Do Short Men Need Custom-Tailored Jackets?

I’m pretty small — about 5’6″ and skinny. Do I need to just give up on store-bought jackets and suits and start having them custom tailored? I find that even jackets in my “size” from stores tend to be really bulky and blocky in the shoulders, and the sides of them always seem floppy and oversized. Can adjustments help, or do I need my jackets made from scratch?

3 Replies to “Do Short Men Need Custom-Tailored Jackets?”

  1. Whether you need to go to true bespoke tailoring (from-scratch customization) or not depends on what compromises you are and aren’t willing to make.

    If you buy an off-the-rack jacket that fits your chest and shoulders okay you can adjust that into a functional garment. A tailor can take out any shoulder padding that’s looking too blocky on your frame, and if it falls a little too long that can be taken up.

    The problem is that you then have a jacket where all the details are a little out of place and out of proportion. The pockets will still be quite low on your body even though the hem’s been brought up, the lapels will be the original width that was designed for the padded shoulders, and so on. It’s not going to look awful, but it’s clearly not going to be the perfect jacket for your body either.

    If you really want that “damn, his clothes look sharp” sort of easy perfection, then yeah — at your height and build you’re talking custom clothing. I’ve got the same problem on the opposite end of the scale (6’8″ and broad at the shoulder), and I can look just fine in off-the-rack suits (or my father’s loosened as far as they’ll go), but it’s not the same sharpness as a tailored suit.

    At the end of the day it’s going to come down to how much money you’re willing to spend and how much you’re willing to compromise on looks to save cash. There are definitely positive changes for short, slim men that you can only get with a custom jacket, and they do make a noticeable difference.

  2. I did a video on custom jackets for short, slim men over at the RealMenRealStyle YouTube channel:

  3. Yes, you can invest on a custom-made jacket for your body type especially if you don’t find jackets from stores that fit your body type. It’s a waste of money to spend on jackets that don’t flatter your body type and when you go to a tailor, he/she can also give you tips on suits that can flatter you.

    Here’s an article of Buying Tips for your body type:

    Good luck!

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