Are you over 5’8″ tall? This article isn’t for you.
X out of your browser window right now. What I’m about to say doesn’t concern you.
Alrighty! Now that those guys are gone…
If you’re 5’8″ and under, I want to tell you guys about a brand that I’ve recently looked into that makes clothes just for you.
If you’re of shorter stature, you know that shopping can be annoying.
If you’re a regular EG reader, you know the importance of a well-fitting wardrobe.
If you’ve studied fit and proportion, you know what a good fit feels like when you have it on.
If you’re pumped to buy some great-looking clothes, but every single time you enter a fitting room, your encounter these scenarios:
- With each shirt you try on, the sleeves are too long, and the body fits like a tent.
- T-shirts? They go past your butt and the sleeves flare out like a pair of 70s bell bottoms.
- Every pair of pants are too wide and long in the legs, making you feel like a boy wearing your dad’s jeans.
- Coats and jackets swallow you whole, even though they’re technically your size.
It’s a struggle that I, admittedly, don’t face very often, but know a lot of EG readers do. That’s why this article is for you.
Sure, I could tell you things like:
- “Get your pants hemmed”
- “Avoid off-the-rack clothing and buy made-to-measure instead”
- “Find a tailor”
And so on. Indeed, we have written articles like that, and while that’s all good advice, shouldn’t it just be… easier?
I mean, average guys can just walk into a store, buy a Medium or a 32×30 pair of pants, and be on their merry way.
Why can’t it be just as simple for guys who are a bit shorter than average?
I first discovered Peter Manning NYC a few years ago when emailing with my buddy, Brock.
Brock has a site that enlightened me many times on the not-so-tall man’s plight.
At 5’9″, I’m a pretty average height (by American standards), and my biggest problems when it comes to fit are that my chest and back are relatively wide compared to my waist, and my thighs are bit more muscular than average.
Editor’s note: Do you even lift, bro?
So I have to size up every once in a while. Big deal.
But when Brock listed out the seemingly infinite number of issues he faces as a guy of smaller stature, it blew my mind. I hadn’t even thought of some of the things he mentioned.
My biggest takeaway was that simply shortening the sleeve or pant legs will not solve the problem. If it were that easy, shorter guys wouldn’t have as hard of a time finding clothes that fit.
It comes down to proportion and balance.
Most off-the-rack clothing isn’t made with the shorter guy in mind, so the proportions can be off.
You can’t just snip snip and trim a few inches off a shirt’s sleeves or body, because every other element was designed with the average body size in mind.
Same goes for your pants.
Sure, maybe you can chop a few inches off the inseam, but the seat, thighs, and waist were designed for someone taller than you, and it won’t be as proportionate as it should.
All this is to say that Peter Manning is a great option for the not-so-tall guys. Everything is proportionately sized down so you don’t have to make any compromises for the perfect fit.
While I don’t happen to be their perfect target customer, I know a lot of my readers are, so I asked them to send me some samples to check out in person.
Here are a few of my favorites:
I’m used to the rough ruggedness of my seven-year-old peacoat. This topcoat, also made from wool, is substantial and warm, but has a soft hand feel, like you’re petting a baby bunny.
That might be an exaggeration, but it’s definitely soft to the touch, which is nice. I can’t say the same for my weathered peacoat 🙂
This is, by far, my favorite casual jacket style. You can wear it with denim and a T-shirt, or class it up a bit with a button-down collar shirt and tie.
Its also fairly weather-resistant for the fall and winter, and could work for the more blustery days if you layer with a sweater.
This pair in particular has the dark denim look and feel without being over-dyed black, which I prefer. Depending on availability, they also have a dark indigo model.
This denim is slim (though not skinny), and straight through the hip and thigh.
They also have inseams from 26″ – 30″, so you’ll never have to worry about excess stacking at the ankles, when what you really want is a clean, streamlined look.
The cut of the Weekend shirt isn’t super tapered, so if you want to wear it with a T or henley underneath, go for it.
It’s also designed to be worn untucked, so expect this shirt to hit right at that sweet spot—not too long, not too short.
This flannel fabric in particular is incredibly soft and would look great with the field jacket.
A word on sizing
Instead of sticking to the typical S, M, L sizing that conventional clothiers use, Peter Manning invented a sizing system of their own to accommodate their customers.
It’s built on a numerical system (1, 2, 3, 4, and 2x / 4x) that is based on a combination of your height and weight.
Pants are sized according to waist and inseam like usual, except you have more options for shorter inseams, which isn’t very common in most off-the-rack stores.
Take a look at their sizing charts here.
Is the struggle really real?
Again, if you’re a man of average height (5’9″+) this suggestion may not benefit you much, but for my not-so-tall readers, you should give Peter Manning a try.
Quick question: Are you below the 5’8″ (American) average? What are your struggles when it comes to finding properly-fitting clothes?
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.