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The Canonical and Definitive Small Men's Thread

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My 36 thread was moderately successful in drawing the small men out for discussion. I am hoping that this thread can be a universal "small man's" thread in which we can discuss things of interest to us and provide advice to one another on clothing and fit.


Some tips to start us off
-------

Trousers

Size 30 waist pants are abundant but 29 and below are difficult to find. Altering a 30 waist to fit a 29 is cheap and works effectively. Euro 46 size fits me well and I usually wear a 29. To break it down some more:

Brand -- Waist size

Levi's Jeans -- 29
Banana Republic -- 29
Mabitex, Incotex -- 46 EU
BB 'Clark' fit -- 30 (smallest waist they have, but fits great)
BB Fitzgerald -- 30

Note that I've tried on other BB 30 waist trousers and they haven't fit at all. So it may be hit and miss, or it may be a matter of sticking with the appropriate fits.

Try to get something in a slimmer fit, but avoid trousers that ride up into your crack. Some J Crew trousers I own, I think called 'modern fit', have this problem.


Casual Shirts

A great tragedy that afflicts the small men among us is that small sized sports shirts from Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and the like have very small neck size. Something like 14 - 14.5 inch. This means that you will never be able to button the top button (fine on a sport shit). To keep the collar hanging open a bit you may want to look into having the second button moved down a bit. Haven't tried this but it has crossed my mind.

I wear 15.5/32 dress shirts, and the BB / Banana Republic / J Crew 'small' size fits me well generally, but the neck is a little narrow and the sleeves are often a little long.

Always go for slim fit. If you have the option, and you are about my size, go for ultra slim fit. BB makes sport shirts in this cut now.


Dress Shirts

Know your size. Get 'ultra slim fit' shirts from BB if you are very skinny.


Jackets and Suits

I wear a 36R. I have a need for more jackets but finding what I need in my size
is hard. You may have the same problem. I notice that 38 is much easier to
find than 36. Below 36 I would suggest, like many here would suggest, that you go made to measure or bespoke.

Always get something cut trim, 'darted', not a sack suit. It's my opinion that a slim man should be careful to avoid baggy clothing (trousers, shirts, jackets.) Avoid J Crew and Banana Republic at all costs. These may be fashion forward and cut trim, but they are also very cheaply constructed and horrible. BB Fitzgerald fit is ideal for skinny guys, Madison fit is alright as well, and BB will have 3 or so 36 jackets available in their online inventory at any given time.

One of my favorite jackets I own is a tweed one I picked up from Men's Warehouse or some such place. It is fused but has lasted well so far, and I receive a lot of compliments on it. Then again I picked up another jacket at the same place, at the same time, and it is a complete piece of garbage.

Be patient. Pick up quality stuff when the opportunity arises.


Outerwear

I don't have a lot of luck with jackets and suits on eBay, but I've found extraordinary deals (< $100) on excellent coats. I check the 'outerwear' section once in awhile and usually see something nice in my chest size at a good price.


Putting It Together

If you are young and skinny then pocket squares, out of the ordinary hats, and the like will be perceived as 'over the top' and 'compensation'. Same goes for the patterns and colors of your clothing. Stay simple and conservative, avoid fedoras and orange trousers. Everything you wear should fit you well. Nothing should be baggy. Unless you are college age and a hipster; then you can wear anything as long as you do it with confidence. You won't look good, but nobody will care.

I haven't had a lot of luck in thrift stores. And it's probably best to stay away from kids' clothing (for quality, cut, and legal reasons.)
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gatsby View Post
If you are young and skinny then pocket squares, out of the ordinary hats, and the like will be perceived as 'over the top' and 'compensation'. Same goes for the patterns and colors of your clothing. Stay simple and conservative, avoid fedoras and orange trousers. Everything you wear should fit you well. Nothing should be baggy. Unless you are college age and a hipster; then you can wear anything as long as you do it with confidence. You won't look good, but nobody will care.

Have you considered growing a pair of balls?
post #3 of 11
For sweaters, RL and BB kids L/XL fit well

RLBL has 28 pants. Could also try brands like hugo boss, theory, etc.
post #4 of 11
This seems like a personal rant rather than good advice. You claim J. Crew and BR is crap, and then you talk about how great your jacket from Men's Wearhouse is? Hats, pocketsquares, and patterns? Style Fforum is made up of the men who DO wear those things. I do agree with you about orange trousers though.
post #5 of 11
small as in general height or overall size? I'm short but not "small". Some might say I'm obese.

So my advice follows that of Foo: bespoke whenever possible. No compromise.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Gloriosus View Post
Have you considered growing a pair of balls?

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark View Post
This seems like a personal rant rather than good advice. You claim J. Crew and BR is crap, and then you talk about how great your jacket from Men's Wearhouse is? Hats, pocketsquares, and patterns? Style Fforum is made up of the men who DO wear those things. I do agree with you about orange trousers though.

I wear a lot of BR and even J Crew, but the quality of their suiting and sport coats is very low, especially when considering the prices they charge for the stuff.
post #8 of 11
I would disagree. BR may have had earned a reputation in the past for poor quality, but I don't think it stands anymore today. Their most recent collection of suiting comes in the tailored fit, which I have found to fit very well, and the jackets are half canvassed. I agree about the price, but they are overpriced for a reason. They thrive on promotions and discounts for business.They are just creating false value so when a sale comes along you see $60 sweaters for $20 and it's hard to fight the deal. Of course, there will always be the people who stop in and drop their money and don't care about the price. I am a former employee of the company, and it was very uncommon for a customer to have a transaction completely at full price. There are always promotions, every day, for something. My advice would be to shop wisely, and take advantage of their 35-40% off sales.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Gloriosus View Post
Have you considered growing a pair of balls?

+1. I've been wearing pocket squares since I was in high school. Women still like it.
post #10 of 11
post #11 of 11
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