Saturday, September 22, 2012

Clothes for Short People: Part 1

Being short kind of sucks - especially as a dude. And I'm not talking about the 6' and under, 5'10" and under, or even 5'8" and under kind of short. No, I'm not talking even about 5'6" either. I am talking about being 5'4"-ish, which I guess covers 5'6", so woops. This is also known was the average height of women?

Putting painful operation and heels aside, there isn't much you can do. FML. I'm over it. I grudgingly sit at 5'4" (it's actually 5'3.703795734221524" - I round up because I like to feel big?). So, to make the most of it, do whatever you can to make what you have look "fine". Your personal grooming habits are your problem. I am going to focus on the other 50% of what you present to the world: clothes. If you're feeling hot and nudist-y, well, that's your problem too.

The main problem, though, is that being 5'4"-ish in North America puts you in the minority. Most stores generally make clothes for, how shall we say, taller and wider clientelle. Clothes are usually too long and/or too wide. But don't despair, a growing number of popular brands do appear to be accomodating "us" iat an ncreasing rate. Just don't expect to walk into Sears and find anything that looks "good" on you.

There really is nothing to dressing. If you have cable, please take a few hours to watch a few episodes of What Not to Wear where a dude is the subject. Or stalk Clinton Kelly. Men are "blessed" with having limited options for dress, and the general theme on that show is "wear something fitted" for both men and women. You don't have to blow $5000 on expensive stuff or even stick to more formal attire, which the show centers around. T-shirt and jeans are completely acceptable.

The key is to find clothes that look like they were made for your body size and type. No shirts that dip past your ass when untucked and definitely none that could fit two of you inside. That may involve tailoring, but finding a good tailor, spending money on a tailor, and just taking stuff to a tailor gets pretty annoying and expensive after a while.

And I won't lie, I did some (more than a little, less than a lot?) googling way back when to find solutions to the issue we have before us. One common "fix" I found was to shop in the kid's section. Aside from looking a bit funny for all the wrong reasons at a store, and maybe getting you flagged in some database somewhere, it's a tad demeaning.

The cheapest and simplest solution that leaves your self-esteem intact is to find stores that make clothes that fit you. And hopefully, they don't pillage your wallet.

Funny/sad story moment: There is actually a store in my city that designs and sells clothes specifically for short people. Even the store's shiny and massive sign reminds you that you're "special". I went in once, and never looked back. On the other hand, they mostly sold ludicrously expensive and more formal attire, which was well outside of my budget ($125 polos?). And the styles were for "older" clientelle. No, thank you...

Okay, so no "special" stores and no shopping from the kid's section. What's left?

Find a store that stock's XS sizes. Duh. No shit. OMFG. No. Way.

Because the answer's so obvious, I'll go through some of the finer details hoping for some redemption. But to shoot back a bit, not all XS sizes are built equal. And if you're wondering about S sizes, well, my experience is that you have to weigh north of 200 lb for those to look "fitted" on people around 5'4". I've been described as having broad shoulders, so I do have some meat on me. Also, I have a not trim, but not big mid-section (37.5" chest, 30" waist).

My attention span isn't that long and long blogs are just... boring. I'll highlight some stores in a future post!

Clothes for Short People Part II...

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