Finally, Guys Under 6′ Have A Way To Look Great This Winter

Finally, Guys Under 6′ Have A Way To Look Great This Winter
A complete outfit that fits perfectly right off the rack.
This post is in partnership with Peter Manning. Clothes designed for the not-so-tall guy. Click here to experience the difference proper fit makes and save 20% off your first order with ‘primer1118'!

What is this?

What’s the most universal challenge for guys looking to upgrade their style? Is it budget? Knowing which brands work with a certain look? Finding the time to shop? All valid answers, but not quite correct.

It’s fit.

Fit is essential to good style. A perfectly-fitting t-shirt from a bargain brand will look better and give you more confidence than the equivalent piece from an expensive brand that’s too baggy, too tight, or oddly proportioned. Fit transmits attention, polish, and goes a long way to making you look your best – no matter how you’re shaped.

The problem is, if you’re buying off the rack – as the vast majority of us are – good fit is a serious challenge. You have to go the extra mile, sniffing out which brands fit the best … or maybe the least bad for your body type.

men winter style camel overcoat dress pants

Wool Cashmere Topcoat / Zip- Up 100% Cotton Sweater / Microcheck shirt / 100% Super 120s Wool Dress Pants – save 20% off your first order with ‘primer1118'

This is especially vexing for smaller guys. Whether it’s inseams that are too long, out-of-proportion sleeves, or tree-trunk collar sizes, guys with smaller frames have a hard time. In fact, many turn to boys’ sizes to achieve a decent fit for certain items.

What if there was a brand specifically designed for the not-as-tall man? One that makes serious quality menswear in sizes stores never carry?

You’re in luck. We’re building a smart casual, dress-it-up-or-down outfit perfect for office and family holiday parties … and it’s from the brand exclusively for modestly-proportioned gents: Peter Manning. Primer readers can save 20% off of their first order with code ‘primer1118'.

The Not-As-Tall Brand Storming The Internet

We’ve introduced you to Peter Manning before: It’s the first and only clothing manufacturer for shorter guys with a full lineup of clothes, from casual button ups to outerwear to short inseam slim and skinny jeans to suits. Heck, they’re practically family here at Primer. Founder Andrew Snavely has documented his struggle to find quality, affordable style that actually fits his frame. He's an average 5'10” but wide shoulders and narrow waist and an uncommon 29″ inseam makes nailing a perfect fit off the rack challenging. Since their inception, Peter Manning has been one of his go-to brands.

Started in New York by the eponymous Peter Manning (himself a thoroughly average height), the company’s first offerings were simple: a shirt, sweater, shorts, and pair of pants. From humble beginnings the brand has exploded – men from all over the world seek out Peter Manning because the company has pioneered offerings in average and less-than-average sizes.

The response has been robust. As Manning himself puts it, “The world doesn’t need another clothing company. But they do need this one.” Since their founding, Peter Manning has continued to innovate, add to their line, and expand the sizes available to smaller guys. It’s a big reason Andrew’s relationship with the company has continued for this long.

Actually, Size Does Matter

Did you know that over 30% of men are 5’8” and under? That’s a huge demographic poorly served by an industry that, over time, has shifted its focus almost exclusively to sizes medium and up. Costco doesn’t even offer small any more.

In response, Peter Manning has pioneered an approach to sizing that actually makes sense for the millions of guys who need it.

For shirts, button-ups, jackets and all upperwear Manning offers six proprietary sizes based on height and weight. You can size yourself or punch your pertinents into a handy online calculator to find out.

For pants and shorts, Manning uses familiar waist and inseam measurements, with a twist: they actually offer shorter inseams! Need a 28W x 26L? Or a 38W x 27L?  They’ve got you covered.

Fit Makes The Man

So what does a proprietary fit system do for your overall style?

Simply put: fit is everything.

For the less-tall guy, proportions are more reflective of body shape, sleeves and inseams fit better, and collar sizes have a better ratio. Gone is the need to cuff pant legs or worry that sleeves will extend beyond the wrist. Issues with billowing fabric or improper rise in pants are addressed.

