The Long and Short of It: Finding Clothes for Tall and Short Men


Ill-fitting clothing does not give a good first impression; men wearing high-water pants, or baggy sweaters with sleeves too long for them, can look unkempt and unprofessional. In this regard, tall and short men have one thing in common: It’s awfully hard for them to put together a complete, functional wardrobe that fits right and is comfortable while presenting a stylish, impeccable look. Unless a man has the funds to order custom-tailored garments, which can be expensive, his choices may be limited.

One solution for short men is to buy off the rack and have the clothing professionally altered, something that works for suits and dress slacks, though not as well for a lot of casual attire. Luckily clothing stores are beginning to pop up that specialize in fitting the short and super short man, from slim to portly.

Short Sizes, Inc []., a men’s clothing store founded in 1972, offers a comprehensive selection of clothing for men 5 feet 8 and under. Everything from dress suits – including designs from Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, and Carlo Morelli – to dress and casual slacks, sweaters, dress and sport shirts, shoes, nightwear, and outerwear is available at their retail store in Cleveland, Ohio, their mail order catalog, and via their online store. Their website offers a list of the “Ten Best Dressed Shorter Men” (presumably customers), which includes Regis Philbin, George Stephanopolis, and former secretary of labor Robert Reich. The president of Short Sizes, Inc., Bob Stern, himself is 5’2″ and began the company out of frustration at not being able to find good quality clothing for himself. He describes the retail store as “the nation’s most extensive and complete store catering exclusively to the shorter man,” and adds that the mail order business “exceeded our store several years ago.”

Tall men confront the same difficulty finding clothes as shorter men, but obviously don’t have the option of buying clothing that’s too small and enlarging it; they need garments correctly proportioned for them at the outset. A variety of stores specialize in clothing for large and tall men ranging from casual to dressy.

King Size Direct [] is an online offering both casual and dress clothes for big and tall men. The store bills itself as “more for less for big and tall men” and offers a wide range of clothing and accessories at reasonable prices. Dress shirts and slacks provide attractive attire for work, while a large collection of casual wear includes garments suitable for athletic events, including tees, sweat pants and shirts, jogging suits, and swim trunks. A football fan? Get jackets, tees, sweats, belts, and other clothing and accessories with your favorite NFL team’s logo.

Shopping for someone else?

It’s sometimes difficult to buy clothing for someone else, even more so when the recipient is hard to fit. Both Short Sizes, Inc., and King Size Direct offer gift certificates, available for order online, so that you can introduce one of these specialty stores to your favorite short or tall man and let them choose their most flattering styles.

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