Fall Styles for Short Men

Choosing the Best Autumn Colors and Patterns for Short Men, and How To Layer Everything Together

I love fall. It means rich autumn colors, thick and interesting textures, earthy tones and, best of all, layers. Finally, after a hot and humid summer, you can actually layer up without overheating.

The layering possibilities are perfect for shorter men. All those button up shirts that are too billowy? You can just throw on a v-neck sweater or cardigan and instantly hide any imperfections.

Plus it's boot season, and boots always have a nice thick heel. It's like wearing elevator shoes without actually wearing elevator shoes.

But it's not always easy to pick the right colors and patterns. Most guys will recognize “fall colors” when they see them. Like these:

Fall colors

Pleasant, eh? But how do you pick which colors are best for you? And how do you match different colors to create a unified outfit, especially one that flatters the shorter body type?

And how the heck do you layer up the right way??

Let's find out…

Fall Colors

No matter what season it is, monochromatic an analogous color combinations are always the best choice for short men. This is because they eliminate stark contrasts between different parts of your body.

For example, if you wear black pants and a white shirt, you cut yourself in half visually. But if you stick with dark pieces up top, it's streamlined and cohesive:

Monochromatic coloro schemes


Which hobbit looks best? I'd say Frodo and and Merry look taller than Pippin, even though he's standing on a step.

How can you apply this rule to autumn color palettes? You don't have to wear all red or all brown, but try to match colors that are similar. It's easy in fall because reds and yellows and oranges and browns are inherently similar, and they go together nicely.

For example, here are some great monochromatic fall styles from some of my favorite famous short men:

Charlie Day

Source: NBC/SNL

Charlie Day


Daniel Radcliffe

Source: Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America

Daniel Radcliffe wears brown on brown – a chunky knit cardigan over a small patterned button up shirt. His friend also wears small scale plaid, which is a great patterns for smaller men.

Kit Harington


At 5'7″, Kit Harington (a.k.a. Jon Snow) layers effortlessly in blues and browns and greys for a warm, casual look.

Speaking of casual, check out Dave Franco (also 5'7″):

Dave Franco


What do all of these outfits have in common? They incorporate classic fall colors – brown, orange, tan, yellow, maroon – and they're analogous or monochromatic. In other words, you don't see any stark differences between top and bottom halves.

This is actually easier to do with fall colors because they're so rich, and they blend together nicely. Here's another example:

Elijah Wood

Elijah Wood wears a warm, deep red zip up sweater over a colorful button up shirt. Notice how the shirt also contains shades of red. Your eyes move around his figure easily because there are no jarring interruptions.

Go for medium/dark colors that share similar shades and tones. Wear rich colors, rather than colors that are faded or washed out (like pastels, which are more appropriate for spring and summer).

Fall Patterns

Color is one thing, but what about patterns? You're looking for the best patterns for autumn clothing, but you also want patterns that flatter smaller men. As always, keep the scale of the pattern nice and small – micro checks, mini gingham, small plaid, thin stripes.

Of course, solids are always a safe bet too. These fabrics from Modern Tailor are all great choices:

Fall patterns

All of these patterns are small in scale. The checks are less than one inch wide, for example. This helps shorter men look taller by keeping things in proportion. Normal or large patterns will make you look smaller.

Of course, if you're carrying around a few extra pounds, don't be afraid to experiment with larger scale patterns. They won't have the same “dwarfing” effect as they do on smaller men.

Fall Textures

When you think about summer clothing, you think about linens, cottons and other lightweight, breathable materials. Fall fabrics, on the other hand, are heavier, more substantial. They're meant to keep you warm and protect you against the elements.

Try to incorporate different weights and textures into one outfit, like this:

Casey Bickley

Casey Bickley 2


I'm talking about corduroy, denim, flannel, wool and leather. Break out the old leather jackets and boots. Put on some thick, warm socks and corduroy pants. Layer it all together for a comfy, rugged look.

