Elephant pants, triple pleats, carrot shape, super slim … What pant style is the best fit for the shorter man. The answer is, these mentioned styles are merely fashion choices and have nothing to do with fit. One must get out of the habit of confusing style and fit. However, within each fashion look, there are numerous factors that make a particular style, fit a shorter man better.

First, let’s take a few steps back and talk about some basic fit issues.

Make sure the rise of the pant is right for you. A rise that is too long will create rippling under the waistband as well as, what we call a “baggy bum”. There is nothing worse than having your pants bag on your seat and/or hang down because the rise is too long.

If the seat shape is not corrected for a shorter figure, the thigh ends up being too full and the fabric at the bottom of the seat waffles too much. This look is no way to impress a date or someone at a business meeting!

Buying a pant with the rise and the proportion (thigh, crotch, knee notch, placement of back pockets) corrected for the shorter man, makes a tremendous difference. At ROBBIE BROWN, clothing for men up to 5’8”, all this attention to detail is accounted for in our suit pants, dress pants and casual pants.

With respect to which styles and fashions are the best fit for a shorter guy, here are some comments:

  • Elephant pant – loose on the thigh and all the way down.

While shown on the runway for Spring 2017, this style has never been popular, as it is very difficult to wear for a person of any height. If you are going to wear it, make sure you buy it in a fabric that drapes a lot, making it a softer and more fluid.

  • Pleats – single, double or triple pleats it really doesn’t matter. Just keep in mind that the deeper the pleat, the longer the rise has to be.  This could make the “baggy bum” issue a big problem, the front of your pant looking much too long. Reverse pleats make for a much cleaner look than regular pleats. A popular style trending in, is the carrot pleated pant, which is looser on top and narrower at the bottom. This is a great fashion look and very easy to wear regardless of one’s height.
  • Cuffs – If I had a dollar for every time someone said a shorter man should not wear cuffs because they make his legs look shorter, I’d be rich. Whether you roll your casual pants (rolled cuff), or have a 1½”–2” cuff (pressed cuff), is merely a fashion preference, and either one is great for a shorter guy. Cuffs do not make a guy look shorter!

With regards to what is fashionable in pants, there are so many things to be aware of. Things like what is the current width of pant bottoms, and should the hem be angled or straight, will have to be addressed at another time.  As this article is longer that I intended, I’ll end it here. If you have any questions about the fit of pants for shorter men, please contact me at robbie@robbiebrown.ca or by phone at 647 347 2583 or, drop by 2583 Yonge Street. I’d love to chat!


Robbie Brown is a retail entrepreneur and fashion innovator.  He is currently building a retail concept called, ROBBIE BROWN, clothing for men up to 5’8” (a fashionable and better quality store for shorter men).


Meyer Pant