We get it: dressing for your body type, whatever it may be, can be a real pain. Shirts are often made for the ‘typical’ body type, and if you're a short and stocky guy, finding a shirt that you look and feel good in can be a nightmare. But don't worry—we've got you covered.
Luckily, there are plenty of dress shirts out there that are made to fit guys like you. They'll give you extra room in the shoulders and chest (so you don't feel all squished in), but they won't be too long in the body or sleeves (so you don’t look like a kid in adult clothes).
These shirts are out there somewhere, just waiting to be adorned by their next short king.
Read on, and we’ll give you some tips in general for how short and stocky men should dress, as well as introduce you to the best dress shirts for short stocky guys.
How Should a Short and Stocky Man Dress?
Everyone looks better when they dress for their body type, but as a short and stocky guy, you have to be careful about how you do it. It's easy to go overboard with the clothes you wear when you're trying to make yourself look taller or slimmer – and sometimes it might backfire, and you’ll have the opposite of the desired effect.
You don't want to look like a little kid drowning in an ocean of oversized clothing.
But don't worry! We've got some tips for how you can dress your best and make yourself look taller – without it backfiring.
We suggest darker colours—they tend to make everything seem longer and leaner. The same goes for darker fabrics like tweed or wool; they'll help keep things slim while still being warm enough for cooler weather.
If you want some extra height in your outfit but don't want to go overboard on colour combinations (because let's face it: sometimes we just want something simple), try wearing a leg-lengthening shade on top (like light blue) and then pairing it with darker pants or shorts.
You should also match your outfit with darker shoes. This will make your legs seem longer.
We’d also recommend wearing shirts with vertical stripes instead of horizontal ones. Horizontal stripes create an optical illusion that makes people think they're seeing a wider, more squished torso; making you look even shorter.
Vertical stripes have the opposite effect and make your body look longer than it is.
You should also opt for long sleeves rather than short sleeves when possible. Long sleeves make your arms look longer, which in turn makes your torso look shorter in comparison (and therefore makes your legs appear longer).
You should also opt for a slim fit instead of a baggy fit as a general rule—especially if it's a button-down shirt. The more stuff there is around your waist area, the shorter it looks; so if you have long legs and a short torso, a slim fit will elongate those legs and draw attention away from your torso.
Shirts should be long enough so that they cover where your pants or trousers end, even if standing upright; this way there's no awkward bunching around thighs when walking around.
All this being said, what’s most important at the end of the day is being comfortable, and feeling confident in your clothes.
What Shirts Should Short Guys Wear?
If you're a short guy, the last thing you want to do is buy a dress shirt that will make you look even shorter.
But it happens all the time: you get caught up in the latest trends and buy the wrong clothes, or maybe you just don't know what to wear, and suddenly you're looking like a kid wearing his dad's clothes.
Luckily there are a few simple rules to follow when selecting a shirt as a short guy.
Slim fit or athletic/muscle fit dress shirts are a great choice for shorter men. If you’re a shorter man with a medium build, then slim-fit shirts are probably your safest bet.
This style will help you look taller, leaner, and more athletic than you really are. Even if you’re very slender, skinny fits should be avoided as they will likely hug too closely to your body, making you seem smaller than you are.
Short guys with medium or stocky builds should consider muscle or Tapered fits. With TAPERED shirts, you’ll get a shirt with enough room in the shoulders and arms to accommodate your muscles, but also one that is correctly fitting at the waist.
With a tapered fit from the shoulders down to the waist, you’ll avoid a baggy look that will make you look much smaller than you really are.
You could also consider wearing a shirt that's tailored at the waist and has a bit of extra fabric in the bottom hem. This will help give you a longer torso, making it appear as if you have more height.
Get vertical stripes: Vertical stripes make you look taller because they draw your eyes up and down your body instead of across it horizontally. This is one reason why short men often have success with wearing suits—suits are full of vertical stripes!
What Should Short Guys Avoid Wearing?
1. Avoid shirts that are too baggy. Some short guys like to wear their shirts loose, but a shirt that's too large for you looks sloppy and makes you look heavier than you are.
2. Avoid shirts that are too tight. If a shirt is so tight that it shows every muscle, it will make you look like an out-of-shape bodybuilder rather than an average guy who just happens to be short and stocky.
3. Avoid long sleeve dress shirts with extra-long sleeves. I know we’ve already mentioned as a general rule that long sleeves are better than short sleeves for shorter guys, but excessively long sleeves should certainly be avoided. Excessive length in the sleeves can make your arms appear shorter and narrower than they really are, which isn't what we're going for when dressing up!
4. Regarding shirt collar choices, collars with a spread of more than 120 degrees and a width of more than 2.5 inches should generally be avoided. These wide collars will have a widening effect on your torso, making you seem smaller than you actually are.
5. Try to avoid jeans that have a lot of stretch—they tend to bag at the knees over time, making them look shorter than they really are. You should also avoid pants or trousers with pleats or cuffs, which can make your legs look wider and squatter than they actually are.
6. Long pants with cuffs and high-top sneakers will make you look like an elementary school kid—not a grown man. If you're going to be wearing pants, go for something that's fitted at the ankle and tapered at the top of your leg. This will give you a more streamlined silhouette from head to toe, which will help make up for any height discrepancies between your torso and legs.
Brands For Short, Stocky Guys
Most of the clothing brands in the ‘short men’s clothing’ market focus on clothing for small men of small and medium builds. But what if you’re a shorter guy with a larger, stockier, or more muscular build?
That’s where TAPERED Menswear comes in. Their shirts feature a unique tapered design which is wider at the shoulders and narrows down towards the waist. The result? A shirt that is accommodating at the shoulders, and doesn’t bag awkwardly at the waist or make you seem shorter than you actually are.
If you’ve struggled over the years to find shirts that fit your frame then the wait is over. With TAPERED Menswear, you’ll get a fit that is perfectly designed for your shorter, stockier frame. You’ll enjoy range of motion and flexibility around your shoulders, arms, and back; whilst your shirt will be sitting flush to your waist.
It’s time to ditch the little kid in his dad’s clothes. Get a shirt that fits you correctly and knows how to showcase your hard-earned physique to the world.