Top 7 Style Mistakes That Make You Look Shorter Than You Really Are

Top 7 Style Mistakes That Make You Look Shorter Than You Really Are

Top 7 Style Mistakes That Make You Look Shorter

As shorter guys, we ideally want to be comfortable with our height. I’m sure you’ve heard people say “you’ve got to own it!” more than a few times regarding your smaller stature. But we know that it's much easier said than done. Like every guy out there, we want others to perceive us in a positive way, and everyone has flaws that make them insecure.

Sure, some short guys like Kevin Hart exude confidence and embody the cliché that confidence is the most important trait for a man. But for the average guy, we need to do our best and pay attention to details that allow us to feel our best in our own bodies. The objective is to be comfortable and happy in our own skin and once that is achieved, confidence and charisma will follow suit.

As a clothing brand, we want to take care of the very first factor people will use to make judgments about you; your clothes. When your clothes fit well and look proportionate on you, people will notice, whether unconsciously or in the form of a compliment. And since so many shorter guys have struggled to find clothes that fit them, we set out on a mission to provide short men with stylish jeans, shirts, pants, shorts, and more, at an affordable price.

Through our research and innovation, we’ve identified a number of style or fashion mistakes that make the shorter guy look shorter rather than taller. Remember, by dressing in slimmer and properly proportioned clothes, you will look leaner, taller, and project a more confident image.

So here is a list of 7 commonly made style mistakes men are making that make them look shorter than they really are!

Cuffing your jeans

Guys cuff their jeans for two reasons ; either because they like the look or because their pants are literally too big on them! Regardless of why you cuff your jeans, a cuff will shorten the way your pants and legs look, creating a visual break in the pant before it hits your shoe. When your legs look shorter, the person wearing the pants also looks shorter. Finding a pair of pants that fits correctly though can be difficult - *shameless plug* That's why it’s so important to buy pants from Under 510! Our pants come in inseams starting at 25” so you will be able to find pants that fall perfectly and rest on top of your shoes. Be sure to check out our comprehensive blog on 'How Skinny Jeans Make Short Men Look Taller, Thinner & Younger'.  

This exaggerated cuff shows how cuffing your jeans makes your legs look shorter.

Bold patterns

Wearing plaids and checks is a great way to add some fun to your outfits. But unfortunately there are a lot of bold patterns, like a plaid flannel, that can make a guy look shorter. Another example is wearing horizontal stripes that make shorter guys look stumpier whereas vertical stripes will elongate your silhouette and make you look leaner and taller. This doesn't mean to avoid wearing patterns, but if you do, try to keep it to muted colors and small scales. So opt for a navy gingham over the big Burberry plaids.

Big bold checks and plaids will make anyone look larger due to the fact that the pattern will warp as it moves and hugs your body. This will make you look shorter overall because it gives your torso a stumpy look rather than a sleek one. (

A sleek black button down shirt really emphasizes the ability of solid shirts to elongate and slim down your look. This is especially important for shirts for shorter guys. (


Similarly, loud, bright colors can often swallow up the wearer. On the other hand, black is always slimming and sleek looking. Why? With brighter color tones, the clothes become the focal point of your appearance, instead of your face and silhouette. Also, brighter colors show more color variation in the fabric as it moves and wrinkles so it will look more pronounced on you. Going with navy, black, maroon, or charcoal gray tones for example will help your face and physique become the center of attention which will give you a more distinguishing and confident look.

Bright colors, like this sunshine yellow, give off far too large of an impression, which can shrink the person wearing the shirt underneath. (

Darker tee shirts, like this one worn by David Beckham, give a slimming and sleek appearance that allows your body to give a taller projection. (

Long jackets

This goes for any type of jacket, whether it be a trench coat, topcoat, parka, or suit jacket. If your jacket is really long, both in the body and the sleeves, it will make your torso look large, but your legs look very small. Being a shorter guy means we have to be very careful about proportions with the way we dress. We want to look harmonious and balanced. With longer coats and jackets, our legs will look a lot shorter than the top half of our bodies. So always pay attention to the lengths of your jackets and coats and make sure they don’t make your legs look too short compared to your torso!

See how the long sleeves and body of this suit really shrink the person inside of it. (

Trench coats are typical assassins of style for short guys, as they usually drown the person wearing them. (

This blazer fits just right in length and sleeves. A well fitting jacket will make the short man look taller because it gives you more square shoulders and a cinched waist line. (

This shorter length trench coat compliments your smaller physique rather than swallowing it. (

Shoes with big soles

They say the first thing people notice about you is your shoes. Being strategic with footwear choices is extremely important when it comes to increasing your perceived height. Shoes and boots with very thick soles, like elevator shoes for example, can give you physical lift but also accentuate your desire to look taller. They can also look chunky which can make you look wider.

On the other hand, low profile shoes, that is, shoes that have very thin soles and low ankles, will look sleek and make your legs look longer, but won’t do you any favors with giving you any lift physically or visually. The key is to find shoes that are in the middle, that have a bit of a sole and heel to give you some height, but that aren’t obnoxious or loudly declaring it. Try to avoid sneakers with flat soles, and go for something with some foam in the footbed so that you get a little boost where you need it!

A sleek dress shoe or boot, will elongate the foot and give it a slim profile. (

These iconic boots are a no go for shorter guys due to the clunky toe and chunky sole. They will draw the eye to the bottom of your silhouette. (

Big clunky shoes can make it look like you are trying too hard to combat your height. (

Large Shirt Collars

It’s also important to make sure your collars aren't too large. Shirts from Under 510 feature slim cutaway collars that subtly frame your face without taking up too much space. There are a lot of brands that are making bold and tall collars that can take up a lot of real estate on your upper body. A slim collar will compliment a shorter man’s build. If the collar is too big, it will shrink your upper body and make you look smaller. Always opt for thinner more modern looking collars, with a spread cutaway that will frame your face, and look proportional to the rest of your torso.

A slim collar, like on this shirt from Under 510, is the perfect collar for a shorter guy.

This memorable shot from Ocean's 11 accentuates the way an overly large collar can throw off the proportions of your entire outfit. (

Big tie knots

Related to your collar size is the size of your tie knot. Ideally, the tie knot should be proportionate to your shirt collar and lapel width. For shorter guys, a full Windsor (the large triangular knot) is going to be too large for your body. Better to go with a half Windsor or something that is sleeker and slimmer overall.

Many guys think that a big, thick tie knot somehow projects a more confident individual. But this isn’t true. Rather, it shows a lack on understanding of dimension and proportions and can often look like you are overcompensating for your height. You are much better off going for a slim, neat knot that shows class and looks more appropriate on your body type. Check out our own collection of Under 5' 10 ties here.

This gigantic tie knot on this ESPN news anchor is large enough to play goal keeper! (

The always-sharp Daniel Craig shows off the clean look of the half-windsor tie knot - we also love the collar bar! (

And that completes our list! I’m sure we’ve missed some, but these are just some of the more common mistakes we find when outfitting ourselves and our shorter dude community. The biggest takeaway is to remember to always be aware of your own proportions and understand how dressing to your physique can be your greatest ally when making an impression. Try not to overcompensate for your stature; rather take pride in the way you dress and use your style skills to give yourself a taller impression. We offer an in-depth sizing page. Be sure to check it out!

As always, Under 510 is here to supply the jeans, chinos, shirts, and more for short men. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us at - we want to hear from you! Let us know what problems you face with your clothing as a shorter guy and what we can do to help!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.