek colors work for dressy and more casual occasions
3. No-Iron Long Sleeve Dress Shirt For Short Men – White
Just because you want to look good doesn’t mean you always have time to give your shirt a fresh press before you get going. With this shirt, you get it all. We all know the white button up dress shirt is an absolute classic. In the past though, you’ve probably noticed these shirts can require a fair bit of maintenance to keep them looking as smart as they should. Unfortunately, white dress shirts can look a mess if they aren’t fresh and pressed. That’s where this one comes in.
You’ll never have to worry about ironing this shirt. Here’s the bonus: it’s also stain resistant. It’s also machine washable. If you’re looking for the most low maintenance way to stay looking sharp, you’ve found it in this shirt. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s tailored to fit men under 5’9” (it even lists this as a feature on the product page) and has several different options for sleeve length.
- No ironing or dry cleaning needed, very low maintenance
- Easy to keep clean and stain resistant- a must have for top white dress shirts
- Tailored to fit shorter men and provides options for different sleeve lengths
4. Non Iron Dress Shirt - Purple End On End
If you’ve been looking for shirts for shorter guys, you’ve probably seen plenty that cater to guys under 5’8” or 5’9”. But if you’re not in that range, you might need a shirt that has better options for you. That’s just one thing that really makes Peter Manning stand out.
There are a ton of different sizes to choose from, and their size 1 comfortably fits guys around 5’1” and 5’2”. That’s right, you can get a shirt that fits without a trip to the tailor. It’s a great dress shirt to wear for everyday business casual situations, and has a more spread collar to match. It also omits the front pocket, which gives it a nice, streamlined look. It’s made of wrinkle free materials, so you’ll always look clean pressed, even without ironing. The color is a nod to trending yet always classic pastels, so you get the style you want and the fit you need.
- Wide range of available sizes, even for men around 5’2”
- Looks refined and everyday business casual
- Adds subtle, trending color to any outfit and matches easily with other pieces
This Preston shirt is an instant head turner. You’d be hard pressed to find a shirt with the same level of design spec, whether regular sized or sized for shorter men. The shirts are tailored to fit men under 5’9” and there are plenty of sizes to choose in between.
You’ll love the new take on the classic blue; it’s not just that dressed up light blue. It combines two different tones of light blue that easily complement each other in diamond Jacquard patterning. Blue and white paisley accents draw attention to the under cuffs, underplacket, collar stand, and gusset. It’s an impressive accent to the rest of the shirt, and it brings a little something extra that really makes you standout.
You’ll also find small hints of the paisley at the back yoke, so there’s always something eye catching about this shirt, from any angle. Add to that navy buttons, and you have a sophisticated shirt you won’t see anywhere else. You’ll love how well the tailored fit accents all your best assets, and adds dimension to create the illusion of added height.
- An innovative, chic take on the classic blue by adding a two tone diamond pattern
- White and blue paisley accents create a dressier, more pulled together look
- Fits shorter men well, with a variety of different sizes
Considerations in Buying Dress Shirts for Short Men
One of the biggest concerns for shorter men looking for dress shirts is sleeve length. Sure, you can roll them up if they’re too long, but that comes with other issues. Not every situation is appropriate for rolling up your sleeves, and if the sleeves are significantly longer than they should be, there’s only so many times you can roll them up.
Luckily, there are also a couple of solutions. First, you can get a shirt designed for short men, and that allows you to choose a sleeve length based on your measurements. However, you can also try a pair of sleeve garters, and while they may be more old school, that can be an accent too, if you’re going sans jacket.
Longer dress shirts aren’t always a problem. Since you’ll likely be tucking it in, you won’t see the extra length in most cases. However, if it’s nearing drama with the extra length, tucking it in can make you uncomfortable, or leave too much extra fabric out.
You can look for shirts that are shorter, or get it tailored to trim some length off. If you the ‘shorter shirt’ route, make sure it isn’t too short. To test it out try this: put the shirt on, and button it up. Tuck it into your slacks as you usually would. Then raise your arms above your head. If it stays tucked, it’s perfect. If it comes untucked, you need a longer shirt.
