Slim-Fitting Suits for Short Men

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by arottler, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. arottler

    arottler Member

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    Although I've found that many men on this forum have a similar dilemma, mine has an added dimension that I can never seem to address. I'm 5'5", 125lbs, and have never owned, rented, or even tried on a suit that even approached fitting me well. I only recently found a shirt that fits (the Express 1MX extra-slim fit in a Small), which despite the dubious quality is the only shirt I've ever really been happy with the fit of.

    As a point of reference, I was recently given a 36R tailored jacket from the Gap as a gift, and although I appreciate it's fitted nature, it's still roughly an inch too big in every dimension. For someone my size, if things aren't VERY slim, and VERY fitted, they make me look absolutely ridiculous. The shoulder pads felt too big, the sleeves were too baggy and too long, and there was way too much space in the chest and mid-section. The whole thing felt big. Also, I'm not super diminutive for my size. I run a lot and have a well-toned upper body, but the jacket was quite simply too big.

    Being a college student, I don't have the money to get a suit built for me from scratch, and I'm having a hard time even finding something that fits closely enough to be worth having tailored. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I might look for a small, slim-fitting suit/coat that stands a chance of fitting decently off the rack? I haven't checked Banana Republic or Jos A. Bank yet (I've gleaned that those might be good options?), but despite having shirts in my size, Express didn't seem to have much to offer in the suit department. Also, I know that the Thom Browne look isn't exactly popular here, but in terms of jacket fit, that's sort of what I'm looking for. For what it's worth, I'm not trying to fit into any kind of corporate-appropriate scheme, just need to look nice for some weddings and other formal events this summer.

    Thanks for any and all advice!
     


  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Thom Browne look would be perfect for you in fact, you are petit men size and that's what they catered for

    For a cheap beat ass option, have a look in uniqlo and Top-man

    A 'Skinny suit' would be appropriate for your build and suitable for work, you are young and they employer will understand that

    Also there were a couple of club monaco suit on B&S division, might be worth to have a look if you know you measurements
     


  3. Poindexter

    Poindexter Senior member

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    I 'm your size. 5'5", 135lb. The stuff is out there. You just have to keep looking in the smallest sizes everywhere. I've found great fitting jackets (the critical part) in Macy's, Sears, the thrifts, all over.

    They're rare. Don't think that because you try on a 36S or a small and it's too big that that's the end. There's a great variance is sizes brand to brand and model to model within a brand, especially in the small sizes. Just keep trying stuff on. After a while, you get pretty adept at just holding the thing up on the hanger and scoping the deal out - 'Wait, this sucker looks like my fit!'

    Fit through the shoulders and chest is the matter. The sleeves will be too long. The length of the skirt is sort of mutable; three inches above yer knutsack is ugly but fashionable right now, and an inch below is a little edwardian but you can rock it if you solid. You solid, right?

    Lots of looking, lots of fail. Just like shopping in the thrifts generally, don't get discouraged or bored. Keep looking. I got six awesomely fitting jackets. Learned how to take up a sleeve, too!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012


  4. matt1

    matt1 Well-Known Member

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    I find that going the custom made route is easier, especially for a petite frame.
     


  5. mjd

    mjd Senior member

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    I have a slim build like you - try out boys 18r - cut like a 34S. Major brands like BB sell boys sizes at a much lower price than the regular men's sizes but same quality generally.
     


  6. arottler

    arottler Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts guys!

    add911: Great tip; I have a peacoat from topman that I bought while I was living in the UK a couple years ago and it fits great, so I'll check them out. Assuming the overseas shipping thing won't be a huge debacle.

    Poindexter: Do you recall what brands you've had some luck with? Just so I know what to keep an eye out for. I've looked at thrifts and never had any luck, but I'll keep at it.

    mjd: I'll check out BB boys suits for sure, I think we have a few dealers in town. I just assumed that, as with all other boys clothing, the one's large enough for my height are made for..how shall I say.."husky" boys, so they still fit really strangely. I'll take a look though!
     


  7. ianGP

    ianGP Senior member

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    Hey there, welcome to SF!

    I'm checking in at 5'5 145lbs :)
     


  8. Calnell

    Calnell Member

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    BB has a decent MTM program. You might have better luck with that vs boy's section
     


  9. arottler

    arottler Member

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    Thanks. Glad to know I'm not alone. Haha I finally decided to give my everyday attire a bump in class, and it's been all the hassle I expected. Slowly but surely though, I'm building a collecting of things that actually fit.

    Next up: some AE wingtips.
     


  10. Jokerman

    Jokerman Senior member

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    I feel your pain. Im a little taller but weigh in at 118. I went around Boston trying to find a suit to fit me and went to the usual suspects zara, club monaco, etc. I was luck enough to find a 34 at H&M (which is near impossible) and still ended up paying $100 getting it tailored down. Dont bother with Banana Republic. Jos A. Bank will just laugh at you. If I had more time I would definitely get a suit made which can be done affordably. Try Thick as Thieves
     


  11. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    I'm also 5'5" but I probably have a bit more upper body muscle on than the OP because of the swimming and weights I do, so I generally fit a 36S pretty well, and shirts with a 14.5" collar and a tailored (or extra slim) fit are fine. Is there no chance that you could work on your upper body a bit until you fill a 36S, which is still not always that common, but at least findable?

    The biggest problem for me is actually trousers rather than jackets. I prefer mine narrower than normal because of my height, but even on 36S suits, the trousers seem to be designed for people who are tall and thin, so they are just too wide and either look too loose or just make me look squat if you just get them cut down. Sure, you can have them tapered, but they either don't look so good like this or the tailoring costs for extensive modifications start to end up making it not worth buying OTR at all.
     


  12. Essential

    Essential Senior member

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    I...think....i...just...found...my...twin... (except I'm a soon to be college student)

    I'm getting a suit from Jcrew's ludlow store soon, hopefully it fits me well. They have a really tailored cut so try it out.
     


  13. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Yeah Thom Browne / Brooks Brothers Black Fleece should work well for you.
     


  14. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

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    I am 5'10" with 110lbs. I have broad shoulder. My shirt size is 37(TTS) and pants 28 ( I am between 26-27).
    The OTR suit that fits me is CK(grey label) . In Australia/Asia CK quality is far superior that what is sold at us or eu. Try the CK if you have access to them.Funny enough I wear a EU 44 (US 34R) on CK. Where as any other brands 34R Its impossible for me to even get in. And some 36R shoulder too small and other waist too big. Other OTR suits have similar fitting is Dolce & Gabbana. But they are expensive .
    I think you should spend few days or weeks..months walking is shopping malls and try all different brand . In this way you will find a perfect fit. A suit has to be perfect fit. A well fitted $200 suit would get more compliment that a $5000 ill fitted suit. I spent few years trying to find a OTR suit that fits me.
     


  15. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    No joke, how could you been that skinny, I am just a bit taller and a bloody 170lbs?
     


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