Looking for a t-shirt that fits well on shorter guys? Here’s a list of places that sell shorter length t-shirts.
All too often, short men have a tough time finding clothes that fit well off the rack. Length is the biggest problem. Most garments simply aren’t made with the shorter guy in mind.
This is true for complicated items like suits and outerwear, but it’s also true for the basic t-shirt. Most of them are just too long for men under 5’8″ or so.
The vast majority of shorter guys simply settle for ill-fitting t-shirts, which is a real shame because this totally ruins your look, no matter what brand or colors you’re wearing.
But what are we supposed to do? Do they even make shorter length t-shirts?
Here’s the good news: there are a few brands selling t-shirts that fit well on the shorter build.
But first, we need to talk about t-shirt length…
Proper T-Shirt Length
When it comes to proper t-shirt fit, since most tees have short sleeves, we really only have to worry about the shirt’s length (from the top or the collar to the bottom hem).
Ideally, your t-shirt will end a couple inches past your belt or waistband, somewhere around mid-fly.
If it goes past the bottom of your fly, it’s probably too long.
If it exposes more than a sliver of belly when you raise your arms up over your head, it’s probably too short (usually not a problem for shorter guys).
Do T-Shirts Shrink?
Classic t-shirts are made from 100% cotton, so unless they’re pre-shrunk, they will shrink a bit when you wash and dry them.
Tees shrink up, not in, which means they’ll get shorter by 1-3″ depending on how much heat is used.
This is actually great for shorter guys. I’ve had a few t-shirts that were too long out of the box but fit perfectly after one laundry cycle.
Keep in mind, shrinking a shirt intentionally isn’t an exact science, so tread carefully.
Can you get t-shirts shortened at the tailor?
Yup, you can have your t-shirts hemmed to a shorter length. You can even get them taken in for a closer fit.
This is a simple alteration that’s worth it if you shirt is expensive, or if you just really love everything about it (other than the fit).
Remember to launder your shirt before getting it tailored to avoid any post-alterations shrinkage.
Where to Buy Shorter Length T-Shirts
Here’s a list of places that actually make t-shirts that fit well on shorter guys.
Ash & Erie
When it comes to t-shirts for short men, my top pick is from Ash & Erie. It’s the perfect length and has a modern slim-but-not-tight fit.
You can choose from a v-neck or crew neck, both of which feature a slightly curved hem.
I also appreciate that the “V” isn’t too deep, which is often the case with traditional brands. It’s the right depth and shape for my 5’6″ frame.
The sleeves fit in a way that’s comfortable but flattering, even if you’ve been skipping your bicep curls 😉
Like Ash & Erie, Under 510 is another brand that makes clothes specifically for shorter guys.
In this case, they’re focused on everyone below average height, which is 5’10” in the U.S. You can see my full Under 510 review right here.
Right now, Under 510 only has one t-shirt style, a slim fit short-sleeve henley. It’s available in three basic colors: black, white and blue.
ASKET makes high quality basics, sort of like a more premium Uniqlo or Everlane, but they have a unique sizing system.
They let you choose a size and length, so instead of just buying a size small, you can buy a small/short.
Their shorter length shirts are very short. In fact, the XS/short is almost too short for my 5’6″ build!
If you love the minimalist aesthetic and need a shorter length t-shirt, I think ASKET is worth a try.
Oh, and be sure to check out our full ASKET review 😉
The latest addition to this list, Buck Mason now sells their popular t-shirts in short, standard and tall lengths.
I’ve found that their version of short is actually a bit longer than ASKET, which isn’t a bad thing (an ASKET XS was borderline too short for me).
Keep in mind, these tees aren’t super slim. They’re not baggy, though…more of a middle-of-the-road modern cut.
The colors and fabrics are really nice (especially the slub cotton), and you can choose between crew neck, v-neck, curved hem or straight hem.
I’ve always admired Buck Mason from a distance since their standard t-shirts were too long for me, but I recently tried the new shorter lengths, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite tees.
Son of a Tailor
Speaking of high quality basics, Son of a Tailor is another great place to buy shorter tees.
Like ASKET, Son of a Tailor takes a unique approach to sizing. Rather than just offering different lengths, they offering made-to-measure, custom size t-shirts.
You input a few basic dimensions, all of which you already know, then the SoaT algorithm created a custom t-shirt size just for you.
You can also tweak this custom size by adjusting the fit, length and sleeve length.
I got a Son of a Tailor t-shirt when they first launched, and it left a lot to be desired. But after trying them again recently, I was really impressed with how everything fit.
I’m wearing a SoaT long sleeve tee in this clip:
It fits perfectly and feels very high quality. I’ve washed it a few times, and it’s held up nicely so far!
If you’ve really had a hard time finding t-shirts that fit well off the rack, you might want to give Son of a Tailor a try.