The fit of the shoulders is another place to pay attention: you want the seams to lay as near as possible to the highest part of your shoulder blades. This prevents a crumpled look, and it’s also something you can’t have a tailor fix after buying the shirt. This is often a problem but can be solved with slim dress shirts.
Back and Chest
Shorter men typically look better with a slimmer, more tailored fit. Not every guy is comfortable with a slim fit however. You can keep your comfort level though, but still look more put together. Just opt for a shirt with a slightly slimmer fit than you might usually choose: a slight change can make a big difference here. It takes bulk off your midsection, and looks more streamlined. As a result, it gives the illusion of elongating your torso.
Hints on How to Dress Taller
In a nutshell, slimmer tailored clothes make a big difference. Too much extra fabric adds bulk to your silhouette, which can actually make you look shorter.
Ditch the things that make you look shorter. Just like baggy clothes put emphasis on width, so do waistcoats, vests and belts. The draw the eye away from your vertical length, and make you appear wider, not taller. The same goes for long hair. If you don’t want to cut it, opt for a sleek topknot, which exposes your neck, and creates a few extra inches to your height.
A lot of slacks tend to have a sort of fold, or bunch where they hit your shoes. Stay away from that at all costs. It makes your legs look shorter, and breaks up the attention to your vertical appearance. Pair pants without a break with a slightly shorter suit jacket to create the appearance of longer legs.
As with the rest of our tips, the key is creating a style that draws people’s eyes up, and adds vertical interest. Placing embellishments and accessories higher up (think upper chest level and above), does just that. Whatever your personal aesthetic, there’s an accessory to match. Just be cautious to avoid overdoing it, which will negate the benefits.
For example, a well coordinated pocket square is great; so is a nice lapel pin or a unique tie pin. Combine them all together, and your look is getting into ‘eclectic’ territory.
Proper Styles for Short Men
When it comes to pants, there are things to avoid. As we mentioned, you should avoid leg breaks. Avoid pleated pants while you’re at it; these also make you look wider, not taller. Also avoid cuffs.
So how should you wear pants? Look for slimmer fits, darker colors, and a high or medium crotch drop which instantly elongates your legs.
What about your suit jacket or blazer? To elongate your look, go for slimmer lapels and keep the sleeves slim too. While the suit jackets you’re used to probably cover your rear, it isn’t ideal for short men. Go for a shorter jacket; it may feel strange at first, but it adds a lot of length to your legs. Rather than lower buttons like many jackets have, try and find a jacket that buttons above your navel.
Keep the fit nice and slim, especially through the sleeves and torso. Watch your sleeve length, you want just enough length for your sleeves to stick out a quarter inch from your jacket. Look for sleeves with higher armholes too, since it creates a leaner look.
Short Men’s Usual Fit Problems
Short men are just like anyone else, and that means short men have body types that run the gambit. If you’re both vertically challenged and somewhat stocky, you’re dealing with different issues than the guy that’s stick thin and lacks some height.
One of the most common problems that short, husky men have to deal with is pants. It can be hard to find pants that fit all around and don’t leave you with super tight areas in one spot, and super baggy spots in another. Then you also have to bargain with pants that might be a perfect fit around your waist, and pool around your ankles because of their length.
When it comes to shirts, you have another set of factors to try and work with. If you have a broader chest, chances are that when you find a perfect fit for your chest, the sleeves are baggy and bunch up. Or, if you’ve got a bit of a paunch, most shirts that would otherwise fit are just way too long.
Another common problem is that sleeves are often too long, and that applies no matter what your body type is. Of course, slimmer short guys have to deal with baggy sleeves more often than not too.
Oftentimes it’s difficult to find clothes that are well proportioned. Going hand in hand with that dilemma, is design. Unfortunately short guys can have trouble finding not only a shirt that fits, but that has flattering designs. Details can be too large, and create more issues with proportion, and make short guys look shorter as a result.
As a short man, you might have to make some style choices that really accentuate your body and create a better vertical effect. Luckily, it’s much easier to do that these days than it was decades ago. Plenty of designers are getting into the game and producing some really great pieces for short men.
While you may not always need to get a brand designed for short men, there are more than enough things you can do to add to your height. Remember, the fit is one of the most important things. Don’t be afraid of a slim fit!