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How Smaller Men Should Wear Dress Shirts

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man in striped shirt

man in striped shirt

It’s a fact that style, when used properly, can make a huge difference when it comes to your appearance. If you’ve seen before and after pictures of some of the style transformations (either here or on other websites) that are happening over night with guys, you know the dramatic difference it can make.

One of the tougher challenges I’m often faced to solve for guys is that of height. Being short sucks, I’m not gonna lie about it. Even I, despite my average height, sometimes wished I was taller.

There are a lot of tricks you can use to make yourself look taller. From not wearing a belt to wearing shoes with high soles to wearing similar contrasts top to bottom.

But one of the most important clothing items you need to consider when dressing to look taller is the dress shirt.

Learning to pick the right dress shirts is important regardless of your height. Because, if you truly want to be stylish, you’ll have to wear them both at work and outside.

First thing’s first. I’ll answer “the t-shirt” objection:

But George, I don’t wanna wear shirts. I just don’t feel comfortable in them. I love my t-shirts.

Shirts have an advantage over t-shirt: they come in vertical stripes. You’ll never see t-shirts in vertical stripes and you need them to make yourself look taller.

So if you’re looking to look a little taller, you’ll have to trade comfort for it. Don’t worry, you’ll learn to be comfortable in just about any item of clothing I recommend you.

Ok, the stripes are the obvious thing about a dress shirt that make you look tall. Next is the collar.

A narrow collar is better than a narrow one if you’re looking to gain some height benefits. Wider collars widen your frame while narrower ones make it look longer.

OK, things get a little complicated. But not too much. In casual encounters, it’s best to keep your shirt’s first button unbuttoned. This causes the two ends of the collar to spread out, widening your frame. In such cases, even narrow collared shirts will make your frame look wider.

Though they are rare, there is a type of shirt that won’t have this problem: the mandarin collared shirt. Mandarin collars are missing the pointy edges that most dress shirt have so unbuttoning the first button at the top won’t make your frame look wider.

If you can’t find those mandaring collared shirt, see if you can find shirt with button down collars. These will keep your collar more in place when you unbutton that first button.

Here’s a great looking stirped shrit with a button down collar:

striped shirt with button down collar

You’ll find a variety of superdry shirts on cult.co.uk.

Problem solved. Just be on the look out for such types of shirts and try them on. They’re particulalry flattering if you have a round or a square face.

Third is the fit. A regular fit shirt will make you look wider, while a slim fit one will not only make you look taller but also younger (if that’s what you’re going for).

I left color last because it’s the one you need to be most careful about. Darker colors and black will make anyone look smaller and slimmer. You’re looking for the exact opposite: to make your body appear bigger and stronger, so go for shirts in bolder colors and white.

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George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based between London and Tucson, Arizona he enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Jan February 20, 2013

    Hi George! Thanks for a nice article. Being a smeller guy myself I always welcome some style advice that helps me to stand out in clubs. I like the trick with brighter colors.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    George February 21, 2013

    You’re welcome, Jan. One neat trick I forgot to tell you about dress shirts is to avoid the ones that have a front pocket.

    A front pocket will actually contribute to your looking smaller, believe it or not. This is because of the horizontal visual lines that it creates.

    Reply
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    Evans Lifuka August 26, 2013

    On a gray suit and pink solid shirt what colour of a bowtie would be appropriate?

    Reply

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