If your job calls for you to wear a suit (or at least a tucked in shirt and a tie) then unfortunately, the chances are pretty high that you’re dressing yourself for “failure” in terms of accenting your height. And we’ve all heard about the studies that have proven, time and time again, how taller guys get paid more. Knowing that, don’t you agree that dressing in a way that is flattering and keeps you from looking short is worth it? Yeah, me too.
Your suit should always match from top to bottom as much as possible. That means that the material used for the jacket is the same as the pants. Going with what was said about pants earlier, suit pants shouldn’t have cuffs at all. Go with a slimmer cut suit and pant that doesn’t bulge awkwardly. And if you think that I hammered home the importance of getting your shirts and pants tailored then you can be absolutely assured that I am stressing the point of a smartly-tailored suit. Whenever you buy a suit, you need to always go ahead and count the cost of good tailoring in with the final purchase price. Seriously, it’s not that much more and will turn a short guy wearing a frumpy suit into a lean, no-nonsense promotion and raise-demanding machine.
Two words about suits that you should always keep in mind: pin stripes. Add in one more word to that as well: thin pin stripes. Just make sure that the stripes don’t overpower the suit.
Dark colors make you appear taller. Stop looking at that white or light gray suit. Now.
Seriously, there is nothing that will accentuate your lean (or even not-so-lean) figure more than pin striping on a suit. Add in the smart, professional tailoring and you’ll find that it’s difficult to not look like a million bucks.
If you’re in a situation where you want to wear a sports jacket that doesn’t exactly match your pants, then make sure that their colors are as close as possible while remaining complimentary. I, personally, have gotten away with this using a sports jacket that I refuse to get rid of because I love it so much. I showed it to a more “style conscious” friend of mine so that he could help me find some pants to wear with it. The jacket is kind of an “off-tan” color (I’m no good with a color swatch – forgive me) and he selected some pants that I can pretty accurately describe as chocolate colored. Let’s just say that I bought them, had them tailored, and now I have a great combo for any pseudo-formal occasion that comes around such as holiday parties. Seriously, give this a try.
Never, ever buy a three buttoned suit jacket or sports jacket. That extra button will end up making you look squat and short. Give yourself some breathing room by always going with the two-button version of a suit.
Even if the particular suit you’re drooling over only comes with the three-button style, the odds are extremely good that there’s a two button style that matches it somewhere in the store you’re in. The sales guy says that there isn’t one? Snap a picture of the suit with your phone and walk out. Go to a better store and get them to hook you up.
When you’re first trying on your suit jacket, make sure that it falls just past your hips. If it’s too short, you’re going to look awkward and ridiculous. Too long and you will have stumpy legs. Many times you will be better off swallowing your pride and asking for the “short” cut – this will often be proportioned much better for your frame. I won’t say that this is a hard-and-fast rule, though. If the jacket has a small taper at the waist it can create a leaner, longer effect as well. Always, always, always pick a suit that will exaggerate the tie.
For the suit pants, always go for flat front (just like I said in the pants section). Make sure that the rise on your pants is short enough, avoid excessive bagginess, and avoid pleats like the plague. Your pants should be slim, trim, and streamlined.