fashion, lifestyle, dating and humor for the average guy

Archive for the category “Short Men”

Why Fashion Matters to Men


The overwhelming majority of men, despite the fact that we get dressed (most days),  just don’t care about fashion.  The question is, should we care?

And the answer is YES.

While what you wear shouldn’t matter to the extent that you will forgo saving money to buy the latest, trendiest thing or chase a particular brand despite the absurd price premium that it commands, there are many valid reasons why fashion is relevant to today’s average guy.  Lets start with the most basic and important reason.  What you wear serves as a form of communication to others about who you are.  Yes, we should all be judged based on the value of who we are as people, how we treat others, the quality of our work but the reality is others do make very personal judgments about us based on how we present ourselves.

How would you feel about your neurosurgeon if he walked into the room wearing a pair of tight, short, cut off denim jeans, cowboy boots and a sleeveless Hank Williams Jr. tee shirt with fringe cut into the bottom?  Would you trust him to cut into your brain?  Doubtful, though he may be the most skilled surgeon on the planet.  What if the only difference between two surgeons was that one walked in the room wearing a nicely pressed pair of pants, a wrinkle free fitted dress shirt, a properly tied tie along with matching belt and shoes and the second surgeon walked in with a wrinkly loose dress shirt, an off kilter tie, pants that are to baggy and loose and older scuffed shoes that don’t match his belt?  If you had to make an instant decision about which physician is going to take a scalpel to you I’m wiling to bet that 95 out of a hundred people will choose the first surgeon based on nothing more then how he is dressed.

What we wear communicates to others who we are.  It impacts how we want to be perceived.  In a professional setting it conveys education, training, knowledge and trust.  Someone who pays attention to detail in how they dress is likely to also pay attention to detail in how they perform their job and live their life.  Now in reality does the detailed dresser always pay more attention to the quality of their work or are they just more caught up in how they look?  Often style has no bearing on substance but it does communicate the impression of substance and frequently that is all that matters.  We all know individuals of questionable or limited competence who excel in the workplace not because of what they know but because of the impression that they convey.stripes

Does this mean you have to adopt the costumes that you see in magazines and on TV? Absolutely not but it does mean you have to give some thought to what you put on and some effort in making sure your wardrobe is current and fit wells.  If your closet is filled with pleated pants its time to donate them to Goodwill and buy a few new flat front pairs.  If your idea of  a nice tee shirt says Affliction or Ed Hardy its time to get out the blow torch and find something that wasn’t featured on MTV’s Jersey Shore.  If your idea of  a dressier going out shirt is a vertically striped, untucked button up shirt you are either a tool or still trying to wear what is trendy and cool but three years behind the times.  Whether on a date, hanging out with friends or at the work place, what you wear says a lot about who you are and what others should think of you.

For the shorter man fashion will never make you taller or change the perceptions that others may falsely hold about shorter men but it will allow you to present the best version of yourself that you would like others to see.  You can’t control what others think but you can control the message that you send out to the world.  You can show that you care about yourself.  You can utilize fashion to set the stage, preempting preconceived notions that others may have allowing you to dictate the course of your interactions with them.

Fashion communicates much more.  Fashion is often used to communicate social and economic status.  It creates a barrier between the haves and have-nots.  Upscale brands allow high status seekers to communicate to each other that they are of the same class.  Ostentatious displays of upscale brands communicate status and often insecurity about that status so the wearer makes sure that everyone knows they are worthy because they are walking billboards for Gucci, Prada, Channel or whatever the it brand of the moment is.  Is class differentiation via fashion a good thing, not really but it is a reality and one you should learn to utilize judiciously to your advantage.

Fashion has other positive features.  It can serve as a powerful form of self expression.  You can have some fun with your clothes and utilize them to draw attention to yourself in a positive way, to express your culture, beliefs or lifestyle or simply to feel good about yourself and in the end, that display of self confidence is the best thing you can ever wear.  Brands certainly take advantage of our desire to utilize fashion as a form or self expression.  Do you want to communicate to the world that you take healthy living and your fitness seriously then you’re likely to spend half your time walking around in Nike, Under Armor or Adidas.  And if you walk around in Lululemon instead it clearly sends a different message.  Are your jeans Levi or $250 selvedge denim from a small manufacturer.  In the end don’t let your choice in brands define you but feel comfortable utilizing fashion for fun and to bring out a little of your individuality.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs gets credit for our next item.  Fashion is a luxury and as Jacobs points out, it is human nature to want and enjoy luxuries.  Be it because we enjoy the luxury or we enjoy that others are attracted to our luxury, either way there is nothing wrong with wanting and enjoying something on the nicer side of life.  Yes thrift and humility and living simply are positive virtues but it is quite alright to also embrace a touch of luxury.

