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Dress for Your Body Shape: Small Men

Many celebrities of the short and stocky variety, and they range from the recent James Bond Daniel Craig to classic screen legends like Alec Guinness and Laurence Olivier, show that a good suit does make the man, even when you're on the short and broad side. 

James Bond on a Budget
Many fans were surprised when Daniel Craig received the role of Bond. With Craig being of a smaller-than average and slightly stocky frame, 007 was a role that had traditionally gone to taller men like Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

With classic clothing designs and visually striking styles that emphasise masculine features, Craig has redefined the Bond role and gone on to personify the magnetic look that has defined the franchise. 

Beyond the conventional tuxedo, a Bond staple, Craig demonstrates that slim-cut Levis, leather jackets, polo shirts and chinos can make a man stylish without out a black tie. Many would even suggest that although he is on the shorter side, no one has better exemplified the sophistication and style of the Bond character than Daniel Craig.

Fit, Fit, Fit
It's no secret that the key to men's clothing, whatever your height or build, is fit, fit, fit. 

An inexpensive suit of a good fit will always look better than an expensive suit with a bad fit. For shorter, stockier men this rule is all the more true. Baggy and poor-fitting clothes will make a shorter man appear smaller than he actually is. A good fit that flatters the lines of your body conveys that impression that you’ve brought your A-game. 

The Proper Sizing
Understanding your size when it comes to suits and business wear is of the essence when picking out a set of clothes that will give you an edge in the boardroom. Suits (and shirts) should sit square on your shoulders, not rounding off, and the difference in length between a 40S and a size 40L can differentiate a powerful and striking style from one that appears flimsy or underwhelming. 

Look at old photos of Laurence Olivier and you'll notice that his suits were often fitted in a traditional style that de-emphasised his shorter height. Making sure that sleeves are of the proper length, showing a quarter to a half-inch of the shirt cuff will give you a svelte appearance even on your worst days. 

Vertical Patterns for a Longer Look
Pattern matching is also important. A suit with vertical pinstripes, for example, can make your body shape appear longer than it might otherwise, and a cut that is wide in the shoulders and thinner through the frame can emphasise the muscularity of the body in a way that is both flattering and sophisticated.

A Step in the Right Direction
Keep in mind that the formal side of footwear will also increase your height! A pair of dress-shoes from a reputable company (for elegant shoes that don't break the bank, like Sperry or Bass) will often give you lift and posture. Casual shoe styles like blucher mocs or white bucks provide a bit of height with an elegant look that is essentially timeless. 

With these tips in mind, developing a personal style geared toward your size can be a major key to improving how you feel both physically and mentally. The rewards of looking good are numerous, with social status and business bearing two readily attainable benefits. Spend some time looking to those you admire of a similar size to   get positive leads on developing a style that can work for you. 

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