Dressing well isn't easy, especially for us shorter gents. Most off the rack clothes don't fit, so we have to pay extra for clothing alterations. That's why you should try to buy affordable clothing whenever possible.
One great option for high quality, affordable clothing is Combatant Gentlemen (a.k.a. “Combat Gent”).
Combatant Gentlemen makes men's wardrobe staples like Oxford shirts, charcoal suits and v-neck sweaters. You can get these clothes anywhere, but there are five specific reasons why I'm a fan of Combat Gent:
Reason #1: They own their own sheep
Combatant Gentlemen takes the whole “cutting out the middle man” thing to an extreme. They own every step of their manufacturing process. Even the first one…
Founder and CEO, Vishaal Melwani, came from a long line of tailors. His family owns a bunch of designer clothing shops, so he understand how the industry works.
He was tired of seeing triple digit markups on menswear, especially since he knew exactly how much it cost to manufacture. So he started Combat Gent with the goal of producing designer-quality clothing without the ridiculous markups.
Which is why he now owns several flocks of sheep in Italy.
I don't know about you, but I think this is awesome.
Reason #2: Slim means slim
If you're a svelte gent like me – short AND slim – most “slim fit” shirts are still too wide and billowy (looking at you, J. Crew). But when Combatant Gentlemen says slim, they mean slim.
Their Oxford button ups are some of the only button up shirts I've found that don't need to be taken in. That said, like all off the rack shirts, the sleeves need to be shortened a couple of inches.
shirt | pants | shoes
Of course, if slim fit isn't for you, they also have regular fit shirts that are cut quite a bit fuller. If you're not sure which fit is right for you, order one of each and return the one that doesn't fit as well (for free).
Reason #3: Affordability
Short men who want their clothes to fit properly will always be paying the tailor tax – that extra $10-50 for getting pants hemmed, sleeves shortened, etc. That's why it's so important to buy affordable clothes to begin with.
Problem is, most affordable clothes are crap. They're made from low quality materials, using subpar manufacturing techniques. Many popular stores like H&M and Forever 21 fall into this category. The clothes look okay at first, but they fall apart after a few washes.
Unlike these “fast fashion” brands, Combatant Gentlemen actually makes high quality clothes. In my opinion, they're currently one of the best sources for affordable menswear.
You won't feel bad spending $10 to get your new chinos hemmed because they only cost $40.
Plus, their designs are much less trendy than other affordable brands – like Zara or Urban Outfitters. You won't look silly wearing anything you bought from Combat Gent a few years down the road because it's timeless, basic stuff (like charcoal suits and navy chinos).
Reason #4: Exceptional customer service
For some guys, online shopping is the best invention of all time. For others, it's a total pain. Who wants to deal with shipping and returns? Plus, you can't even try to clothes on before you buy them.
These are all fair points, but it doesn't get much easier than free shipping and returns. Combatant Gentlemen even includes a return label in the box. All you have to do is slap it on and drop it off.
This is easier than going to the store.
Plus, if you have questions about sizing (or anything else), you can actually call Combat Gent, and a human being will pick up the phone. They have customer service reps in-house at CG headquarters in California who are available to chat online or over the phone.
In an age of email-only service (or worse, outsourced customer service), Combat Gent makes it easy to get in touch with questions or problems.
Reason #5: Versatile colors
I love the colors of my olive chinos and ash grey cardigan. Not only do they match great with each other, they match so many other pieces that I already own. Same goes for their white Oxford button up. It's a clean, bright white, and it has that thick, substantial feel that an Oxford shirt should have.
Popular colors and patterns change from one season to the next, but certain designs will always be in style. A blue or white Oxford cotton button down will never go out of style. Same with a slim fit v-neck sweater or straight leg indigo jeans.
Don't get me wrong, I experiment with trends every now and then. But if you're trying to build a complete, versatile wardrobe, most of it will be “staple” pieces. Basic, timeless garments that are highly interchangeable.
This is the kind of stuff that Combatant Gentlemen sells.
Bonus Reason #1: They carry small sizes
They also stock suit pants in size 26 (all the way up to 40). Their shirts and pants are also available in smaller sizes. Like most other stores, they only make pants as short as 30″ (inseam), so you'll have to roll them up or get them hemmed.
Combatant Gentlemen makes high quality, affordable menswear staples. They offer free shipping and returns, so you can try them out risk-free.
What do you think about my Combat Gent outfits? Let me know in the comments.