Dressing for success – a guide for short, thin men

As a young man in the early days of the internet boom, I was immersed in online support groups for short men. As a slim man of only 5 feet 2 inches (157.5 cm) and weighing no more than three silk hay bales, I heard every mocking tease and utterly hilarious short joke that this world of giants envisaged. Being such a vertically challenged person has certainly had some tough moments, but a wise man once told me, “Rock what you’ve got”. This simple phrase has always inspired me to maximise my potential in any way I can. To be a compact, well-dressed, confident and powerful package.

I find a recurring question most fascinating. What makes short, skinny people attractive to women?

You don’t have to go far to find an almost endless stream of studies and articles that proclaim how tall rulers rule; how every woman alive on the planet only likes tall and powerful men. But if you look past all the self-aggrandisement, you’ll see that these stereotypes wither under scrutiny; the world of female needs is much more complex than what you’ll find in any magazine, blog post or article, including this one.

Having said that, there is a fairly common denominator between the different desires of over half the world’s population, and that is confidence. Not manufactured or illusory confidence, and certainly not machismo, but an innate, subtle bravado; an effortless, natural confidence. It may be the product of several factors, such as bearing, personality and intelligence, to be sure. However, it should not be underestimated that fashion choices play an important role in the overall ‘sexiness’. This applies to men of almost every size and shape. But this article will focus on the smaller end of the human body size scale.

These are a few of the important steps I have followed throughout my life in my quest to relate to the opposite sex. Not every piece of advice needs to be followed exactly, mixing and matching the advice that suits you and your fashion choices. They are more guidelines than rules. Incorporate some of these into your own journey and I guarantee you will feel better about yourself and your chances.

1.) Wear flattering clothes

This is the most important thing I can think of when making fashion suggestions. Loose fitting clothes on a small person look like a kid playing dress up with his dad’s clothes. Either that or it implies that you don’t bother to put in the effort to find the right clothes. Either way, it’s a bad image. When I buy clothes, I pay particular attention to how they sit on my body. I avoid trousers that are too baggy in the crotch or jackets that are baggy in the armpits. Anything that appears baggy only emphasises a petite frame. People’s eyes are always biased towards smaller people, so if in doubt, don’t give them the option.

A good rule of thumb is to buy designer clothing on sale. Savvy shoppers will notice that designer clothing is often designed for a narrower variety of body types. Once I found a brand that always fit me, I was always on the lookout for sales. Before long, I had a wardrobe full of clothes that fit me like a tailored glove. Speaking of tailors, use them! If you find trousers or jackets that fit, use them. If you find trousers or jackets that fit almost perfectly, but something doesn’t, a tailor can work wonders to bring them up to spec. This extra effort will subconsciously illustrate your attention to detail, which is one aspect that will make you stand out from the crowd of tall but plain trees.

2.) Dark and simple colour themes

The first thing people do when a new human figure comes into their view is to make a flash assessment. Taking steps to control this assessment is key to making a good first impression. I always try to wear dark clothing on the bottom half of my body and lighter clothing on the top half. This tends to draw the first impression as the eye starts to move down and then up, creating an elongated effect. Conversely, dark shirts and light trousers will have the opposite effect, making you look shorter as the eye initially moves downwards.

The monochrome theme suits me well. Where possible, I tend to minimise visual clutter and excessive colour contrasts in my outfits. This doesn’t mean strictly grey tones, although that is an option. It mostly means if you’re going to use blue, use a gradient shade of blue. If you like green, go from dark to light as you move around your body. Keep it in the same wheel of the palette. Once you’ve researched the current seasonal colour varieties on any search engine, you can form a better idea of what colours to choose. Red can be paired with brown; yellow can be paired with green. There is a season for every colour combination. Things like that. It’s all a reflection of the idea that you care about your appearance. Most people, including women, like the fact that you care.

3.) Vertical pattern

If dress shirts, stripes or corduroy are your favourites, make sure they have complementary vertical patterns. Unlike horizontal designs that make the wearer look wider, vertical patterns complement the slight frame and make the wearer look taller. You want to choose shirt patterns that offer some sort of uninterrupted vertical design, with stripes that are wide enough to be seen at a glance, but not so wide as to create large gaps. Paying attention to details such as the seams of the trousers meeting the vertical pattern on a textured shirt can be very helpful for a uniform look. It doesn’t have to be stripes; there are many new and unique patterns to choose from for those who don’t like the striped life.

Even diagonal patterns can work in some cases, as long as they are vertical rather than horizontal. The important thing is to create long, unbroken lines from your head to your feet. This goes with the previously mentioned colour scheme and will make the eye scan you from head to toe. I think you can see a common theme here, don’t you? Controlling where the viewer’s eyes wander when they look at you. The eyes follow the lines as much as they follow the colours. Make those lines work for you and make sure they all work together in a vertical direction.

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