Peter Manning NYC
Like Ash & Erie, Peter Manning makes clothes specifically for shorter men.
Their Vintage Crew T-Shirt is made from Pima cotton and is free of any extra details (curved hem, chest pocket, etc.).
I’ve worn a few of these tees over the past couple years. They’re very comfortable, and the size 1 length works for my build, but I wouldn’t want it any longer.
I have noticed that the collar tends to get a bit wrinkly after washing, maybe because of the lightweight fabric. You could probably iron out these wrinkles.
Also, these Peter Manning t-shirts aren’t as fitted as Ash & Erie tees, so if you like a slimmer fit, go with Ash & Erie.
What about the kids’ section?
Some shorter guys are able to wear youth size t-shirts, but in my experience, this is pretty hit or miss.
If you try on a t-shirt from the young men’s department, you’ll often find that there’s not enough room in the chest and shoulders, while the rest of the fit is too boxy.
The length may be perfect or even too short for anyone over 5’3″ or so.
If you are going to try kids’ sizes, I recommend Ralph Lauren and J. Crew.
Don’t Settle for Poor Fit
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to shorter length t-shirts, so you shouldn’t settle for tees that are too long.
Most of the companies listed above have generous shipping and return policies, so don’t be afraid to try on a few different brands before making your decision.
Did I miss any other brands making t-shirts for short men? Let me know in the comments below!
I find with most t-shirt brands, an adult Medium is the fit that I’m looking for around my shoulders, neck and chest, abdomen, etc. however the shirts are always too short.. falling just at my belt-line with my arms relaxed. I’ve tried “long-line” t-shirts and they are SO much longer they end up just looking silly. I wish brands would list the shirt length. Does anyone know any brands who shirts are slightly longer, but not the silly drapery length of the long-line shirts?
Thanks for this! Great recommendations and useful discussion about shirt length in particular.
I can also second the Uniqlo t-shirt recommendation in the comments, for really small guys at least (I’m 5’4″). The Peter Manning t-shirts fit me even better and I’m hoping they hold up over time.
One idea for future posts: it would be great to learn more about arm opening, sleeve length (with short-sleeve shirts) and shoulders, and how to deal with fit issues in these dimensions as well.
For example, showing a t-shirt where the shoulder fit is off and what that does to how the sleeves fit. Or one where the sleeve/arm opening is too wide and it creates that awkward flaring-out effect.
Mike Jessie says
How do you navigate to the pages where you can pick out and order T-shirts?
We’re not a shop. You have to click the links in this article and buy the shirts from whatever brand you click on.
Hidden gem: Gildan Softstyle.
This is the slim fit/athletic shirt line from Gilden, which makes blank apparel for screen printing or embroidery (say for a company or sports team). They happen to be of awesome quality and fit on their own, come in tons of colours, and have a price that is hard to beat.
I am 5’5″, slim build and wear a small, which fits better than any other t-shirt I own. Note that they arrive a bit big, but after 1 wash and dry cycle, they shrink a bit and fit great.
Amazingly, they are often <$5/shirt at most of the online blank apparel websites. Hard to believe you get quality for that price but they are surprisingly good. Remain in good shape for 2 years of heavy wear before they begin to get a bit pilly. Highly recommended!
I often buy here (which also has a video of the shirt) but you can find them anywhere online. https://www.blankapparel.ca/t-shirts/short-sleeve-t-shirts/gildan/64000-softstyle-reg-t-shirt
Teresa Van Slyke says
Why would I purchase a tee shirt that needs altered?
For $35 + $ they should fit OUR requirements
Bill Lum says
Since I live in Canada, we don’t have access to the brands you have mentioned, but have discovered that H&M (sz. small reg. fit) works for me. The tees have a slightly fitted look (not slim fit), and will fit perfectly after the first wash. They have lots of colours and it’s my go-to tee!
Just looked at 510 Henley. There is a whopping 4-inch chest difference between the M-L. Do you know why since there’s only 2-inch difference between XS-S, and L-XL and 3-inch between S-M.
Just side note about PMNYC. Last year on your recommendation I bought TRIBECA FIELD JACKET – OLIVE, the one advertised with George Stephanopoulos wearing it over a V-neck pullover, in a 4X. It fit fine, especially sleeve length, but the sleeves were snug. Fortunately, with some wear the sleeves loosened some, but I still wouldn’t wear it with a sweater. For that reason, I won’t buy from PMNYC again.
Also, do any of the t-shirt makers you mention make a Henley with rounded him like the ones Jason Momoa wears?
Hanes sells a multi-pack “slim fit” white V-neck t-shirt. I’m 5’6″, 170 lbs. and they fit me perfectly. The “slim fit” is almost like a compression shirt. I don’t recall the cost, but since I bought it at my local Target store, it couldn’t have been too expensive.