Fall Layering

Lots of guys struggle with layering, but it's easy if you follow two simple rules:

  1. Wear patterns on the inside and solids on the outside
  2. Keep inner layers thin and light, outer layers thick and heavy

This photo of Kit Harington illustrates both rules perfectly:

Kit Harington


Notice how the innermost layer has the most complex pattern and the thinnest fabric. The middle layer is a little thicker. Its pattern is less busy and larger in scale. The outermost layer is a solid block of thick, durable material.

Gentlemen, this is textbook layering. If you look again at the photos above, you'll notice these rules being put into practice.

Side note: Everyone always says short people shouldn't wear horizontal stripes, but Kit looks pretty darn good, don't you think?

If you're just getting into layering and want to play it safe, stick with one pattern per outfit. For example, a plaid shirt under a solid sweater and a solid jacket.

Once you're comfortable with that, you can start to mix and match patterns and layers.

So… You Ready for Fall?

I've always loved fall. The crisp air, the colors, the apple cider. But when I starting dressing well, I realized that fall is also the most stylish season. It's the perfect time to take risks and try new things.

Not a cardigan kind of guy? Try one on. You might like it.

Closet full of blue and white shirts? Get some color in your life! Go buy a yellow plaid shirt or dark orange sweater. You might be surprised at all of the different colors that you can pull off.

Treat all of this advice about colors, patterns and layers as a guideline, but don't be afraid to break the rules and get out of your comfort zone.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the season!

What's your favorite fall color? Let me know in the comments section.

New Posts & Videos Every Week

Never miss a new post or video! Sign up for free updates, and I'll send you the "How to Dress Taller" guide for free.

No spam, ever. Unsubscribe anytime. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Tyler Brooks says:

    Thanks Brock for the tips! Fall is my favorite season, and I’m getting catalogs in from my favorite stores with their fall collections!! Can’t wait!

  2. Great post, sir! Love all the examples of different celebrities doing it “the right way.” Also, I think it’s easy to overthink layering, but the way you’ve spelled out the rules (pattern on the inside, no pattern outside; and thinner layers inside, thicker layers outside) makes so much sense–it’s really very intuitive if you think about it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is an awesome post Brock! Please do one of these for every other season!

  4. Austin Coffey says:

    Great article per usual, Brock! Loving the color wheel and examples. What do you think about the lighter shades of grey and their place in Fall fashion, incidentally? I saw some charcoal in there but am wondering about more “ashy” shades.

    • I definitely keep my light greys going all year round. For fall, I think warm greys (with more brown in them, as opposed to cool grey with blue in it) are perfect.


  5. Great article, Brock! Definitely the most simple and easy to understand breakdown of layering that I have seen.

  6. Great post, Brock- I needed this guidance. I’ll buy one of these shirts. Let us know of any promo codes you can send our way.

  7. Hey Brock,

    Excellent write up! I love the fall, but never have had a great chance to experience autumn colors because I live in Texas. I love layering and cardigans though, and was wondering what color cardigan you think would look best on us shorter men/what do you think is the most versatile? I usually wear jeans or darker color pants, but I have a few khaki chinos.


    • That’s a great cardigan. I’ve been swapping my lighter khaki chinos for darker brown ones. Like “acorn” colored. These, for example, or these. Browns and dark green (like hunter or forest green) are very versatile colors.


  8. SOoO I’m getting married in June and I was wondering if you could give my fiancé some advice on what the groomsmen should wear… Any chance you can do a special wedding blog article? That would be amazing. XOXO

  9. Hey Brock, that was some great advice! However, I’m still curious about skin tone. Does this play a huge role as well? Does it matter?

  10. Yan Xavier says:

    Brock, good evening!! In Brazil, it will be spring, how can I adjust my wardrobe

Leave a Comment

Home · Free eBook · Start Here · About · Resources · Advertise · Contact