And last but not least fashion is an economic powerhouse that keeps countless people employed.  While there are a handful of individuals who are getting rich from fashion (I’m not one of them) the majority of designers, pattern makers, garment workers, retail sales people, shippers and textile designers earn modest, if even that, livings from jobs directly related to the fashion industry.  Then their is the multiplying effect of all the other industries that touch the world of fashion from bankers, lawyers, accountants, technology professionals, web designers, advertising firms right down to they guy who takes the trash out at the mall where your favorite store is located.  Fashion is part of the economy and its impact is most certainly a positive thing.  That doesn’t mean you should blow through your paycheck buying new clothes and claim you were doing it for the good of others but you certainly don’t have to feel bad about updating your wardrobe a bit.

Do I still find most of the world of fashion utterly ridiculous.  You bet I do.  It is often absolutely absurd.  Women’s fashion ten times more so then men’s, and lets be thankful for that.  Despite the often laughable nature of what is considered fashion it doesn’t change the fact that fashion does matter and it is worth a small moment of your time.


Short is Big: Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan 1

Spring is here and that means the opening of the Major League Soccer (MLS) season.  To celebrate the occasion we bring you 5’8″ tall Landon Donovan.  Widely considered the best player to ever come out of the United States, Landon is a 5 time MLS champion and holds the record for the most international appearances and goals by an American player.

Donavan began his professional career in 1999 with German club Bayer Leverkusen.  In 2001 he was loaned to the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS.  In four years with the Earthquakes Landon led the team to championships in 2001 and 2003 while scoring 32 goals in regular season play and 10 more in the playoffs.  Add to that 29 regular season assists and 6 more playoffs assists it’s no wonder that Landon was named US Soccer Athlete of the year three years in a row.

Landon Donovan 2Landon Donovan 3

In 2005 Donovan began playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy where he has helped them win league championships in 2005, 2011 and 2012.  In 2009 Donovan was named the league’s most valuable player and the Galaxy appeared in the league finals.  In 2010 they made the semifinals before ultimately losing to FC Dallas.

Landon Donovan 4As a member of the USA national team Donovan has appeared in a record-setting 155 games and scored an also record-setting 57 goals.  He is the only American player to reach the 50 goals/50 assists mark in international play.  Having appeared in three World Cups he is expected the lead the US squad again in 2014.

The Essentials: Belts

belts 1Welcome to the first installment of our new series, The Essentials.  It is exactly what it sounds like, a list of the must halves for any adult male’s wardrobe.  It is not meant to include every item that is useful but cover the most basic, mandatory items that you should have in your closet at all times.  For any item on the list there are countless versions, many more fashion forward and stylish.  The Essentials represent the most basic, classic versions that will stand the test of time and will anchor any more current looks or trends that you pursue.  Over time we will cover more stylish versions of essential items and you will no doubt want to include them in your wardrobe but The Essentials will hold up no matter what your age or how trends are changing.

belts 3

For our first edition of The Essentials we are covering an item that is often an afterthought, the belt.  The most utilitarian of items, the belt is usually the last thing that guys worry about but if you need one and don’t have it, it’s the most important item ever.  While a good fitting pair of pants should be able to stay up on its own, when it won’t nothing is more important than your belt.  Now you will find some sites recommending that shorter men skip the belt because of the horizontal line that it creates.  Our thought on that notion?  It’s nonsense.  Unless your pants are made without belt loops feel free to slide on a belt, just be sure its the right one.

Belts are usually broken down into two categories, formal and casual.  Formal belts are meant to be worn with suits, business and office apparel and dressier casual outfits.  The should match your shoes in color and may be on the shinier side.  Buckles should be on the smaller, more understated side and in gold or even better, a silver tone.  Formal belts should also be thinner and the length should allow you to go through the first belt loop after the buckle but not much farther and absolutely lay flat.  Most men will be fine with one quality belt in black and one in brown if they have shoes of a similar tone.

dress belts

Casual belts can be worn with jeans, slacks or even the right pair of shorts if they fit loosely.  Belts can be slightly wider and while you should still have an understated buckle, you may add a small touch of individuality though we strongly recommend you begin with a basic black version and a brown version with simple buckles that will go with the majority of your casual wardrobe.  Again it is best to match your shoes to your belt though you have a little more flexibility.  That said, while taller men can get away making more of a statement with their belts and buckles, shorter men aren’t trying to draw viewers eyes further downward and over-emphasize elements away from their faces.  If you do want to utilize a belt to express your individual style save that for later on after you have built your foundation and added basic black and brown, simple buckle formal and casual belts.  For now, leave the wild colors and flashy buckles to the clowns and rodeo champs.

