Originally Posted by CaptainMiguel
Hey all. I am 5'5" and slim with a fit and semi-athletic build. I usually wear a size 29 or 30 waist trousers, depending on the brand and I like my clothes to look tailored and slim but not skin tight.
I've been experimenting a bit with casual shirts and oxfords and have had good results with the following:
J Crew Slim Fit (XS) - I believe these are designed for someone who is around 5’8” so they required some tailoring - sleeve length and shirt length. They fit very well after that. These are probably the slimmest of all of the shirts listed, so watch for this. The arm holes are higher than typical shirts so they work well for a short guy. The collar height on most of these shirts is sort of a medium height and seems to work well for me. A couple of others had a higher collar that I don’t like as much. My only beef with the J Crew shirts is that the button spacing down the front of the shirt is proportioned for a taller guy so, after shortening the shirt a bit, the bottom button lands closer to the bottom of the shirt. Though, this isn't a problem for shirts that I tuck in. www.jcrew.com
Peter Manning Slim (Size 2) - Bought online. I can’t imagine it getting much better than this, right off the bat, with the exception of Jimmy Au. These are almost perfect in length and overall fit but a slightly looser fit than what I prefer so I took mine in for some very minor tailoring around the torso to make them more slim. The collar height is a tad bit larger than the J Crew shirts which is okay. The spacing of the buttons down the front is perfect for a guy my height and just looks right. Arm holes, pocket placement, etc all great. Highly recommended. www.petermanningnyc.com
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece (XS) - Bought online. Similar to J Crew but baggier in the sleeves and torso. A couple of these were great after some minor tailoring (overall length, sleeve length and sleeve width) but others took quite a bit of darting in the back area to remove some billowy sack-like bagginess. This might be okay for someone who likes a looser fit but I had to spend quite a bit of money getting these to look as good as the other brands, which required much less tailoring. Collar height is higher than the J Crew and Peter Manning... probably the highest that I would ever want to go. The button spacing isn’t ideal for a short guy - once I shorten the length of these, the last button looks too close to the bottom of the shirt. When I’m not tucking in, I will usually leave the bottom button unbuttoned so it looks more natural. www.brooksbrothers.com
Jimmy Au's (XS) - Bought in-store. The closest to being perfect right off the rack. Very similar to Peter Manning in that the proportions are all designed with a short guy in mind. The button spacing, arm holes, and pocket placement are all great. Collar height seems perfectly proportional for me. They did some minor tailoring for me right on the spot - just a little bit of shortening and a tiny bit of slimming around the torso. These are probably my best fitting casual shirts at the moment. Again, highly recommended. www.jimmyaus.com
Hugh and Crye (Short Skinny) - Bought online. Out of the box, these probably would fit a slim 5’7” guy perfectly. The fit falls somewhere between the J Crew XS and the Black Fleece shirts. I needed to get the shirt length and sleeve length shortened a bit. The shoulder and torso fit is great. The collar height falls somewhere between Black Fleece and Jimmy Au - totally fine. Arm holes are in a good spot for a short guy and the button spacing isn’t perfect but, after some tailoring, the shirts look more natural than the Black Fleece and J Crew shirts. www.hughandcrye.com
Salt Valley - Urban Outfitters (XS) - Like the J Crew shirts, the Salt Valley shirts fit well and look very good after a tiny bit of tailoring on the sleeve length and overall length. I've taken some out of the sides on a few of these too. Arm holes, button spacing, pocket placement, collar height, etc are all very good. In fact, I think these shirts look more "right" than the J Crew or Brooks Brothers, similar to the Jimmy Au and Peter Manning, but Salt Valley's quality isn't quite there with the other brands I've listed and they offer flannel western shirts as well as patterned spring/summer casual lightweight shirts. I don't think they do basic oxfords, etc. www.urbanoutfitters.com
I hope this is helpful. I'll continue to post my findings.
This is some incredibly helpful stuff! Thank you!
Great info on the Hugh and Crye, I've been thinking about their short and skinny.
I'm a 5'3", 129lbs, fairly slim, not an athletic cut, slight bulge in the belly, LOL. For reference, I generally wear size 29/30 pants - I measure 32" in the waist and a 33" in the bulkiest part in the stomach, just below the nature waist).
My go-to dress shirts have so far been Banana Republic XS in their tailored slim fit line (I **think** the XS tailored slim fit is not available in-store, even in the US). (There is a tailored slim fit line and a slim fit line, which are NOT the same) Chest and waist are as good as it gets off the rack for me. I still need to have the sleeves shortened though. Collar is slightly higher than I would like, but I don't find it a deal breaker. I've always picked up the non-iron, no-pocket ones, so can't comment on the pocket proportions for BR.
I've recently ordered a few Ministry of Supply dress shirts as well -
So far, I've tried the Apollo in Slim-XS and Slim-S, and the Archive in Slim-XS.
The Apollo in XS is a bit tight in the waist area, but the four way stretch helps and is useable. Sleeves need to get shortened, just a tiny bit. My problem is that the collar seems out of proportion. The Apollo in S is better in the waist area (largely because of the way the material drapes, any other material and I think it would need to be taken in) sleeves are definitely way too long already, and for some reason, the collar on this one is much better than on the XS. (I have the white in S, and the light blue in XS) Be warned though - because of the material, the Apollo does not drape or look anything like most dress shirts. Think basketball jersey made into dress shirt form. Definitely not for everybody.
The Archive in XS is very tight in the waist area. Definitely for really slim guys only. Any form of beer belly, and it won't work. Unlike the 4-way on the Apollo, the 2-way stretch doesn't really help much here. Ok-ish, with some slight tightness, in the shoulders, definitely won't work for an athletic cut. Collar on the XS slim is definitely tight. If you wear ties, even if the torso fits, you might need to size up. I'll likely order a Slim - S in the future, and see how it works out. So far, material wise, this is actually one of my favorites, and climate-wise, it works well for the hot and humid tropical weather in my place.
These Ministry shirts are the very first shirts I have EVER purchased where the smallest available men's size were too tight/slim/small for me (save for sleeve length).
The Banana Republic shirts are also the only dress shirts I have which fit well in the torso off the rack.
I've been itching to try some of Peter Manning's stuff, but the prices have put me off a bit. For me, his pricing approaches 'tech wear' pricing already - the way I figure it, I'd rather get something with "better" material and get it tailored. But that's mostly because I live in the third world, and I can basically get pants hemmed for less than $3 USD, and 5 dress shirts taken in on the waist and sleeve, to include sleeve shortening for under $25 USD, so I would imagine my tailor tax is pretty low compared to most of you gents.
BTW, any short gents here wear some Red Wings? I've been eyeing either the Beckman Chukka or the Beckman boot, but am wary of the "infamous" bulbous toe. I have 8D feet.
Although I hear RW's are pretty popular in Japan, so I guess they work for short gents. I also have a pair of the Golden Fox Enzo chukka's, which have a slightly bulbous toe box, which I wear in 7.5D, and it looks pretty great on me. But I *think* the above Red Wings have more bulbous toes and are chunkier.