Big tips for the short man

Big tips for the short man

Q. I am only five feet five in height. I know there are some shoes I can buy called “elevator shoes,” but I don’t know much about them and am not sure I’d like how they would look. Please let me know what clothes I should choose that will make me look taller. 

A. You don’t have to be concerned about how elevator shoes would look. They don’t look any different from standard shoes, because an important part of the way they are manufactured is making sure that the lifting devices are “hidden.”  Thick sections of the insoles (known as shoe lifts) are built into the heels to make the wearer appear taller, to “elevate” him. The part that increases his height is completely hidden inside the shoe.

When I looked online for famous and attractive men who are short, I was amazed at the impressive list of names in every field from the movies to business and politics. There certainly is no reason to be uncomfortable about being one of them. Even so, you can look for clothes that are perfect for you, that suit your own perception of your body. It may not coincide with the world’s view – you may indeed be the only one in town who thinks you are perilously short or that it is a terrible deviation. But, since you believe it, and since it bothers you and you wish to appear taller, here are a few guidelines for ways to dress, besides elevator shoes, that will optically increase your height.  

Men who are short should, whenever possible, use vertical lines and details to draw people’s eyes upward, giving the illusion of greater height. And, of course, avoid horizontal lines and patterns. 

Features to look for: 

  • Jackets and blazers that are natural-shouldered and single-breasted with center vents
  • Monochromatic color combinations give the illusion of a few additional inches.
  • Jackets and trousers should be of similar tones. With gray trousers and a navy blazer, the trousers should be dark gray, avoiding a sharp contrast between the two. A light/dark contrast between top and bottom will seem to cut you in half, making you look shorter.
  • Choose straight-leg trousers that are not too short; wear them with a slight break.  

Fabrics to select: 

  • Light or medium weights
  • Dark colors will make you look taller; they are also slimming
  • Patterns should be small or medium size, never large or over-scaled. 
  • Pinstripes and chalk stripe suits have always been recommended for this purpose, but currently they are a step too formal, and are not as “in style” as they used to be. 

Other garments:

  • Belts should be similar in tone to trousers; avoid a too-sharp contrast.
  • Sweaters work well for casual wear; they cover the horizontal line of a belt or the waistband.
  • Wear braces (suspenders) if you feel comfortable wearing them.
  • Choose button-down shirt collars or ones with a narrow spread.
  • Wear shirts tucked in for a streamlined look.
  • Choose long, narrow ties; no bow ties. Bold, bright ties accent your face.
  • Wear boots. The heel is expected.Be sure your clothes are well-tailored and fit you well. And, as your mother no doubt told you, pay attention to your posture. Standing up straight makes a man look taller.

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