Short kings are finally starting to get the respect they deserve — but many still need some help building their confidence. One of the best ways to improve one’s sense of self-worth is by dressing in clothing that flatters one’s body shape, but fashion advice for short kings tends to be in short supply.

The summer season can be especially stressful for men on the shorter side, who might feel uncomfortable in shorts that only underscore their wearer’s size. Fortunately, there are ways for short kings to look and feel confident in shorts:

Understand How Men’s Shorts Should Fit

Shorts — and pants in general — are some of the simplest garments to fit. Regardless of a man’s proportions, men’s shorts should always look and feel the same: with a fitted waist, a medium rise, a gently tapered leg, and a hem just above the knee.

Waist. Men should not find it difficult to button their shorts at the waist, and they should not need to rely on a belt to keep their shorts in the right position. Instead, the waist of a properly fitting pair of shorts will be snug and comfortable, even when sitting and walking.

Rise. The rise is the measurement meant between the top of the front waistband to the top of the back waistband, around the crotch. Low-rise shorts can truncate the legs, while high-rise shorts can look feminine.  Mid-rise shorts are perennially stylish in menswear and perhaps the best choice for short kings who struggle to find the right fit.

Hips. Measured around the widest part of the derriere, the hips tend to be slightly wider than the waist — but not so wide as to cause the seat to look saggy. Short kings with larger hips measurements should size up for a better fit and get the waist taken in by a qualified tailor.

Leg & Thigh. The shape of the opening around the thigh impacts the look of the shorts and the man wearing them. Wide openings function like bell bottoms, creating more visual weight lower on the body and shortening a man’s proportions. A slight taper to the leg opening creates a more pleasing shape.

Length. Shorts should always end above the knee, to elongate the leg and facilitate movement. Short men tend to look best in 7-inch shorts, though especially short kings can even pull off 5-inch shorts with style.

Avoid the Unflattering Shorts Styles

In the recent past, much of men’s popular fashion has attempted to differentiate masculine style by positioning it in opposition to feminine style. Over the past several decades, women’s styles have become more close-fitting and revealing, and in contrast, many men have aimed to wear larger and baggier clothes. Fortunately, awareness of the sometimes-toxic elements of traditional masculinity is revealing such behaviors that harm men’s mental health as well as their personal aesthetic.

Many short kings have succumbed to the pressures of unflattering masculine styles. Some examples of these styles in shorts include:

Extra-large waist and seat. Shorts that sag, allowing viewers to catch more than a glimpse of a man’s underwear, are not ideal.

Extra-long rise. High-rise shorts are not usually worn above the navel, as they might have been designed for, but rather drop extra low along the legs. In addition to making movement difficult, this can cause legs to look especially short — a major issue when a man is already small in stature.

Extra-long legs. Even if the rise fits, the legs of shorts can extend too far, hitting or falling below the knee. As with the rise, this causes issues with leg proportions, dwarfing wearers.

Oversized details. Huge pockets, especially cargo pockets located on the legs, tend to add unnecessary weight and bulk to the lower body. Unless a short king needs all that extra storage, cargo shorts should be avoided at all costs.


In general, ill-fitting shorts provide a youthful look — in a bad way. Short kings who struggle to find the perfect pair of shorts to fit their waist, hips, rise, and legs can always rely on a tailor to improve the fit and function of a high-quality pair of shorts. Then, short men can stop worrying about their height and enjoy life as they deserve.