Dress Tall Rule #1: Don’t Wear Baggy Clothing

It doesn't matter how much your clothes cost. It doesn't matter where you bought them or who made them. It doesn't even matter if they're fancy and dressy or just plain casual.

The only thing that matters is how they fit.

Okay, it's not the only thing. But it's definitely the most important. If your clothes don't fit, you won't look good. Period.

For short men, most clothes are too big. They're either too baggy or too long or both. And this makes you look adolescent and sloppy, like you're wearing your big brother's hand-me-downs. Not a good look for any man.

So how do you avoid looking like a kid who got into his father's closet? Simple:

Don't wear baggy clothes.

Stick to close-fitting, tailored clothing. Think slim, tapered, fitted. You don't have to wear skinny jeans, and your buttons shouldn't be bursting at the seams. Comfort is still a priority here. But try to avoid excess material pooling and bunching around your body.

Just look at these photos of Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno:

Apolo Ono

Image credit: GQ

Doesn't he look a million times better in a suit that actually fits his body? The baggy suit makes him look young and careless, while the fitted suit makes him look mature and put together.

Here are a two simple tips to help you avoid baggy clothing:

Tip #1: Don't Buy Baggy Clothes

This one is obvious. But for short men (especially thin gents), even “slim fit” clothes can be too baggy. Lots of stores have their own names for slim fit clothing, so you have to get to know the lingo.  Avoid anything with a “relaxed” or “loose” or “classic” fit. Instead, look for items marked as “tailored” or “modern” or “slim”.

Even clothing that is supposedly “skinny” will often work for smaller guys. They might be skin tight on men with average builds, but they're slim and comfortable on svelte gents.

See also: How to Find Affordable Clothes That Actually Fit

You might be thinking, “What about me? I'm carrying around a few extra pounds…” or “I have an athletic build, so slim fit clothes won't fit me.”

Fair enough, but you still need to avoid baggy clothes and excess fabric. There's an easy way to do this. Buy clothes that fit in the crucial areas (shoulders, neck, chest and crotch/seat) and then…

Tip #2: Get Your Clothes Tailored

If you're under 5'8″ and you want to dress well, you have to get your clothes tailored. I know it sucks, and it's not fair. Going to the tailor takes time and costs extra money, on top of what you already spent on the clothes.

But it's crucial. If you already get your clothes tailored, you're nodding your head right head. If you don't, I promise it will change your life. Just try it once!

If you want to know how clothes can be tailored to fit better, check out the clothing alterations page.


If you avoid baggy clothes, you will look better than most men. It's that simple! Once you start following this rule, you can focus on other things like wearing the right colors and patterns. But for short men who want to dress well, avoiding baggy clothing is a great place to start.

You can get all 11 “dress taller” rules (along with illustrations) in one place by downloading the free guide:

How to Dress Taller: 11 Crucial Style Tips for Short Men 

Do you wear baggy clothes? Let me know in the comments section!

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