Clothing made to fit. If you think about it, that’s actually kind of a novelty in today’s three-sizes-fits-all clothing landscape.

Building A Peter Manning Outfit for Fall

Interested in achieving great fit with Peter Manning but not sure where to start? How about a smart casual/business casual crossover that’s ideal for the season?

We started with the Essex dress pants. Constructed from 100% super 120s Italian wool, they’re both soft and warm without being stifling. While the Essex can be paired with a suit jacket, the straight cut of pant is more casual than a bespoke suit and is easily dressed up or down.

Available in a wide variety of patterns and colors, the Everyday Shirt is a Peter Manning workhorse. Average-sized guys will appreciate the proportionally scaled collar and other details that refine the fit. A slightly tapered midsection makes it perfect for layering, which is exactly why we’ve paired it with a quarter zip sweater for warmth – both physically and tonally. This is an outfit you can wear to the office and after; it works in both contexts.

Rounding out the look is the Fulton wool cashmere top coat, a piece we’ve tested and fully approve. It’s luxurious without being voluminous and as with the Everyday shirt all the styling details are proportionate to the wearer.

Combined, these pieces add up to a fall look that’s both layered and elegant without being stuffy.

Why Has It Taken So Long?

You have to ask, why Peter Manning? Why now? Obviously, it took the disruptive power of the internet to bring clothes for the average-sized guy to market. But it definitely feels like major national brands should have been clamoring for this demographic decades ago.

Perhaps it has something to do with culture, expectation, and stereotype. Women’s clothing has had petite sizes forever and it’s totally acceptable. Conversely, there are plenty of big and tall stores for guys. But a petites store for guys? That won’t do at all, it seems.

How unenlightened. It shouldn’t be taboo for guys to buy clothes that actually fit.

It’s about time there was a brand that actually addressed the needs of smaller framed guys. And thanks to the internet, people of all sizes can have their sartorial needs met via ever-more-finely-sliced boutique clothiers.

We say: bravo.

Shop the Look:

Primer readers save 20% off of their first order with code ‘primer1118'

Wool Cashmere Topcoat, $395

Zip- Up 100% Cotton Sweater, $108

Microcheck shirt, $98

100% Super 120s Wool Dress Pants, $198

Know a man who struggles to find clothing that fits his frame? Share this post!

Stillman Brown is a writer and TV producer who has created prime time content for National Geographic, Discovery, Travel Channel and many others. His interests span science & the natural world, personal growth, and food. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


  • Reply November 20, 2018

    Andres Herrera

    I don’t get it, people actually pay these prices for clothes? I understand the coat, but 400 dollars for a shirt, pants and sweater? Note – I have a decent paying job, yet I wonder if this is just one reason why people are in such serious debt. Not hating on the brand either, I’m sure they make really great clothes.

    • Reply November 20, 2018

      Big O

      I LOVE PRIMER but I have to agree with Andres here! Why do clothes cost so DAMN much?!?! What is the justification for being able to charge this much for clothes?!? Does society have THAT much of an impact in where it dictates the status of a person based on their clothes?

      I too have a very good paying job but I refuse to pay anything more than $30 for a dress shit (and that’s stretching it) or a pair of pants. My wardrobe consists of brands of Uniqlo, Goodfellas (Target), Apt 9, Croft & Barrow, and Combat Gent.

      I loved the article piece you guys did on Goodfellas and I feel that you guys can really hit it home if you did more articles like this. $200 for a pair of pants?!?!!? I can get 6 pairs for that price and maybe even more if I really go hunting.

      I don’t know…this is just insane the amount people are willing to pay for clothes that they’ll get rid of within a few months only because society claims that the fashion is no more.

      • Reply November 20, 2018

        Andres Herrera

        To further clarify, I don’t mind seeing/reading about high clothes yet I was just making a general statement on the price of clothing.

        I actually enjoy Primer showing me nice clothing and then I adjust my purchasing to my price point via Nordstrom Rack, Target, J-Crew Factory, even and most importantly for me anyways…second hand stores.

        • Reply November 20, 2018

          Joshua Henderson

          It sounds like I’m even tighter than you guys, but I’m not bothered in the least by these articles.