A couple of comments to add. Bonobos makes a soft everyday tee available in various lengths including short and in slim or standard fits. The short/slim is comparable to Ash & Erie with a little more tailored silhouette and lighter weight. I think they’re production has slowed due to COVID because they haven’t restocked in a while, but they don’t appear to be discontinued. Also, are you ever going to give us a little insight as to what happened between you and PMNYC? They used to be at the top of almost every list of yours like this, but not anymore. I don’t really get it because the quality and style of their clothing still seems top notch when comparing with what’s available for men under 5’9”. IMO, U510 doesn’t compare to PMNYC in either one of those areas and yet they’ve kind of replaced them on a lot of your lists. I agree that A&E is the best right now for tees and they keep adding more styles of tees which I love.
Thanks for the tip, I need to try Bonobos tees. I tried one of their shorter length button ups not too long ago…body length was good, sleeves were a little long (but overall better than most off the rack shirts). From your description, Bonobos tees sound like Buck Mason and ASKET in terms of fit.
I didn’t have time for both TMM and PM. It ended up being like two full time jobs, and I wasn’t ready to leave TMM behind. Plus, I can be as objective as possible now (hence PM not being top of every list).
I wouldn’t know about any of these brands if it wasn’t for your site. Haven’t had to pay the tailor tax in a long time because of the info you put out there. Not to mention the time saved on having to get stuff tailored. Gonna try Buck Mason now. Excited to see more brands making short options available.
Some of these T Shirts are so overpriced. I bought some Peter Manning and they are nice but are very thin. Maybe thats just the design now a days, but I was expecting something with a bit more thickness. Honestly, Ive tried all on this list except for Ash and Erie which I will most likely try this summer. But… I pretty much have stayed with Uniqlo for shirts. They still have a good fit for shorter guys and are like 2-3x less than the ones on this list.
I wouldn’t say that expensive = overpriced, but I get not wanting to spend $30+ on a t-shirt. Uniqlo makes amazing tees for the price, but the length seems to change every year (this year happened to be perfect).
Thank you, great advice… I’m wondering if there are more main stream brands like Hanes etc.. that makes T-shirts, not necessarily in a shorter length, but just the ones that you don’t tuck in… Who the hell talks in their T-shirts anyway? Men over 70? Thanks again… It’s so frustrating… But actually the last T-shirt that fit me well it was at Old Navy… It was a cotton blend T-shirt, supposedly a fitted look, But the dimensions were pretty spot on… 26 inch length is just fine… Anything 27 inches and less work because I can usually shrink them down a little bit. Anyway, thanks again
Uniqlo supima cotton tees are the only off the rack tees I’ve found that aren’t too long before shrinkage, but they change from one season to the next (this year was good for shorter guys).
Again, thanks for the style advice, but you keep missing something. You do an excellent job on focusing on fitting the smaller guys, but skip anything for the shorter guy that isn’t small. There are those of us 5’8″ who CAN’T fit into the smaller T’s. For a short guy to find a T that fits a chest that’s over 48″ you may have to get a shirt long enough that it’s almost a miniskirt.
Have you tried the brands on this list? Most of them aren’t super slim fit and are geared toward guys with average builds.
David Williams says
Appreciate the work. You’re saving me lots of time and money putting my style together. Not only what to wear but where to find it. Thank You!
Great post! Is there a flannel shirts equivalent post? I would love to get my hands on a decent flannel button-down for 5’5” guy
did you find any sites?
I ended-up buying flannels from Uniqlo. They fit me well (5’5″ 145lbs) – shoulder seam at the right place, perfect sleeve length and bottom of shirt was at mid-fly. The minor downside is Uniqlo’s clothes are not the best quality but good fit and affordable price won 🙂 Good luck with your purchase.
Doesn’t Roger Federer wear Uniglo tennis clothes? So does Uniglo make his tennis outfit a higher quality than their standard for non-celebrity customers? Brock, you care to answer that question?
I’m not sure why you want Brock to answer that, but yes, with very few exceptions, athletes get custom-built attire/equipment that is a higher grade and better fit than anything we can buy off the rack.
I’m sure Brock has a blog somewhere on his site that talks about this, but just to rattle off a few off-the-rack brands that come to mind, Ash & Erie has the best selection of flannels for guys under 5’9” and there is always a 20% code that can be used. Peter Manning carries some nice flannels on a seasonal basis, but they usually only come in standard fit. They work perfect for me and my build at 5’5”/160 lbs. Bonobos usually carries flannels in short length and multiple fits. Tailored and slim fits work best for my build and I never have to get them tailored.
Innocent Kure says
Thanks so muchly for the updates?
You are showing us some great examples in this article on how to wear a T-shirt in the right and proportional way. properly. This makes such a big difference.
Since learning this advice from you I have had all my T-shirts and shirts tailored and shared this information with my customers as well, they appreciate the fact to make them look wearing their clothes better. ( shorter made T -shirts are not yet available in NZ)