Last week, I took a client shopping who was on the petite side - 34" chest, 28" waist, and 5'4" tall. He was finding it very tricky to buy clothes to fit, and only ever shopped at a couple of places, so he enlisted in my help.
We concentrated on smarter items for work, as this was the area he found most difficult.
Here's my guide on where to shop for small sizes for men, starting at high street level and going up to designer.
Their shirts start at collar size 14" and 35"-36" chest. Knitwear in an XS comes up very fitted. They have size 28" waist in the Divided range and they do it in other ranges, but it seemed very few were actually available on the shop floor.
It does vary a bit with their sizing, but some of it comes up very small. We managed to find a great blazer (see below), which was a Small and perfect fit for 34" chest!
I think this would be the first port of call for most guys who wear small sizes. For this reason I won't go into details other than to say they do a 32" chest and 26" waist.
I'm currently a huge fan of The Kooples! Their sizing is very small and neat, and they start at size 34"/44". Mid range pricing, the suit shown below is currently in the sale, priced at £241.50 for the jacket, and £105 for the trousers - bargain! It looked fantastically slick on and was a perfect fit!
Mostly they are more on the casual side of smart/casual, but they have a great suit called "Stafford". The trousers start at a 26" waist and are a great cut - the smallest jackets are a 36" chest and true to size. XS knitwear comes up nice and neat, and the shirts were great. The small collars are very flattering on a guy with a very slim build.
A certain look which is not for everyone, but they do have small sizes, and the basic flat front chinos in beige, navy or black in 28" waist are very passable. Of course if you like a button down check shirt, the world's your oyster in Merc - all available in XS. Also, I rather like the look of this navy peacoat.
We found some great jeans in here. They go down to a 26" waist, and a 30" leg length. We also found a great casual jacket which was a Small, and, luckily for us, came up very small!
Reiss stock size 28" trousers which are usually a very slim cut - though the smallest in shirts is a Small which is equivalent to about a 38" chest.
Paul and Joe
I am reliably informed by a petite male colleague that Paul & Joe menswear comes up small. Shirt sizes start at XS and jackets at 36"/46".
They do a range of clothing called Petite Taille which is a unisex range which is great for small men. It's available at Browns in South Molton Street and Selfridges. They don't always seem to have it out, so if you can't see it - ask for it.
They have some things in size 28" waist and 34"/44" chest, but not everything. It may be worth trying 36"/46" though as they are very close fitting.
Ten tips on how to dress if you are a small size:
1. Make the effort to get clothes that fit
2. Look for fitted and shaped jackets with narrow lapels or small peaked lapels
3. Fitted and shorter double breasted jackets will also look good
4. Casual jackets with pockets and detailing or quilted/padded jackets will bulk you out
5. Keep it neat with small collared shirts, small checks and small patterns
6. Look for slim cut sleeves on shirts and more structured fabrics
7. Shallow v-necks and crew necks will be flattering on knits and t-shirts
8. Horizontal stripes will widen your chest
9. Layers are your friend!
10. Look for slim fit or straight trousers and jeans, and twister styles
And what to avoid:
:: Large logos, patterns, pockets or detailing
:: Very heavy fabrics and chunky knits
:: Boxy cut shirts
:: Shirts too big in collar size
:: Large collars
:: Skin tight fit
:: Overly baggy trousers