          Here’s my perspective:

          Maybe a couple percent of the readers of this blog are rich and can use these affiliate links. This helps fund the blog and keep it available for the rest of us.

          Meanwhile, said “rest of us” can still use the information and find inspiration from the photos, but then take that inspiration to a brand that fits our budgets (or in my case, thrift stores and eBay).

          (Your reply popped up just as I was gonna hit send, so I’ll post anyway, but it sounds like we’re on the same page.)

          • November 20, 2018

            Alfredo Ruiz

            Hey Andres, Joshua and Big O, I have read your opinion and I think you have a big point, but we are missing the final one, the goal here is to show you how can you wear your clothes or which one you could use as a “model” if you want to, the goal here is not to buy that specific brand or piece, but to have a reference, where Im from, we don’t have even those brands, but the look I can get, almost the same pieces to a lot less i can have it for zara, pull & bear, some not that high end, but similar and will cost a lot less, just to let you know guys, don’t take it literal, take it more like just a guide to,

            P.s. Im broke haha

      • Reply November 20, 2018

        Jim Sears

        These prices are not insane. If we compare to places like J Crew and Banana Republic, or even Spier Mackay or Suitsupply, a cashmere topcoat will easily and fairly cost upward of $400. Wool dress pants at 120s will hit about $150-$200. Wool is not cheap these days. And I don’t think anyone is going to “get rid of” any of these items. At these prices you can expect them to last a few years at least (I’d hope), especially where, as in this case, the style is classic. Also, consider that Peter Manning is going for a niche market and does not have the volume purchase power at wholesale (yet) to reduce prices and to run a SALE every three minutes. The idea here is not to buy 6 dress shirts like you could w Uniqlo. You buy two, take care of them, and later buy two more. While everyone else has burned through twelve Uniqlo shirts that go in the trash and then having to buy six more, for a lower cost over time you could instead also have five well worn, quality shirts that’ll continue to last you another few years. See also, shoes.

  • Reply November 20, 2018

    Derek Thomas

    Yikes! I thought Primer was more about the economical way of dressing like and being a gentleman. I enjoyed when Priner provided the more economical pieces that were basically identical to the over priced brands.

    • Reply November 20, 2018


      Hey Derek! Thanks for the comment. Since the beginning we feature a mix of brands that are lower cost, with brands that are higher quality but more expensive. The idea of affordable or ‘value’ is different depending on the application and the person. We’ve featured $350 Red Wings and $600 Indochino suits from the earliest days. These are not light on the wallet for a lot of people, but that doesn’t make them overpriced. For what you’re getting or for how long they’ll last you, they can be a smart investment.

      If you haven’t seen them yet, check out our post from last week that was an outfit made out of all Target items or our round up of great H&M winter finds all under $100.

  • Reply November 20, 2018

    Jesse Soloway

    Maybe I’m ignorant, and if so, I apologize. It seems to me the majority of clothing featured on Primer is for the average sized male. Goodfellow and Company is frequently showcased which is affordable and by virtue of being available at Target, aimed at the average sized man.

    It feels a bit laughable being a 6’4 slim man, who has the most difficult time finding affordable shirts with sleeves that don’t end mid forarm, same with coats and jackets. A pair of trousers, or even pajama’s that aren’t meant for braving floodwaters are also extremely illusive.

    The title seems to have triggered me a little. But the vast majority of men’s clothing is targeted at the average sized person (rightfully so from a marketing perspective).

    • Reply November 20, 2018


      Hey Jesse! Definitely – Peter Manning offers sizes that are far from average, inseams, etc. As well as clothing that is proportioned for men who are smaller but not necessarily average ‘shaped,’ like short and wide. Being tall and skinny is definitely frustrating in a similar way and we’ll be tackling that in the future.

    • Reply February 27, 2019

      Angela Spivey

  • Reply December 17, 2018

    Garrett Lacy

    Hello Guys, I typically buy my clothes online from or other sites like it. I’m 5’7 and I’m very slim. I’ve also bought clothes from H&M in the past too. You have to look around. I hope this helps.

Leave a Reply