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belts 2

Short is Big: Jet Li

The academy awards just passed and in the spirit of recognizing actors we love, today ShorteesStyle is going to recognize a fellow short guy who the academy will probably never notice, Jet Li.  Standing  5’5.5″, Jet Li is a master of multiple styles of wushu, a skill he parlayed into international box office fame.  He is most well-known in the USA for his film roles in Lethal Weapon 4, Romeo Must Die, The One, Kiss of the Dragon, Hero, Cradle 2 The Grave, Unleashed, Fearless, War, The Forbidden Kingdom, The Mummy 2, and most recently The Expendables series.  In additional to his martial arts and acting, Li is an active philanthropist well-known for his association with The Red Cross.

So this awards season take a moment to recognize one of our favorite ass-kicking fellow shortees, Jet Li.

Subtle slights

ray rice 2The following comment was made by the commentators during the first half of today’s Ravens vs. Patriots game.

Ray Rice is short but he’s not small.

Now I realize that the comment was meant as a compliment to Ray Rice, an outstanding and 5’8″ athlete but there is a subtle slight in suggesting that short would not normally be good.  Here at Shortees we contend that short is not just good, its great.  Yes while athletes overall are getting bigger and bigger we are also seeing an abundance of spectacular all stars who are 5’8″ and under.  Lionel Messi, Ray Rice, Darren Sproles, Maurice Jones-Drew and many more.

Get with it commentators.  Its time to stop thinking it is something special and unique for an athlete to be short and start putting everyone on an even level.

Hello 2013

It’s hard to believe that it is already 2013.  It’s hard to believe that the Shortees Style blog was set up just over a year ago and hasn’t been updated since last January.  As you can tell maintaining this blog has not been a priority over at Shortees.  That is about to change.  2013 is looking to be an exciting year for Shortees and part of that is a renewed focus on updating and maintaining our Facebook page and blog.

What should you expect to see from us over the next year?  Lots of things.  News and advice on topics that matter to today’s man including fashion, grooming, sports, women, dating, humor and our own brand of commentary on all of those topics and more.  Some of it will be specific to the 5’8″ and under man while much of it will appeal to anyone regardless of height.

What makes us different from the unending assortment of other options out there for readers?  We don’t cater to the lowest common denominator.  We enjoy a good fart joke, sexy women or epic fail as much as the next person and we celebrate all of them but we know you aspire to more than that.  At the same we understand that the majority of our customers and readers are not living on an unlimited budget.  You want to live and dress in a way that flatters you and is realistic for the reality of  your everyday, not in a costume, like a celebrity or if you stepped out of a period television show.  You appreciate trends and what is best about them without mindlessly chasing them.  While we represent a brand and every business consultant in the world will say that we want you to identify yourself by the Shortees brand we defy that approach.  We celebrate our individuality and support your search to define who you are.  We are here to help.  With great fitting clothes, usable advice, worthwhile reviews and good laugh (ok, the occasional hot chick as well).

With that we invite you to participate with us.  Send us your comments, thoughts, ideas, rants and whatever else crosses your mind.  We will do our best to visit the topics that matter most to you and extend the Shortees ideal of a better fitting shirt to a better fitting life.

Short Men Can Look Forward to Having Younger Wives | Dollars and Sex | Big Think

Ok short guys.  Here is some interesting and funny data.  You may not land as many women as your taller friends but you may get the last laugh.

Short Men Can Look Forward to Having Younger Wives | Dollars and Sex | Big Think.

via Short Men Can Look Forward to Having Younger Wives | Dollars and Sex | Big Think.

New York Outdoors Blog gives Shortees some love.

