Men’s Q&A: Suits for the Shorter Man

June 11th, 2008

Q:  I recently discovered just how difficult it is to buy suits for shorter guys! I am about 5′6" and have a slim physique. I need a dinner suit for weddings/ formal dinners and another suit for work.

Suit for a Short ManA: GQ hit on the 5 most important things a short man should look for in a suit:
(1) Buy Short Length Suits
(2) Wear your pant legs with very little break.
(3) Visually lengthen your arms by showing a little bit of your shirt cuff.
(4) Peak lapels help to visually elongate your body, making you look taller.
(5) Look for suits with a low stance (the place where the two front pieces of the jacket meet). 

Beyond this, be sure to check out the different “How to Buy a Suit” guides by magazines such as GQ and Esquire, and  GQ recently had a feature of “best suits under $500.”  Esquire has an article on the best suits under $500, $1000 and $2000.  GQ also has a general how to buy a suit guide that I highly recommend.

Now there are plenty of guys that wear $500 suits that look $2000 and plenty of guys that wear $2000 suits that look $500. The trick to making any suit look good (even one that is $500) is tailoring and fit.  As for where to go to find this perfect fit, here’s where I would recommend starting your search. 

$250 and below: H&M (really)
$250-$500: J. Crew, Banana Republic,
$500 - $1000: Hugo Boss (I personally love the fit, but we have different body types)
$1000 - $3000: Neiman Marcus, Saks, or Bergdorf (if you are in New York).   Personally, I have found Paul Smith London to be the best fitting designer time and time again, but again my body type is different than yours (6 feet, 185lbs). 
$3000+: Go bespoke…but I don’t recommend your first suit being bespoke.

Have a great tip about how to buy a suit for a shorter man?  Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured: Suit for a Short Man, courtesy of GQ/

Entry Filed under: Men,Men's,Q&A

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ShellsBells  |  June 11th, 2008 at 5:37 am

    My husband is 5’6 and begs me to go up to the outlets so he can buy suits at Barneys Outlet. They have a great selection (at least the woodbury commons location) of short sizes plus anything older than a few months is 50% off. He has bought several $800+ suits for under $400. One suit a Hugo Boss for $249! He has also bought a few suits at the Saks Outlet Store, Off Fifth as well. Barneys Outlet (Not warehouse sale) is his place.

  • 2. Trisha  |  June 11th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Outlet stores–great tip, ShellsBells! Good to know that the selection at outlet stores is pretty good for the shorter man.

  • 3. Eric  |  June 12th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Buy suits in the boys section. Tons cheaper and fits well.

  • 4. Trisha  |  June 13th, 2008 at 1:16 am


    Are there any brands for boys suits that you particularly like?


  • 5. Suzanne K. Levis  |  January 3rd, 2009 at 3:48 am

    My boyfriend has the same problem. He wears Hugo Boss. Pin striped suite with a great tie they picked out. You may want to consider wearing a shoe with a little chunk of a heal.

  • 6. jammy  |  November 24th, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Hi i am 5’6 my waist is 36 with thick neck and double chin .i want to wear suit for my wedding plz help

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