This is an interview with Rajesh Inparaj, a short and slender man with impeccable style.
- Height: 5’4”
- Body Type: Slender/thin
- Jacket Size: 32*
- Shirt Size: Extra Small*
- Pant Size: 28×28 to 29×29*
- Outwear: XS or XXS
*Like most well-dressed man, Rajesh has basic alterations done no many of his shirts, jackets and pants.
Brock: Describe your style in three words.
Rajesh: Business, Preppy, Sprezzatura.
How'd you get into men's fashion?
I have always had an affinity to dress well, look good, or care for how I looked. Though only in high-school was when I started to really take ownership of my style and develop it.
I used to emulate my old cousins because they were ‘cool’, but I then started to watch GQ’s ‘what to wear’ videos. This provided me with basics in understanding style, fashion, and clothing.
By Junior and Senior year of high-school I started to become picky about how clothes fit as well started to invest in tailoring.
By the time I came to college I had a decent grasp of fashion, style, and understanding clothing and menswear as whole.
Now it was a matter of developing my wardrobe and continuing to add to what already existed.
Fit is so crucial for business casual and formalwear, especially for someone like you who travels, hosts parties and does plenty of public speaking. Do you struggle with finding clothes that fit?
Yes and no. I do struggle to find things that fit off the rack, but at the same time I tailor almost everything, so generally I make things fit when I buy things by virtue of tailoring.
Though more recently companies do produce smaller sizes so this has made shopping easier for me.
Are there 2-3 brands you tend to wear most often?
Banana Republic and J. Crew.
Do you go to the tailor? How often?
I go to the tailor for pretty much everything I buy. When I purchase pants and blazers, I account for tailoring costs when making the initial garment purchase.
What's the most common alteration you get?
Pants: Waist taken in, leg tapered, and end slimed to about 6.5”.
Blazers: shorten, if I can. Sleeves shortened and taken in. Waist/body taken in.
Shirt: If I tailor a shirt, it’s the sleeve length, slim down the sleeves and the body.
Any advice for beginners who want to upgrade their appearance?
Advice would be to build a wardrobe that is long lasting. In other words invest in clothes that will never lose style.
Also, find your fit and/or a tailor you feel comfortable with. Lastly, don’t neglect investing in good shoes.
Brock: Has your height every been a source of insecurity?
Yes. Growing up I was always the shortest and smallest in my class. So I was prone to getting made fun of for my size.
Though this never got to me it was m the feelings that I was missing out on ‘something’ as a result of my stature.
Now, my concern is people taking me seriously because of my stature. I accommodate this by carrying myself as confidently as I can, wearing clothes that make me feel good help me with this.
Does being a man of modest height make it hard to dress well?
It can by virtue of finding things that fit and look good. Though once you find brands that both fit you and you enjoy, then problem solved.
Though sometimes you may find a piece you absolutely love, but they don’t carry your size, which I have found is a part of the journey of being a smaller/shorter person.
Any style tips for shorter gents who want to look sharp?
Tailoring pants a bit slimmer, shorter hem, and getting higher waisted helps give a perception of longer legs. But be careful, because there is a fine line with looking like you’re wearing the wrong size vs. your intentional tailoring tactics.
Not wearing a belt can help as well, because it doesn’t split your body in half. Showing a little extra cuff in blazers can also help, but again be careful to make your tailoring look intentional vs. looking like you’re wearing the wrong size.
Do you have any shorter style role models (for example, I admire Donald Glover and Aziz Ansari, in terms of style)?
Other than The Modest Man, I follow Ethan Wong. Otherwise I don’t have specific style role models that are shorter. I follow social media of people who’s style I like regardless of height.
Brock: What are you currently ‘up to' in life?
Rajesh: I am a full-time student, though this is my final year. I will get a BA in Psychology and BS in Neuroscience.
What's next for you?
Next step is finding a job and graduate schools. I am pursuing a career around education. I will first start teaching high-school and go from there in terms of entering administrative roles.
Whether that is public school system, private school system, university system, or government I don’t know.
If you won the lottery and didn't need money for a while, how would you spend the next year of your life?
Invest a portion of it. I would budget traveling to Britain and Italy and get bespoke everything. Another portion would go to school debt. Maybe a new car, because I wouldn’t mind driving an Audi S7.
Lastly help my family financially, and help the communities around me in terms of humanitarian efforts, educational opportunities, or other immediate needs of a given community.
See more of Rajesh's outfits over on the Street x Sprezza blog.