Our friends on the other side of country at New York Outdoors Blog ( were kind enough to help spread the word about Shortees.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rich and Sue Freeman, the blog authors.  They are a really great couple who followed their passion for outdoor activity and started writing a great series of guide books for hiking, biking, paddling, cross-country skiing/snowshoeing and just about any other outside activity in Central and Western New York State.  You can find their guide books as well as great book stands on their blog or at

Little by little the story of Shortees gets spread around.  Help your 35 million fellow short guys dress better and spread the word yourself.  Maybe you’ll end up getting featured on

The San Francisco Chronicle Style section gives Shortees some love

Shortees CEO’s big idea: T-shirts for short guys

Dino-Ray Ramos, Special to The Chronicle

Sunday November27, 2011

New Jersey native Seth Levinsky founded Shortees after receiving his MBA from San Jose State University. His company’s shirts, available online, are several inches shorter than typical T-shirts, and the armholes, sleeves and shoulders are adjusted accordingly.

Seth Levinsky, a personal trainer from Campbell, used to spend hours at the mall – not because he was enjoying the sights and sounds but because he was shopping for the perfect T-shirt for his shorter stature.

He would walk away with nothing but a pair of socks and underwear. He was frustrated. Thus, his quest became clear: He needed to create the perfect T-shirt for shorter men so that they could be their best and never have to settle for ill-fitting clothes.

He needed to create Shortees.

“The No. 1 mission of Shortees is to manufacture better-fitting clothes designed specifically for men 5 feet 8 and under,” says Levinsky. “A secondary mission is to empower shorter men to feel proud and comfortable with whom they are. Being short should be seen as a point of pride, an asset. I want to see women writing personal ads that read, ‘looking for a short guy …’ ”

A New Jersey native, Levinsky came to California for an MBA at San Jose State University, then spent two years researching business ideas. He thought about Internet-based businesses, since he was living in Silicon Valley, but didn’t have the skills to write code or to raise boatloads of money.

When the dust settled, the idea for Shortees shone the brightest, so in 2007 he took the idea and ran. He poured 15 years of savings into Shortees, but he had a couple of hurdles to jump. He had no experience or training in the apparel industry, and absolutely no contacts to get his idea off the ground. It was, as he says, a comedy of errors.

“The story about how difficult it actually was to launch Shortees would take a long time to tell,” Levinsky says. “Every time I thought I found someone who could help solve a problem or get something done for us, they turned out to be the wrong person and slowed us down by a few months. What should have been a six-month development took closer to three years.”

Levinsky defines 5 feet 8 and under as “short,” the height of the target Shortees customer. Through his research, Levinsky, who is 5 feet 5 1/2 inches, says that 1 of every 4 men – approximately 35 million men – falls into this category.

That’s a lot of Shortees.

“The solution that other companies give customers is that if they need a shorter length, they should get a smaller size,” Levinsky says. “If you need a large shirt to fit your torso, there is no way you can squeeze into a small, and even then the shirts are still way too long.”

This is why the primary feature of a Shortees shirt is the length. Whereas most T-shirts are 28.5 to 31 inches long, Shortees shirts are cropped at either 25 or 26.5 inches. Shortees also redesigned the average T-shirt so that the shape and size of the armholes, the length of the sleeves, and the angle of the shoulder are adjusted to better fit a shorter body.

Shortees has a large potential customer base, and so far, the shirts have gotten some return customers and positive response. Levinsky’s customers have been giving feedback such as “Wow, a T-shirt that actually fits me. Thank you! I’ll be purchasing all my T-shirts through you from now on” and “The shirts fit me perfectly, and I would like to replace my entire shirt lineup with them.”

Needless to say, his online-only company has only scratched the surface of an expansive market that includes solid-colored and graphic T-shirts, the latter being fairly new for Shortees.

“I can go online and find new T-shirt companies every day. There is no shortage of them, and everyone thinks it’s an easy business to go into,” Levinsky says. “What I really hope is that one day these other companies will print their designs on Shortees shirts and make a properly fitting version of their designs available to the 25 percent of the male population they are ignoring. They are missing a lot of potential business.”

Levinsky would like to have a brick-and-mortar storefront eventually. He thinks it would be ideal for someone to be able to have the choice to shop online or go into a local boutique to pick up a supply of shirts.

The primary focus for their first year was launching the company and doing the best possible job serving customers. Now that that has been established, Levinsky says he’s ready to partner with retailers that want to tap into this segment of customers that they have been missing.

“Amazing things are in the future for Shortees,” Levinsky says. “(I want to) make sure more people learn about Shortees and that they can finally have a great-looking shirt that fits.”

For more information on Shortees, go to

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