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Serving the Not So Tall Guy with Peter Manning

For whatever reason, the clothing industry tends to forget about short people—assuming that they’re perfectly content taking their clothes to the tailor each time they buy something new. But, in all honesty, how many of us actually follow up on going to the tailor? It’s a total pain—and it doesn’t resolve every issue with proportion, like where the knees line up and so on.

Peter Manning started his clothing brand in 2012, New York City to fill the fashion void for men who are 5'8" and under.

Unique Sizing

The store has its own unique sizing system. Shirts, jackets, and knits range from a size 1 to a 4. A 1 is for men under 5’4” and 120 lbs, while a 4 fits men up to 5’8” and 165 lbs. Sizes 2X and 4X provide a little more room in the waist area, but still correspond with the heights associated with sizes 2-4. Pants are sized like “everyone else’s” and go by inseam and waist circumference.

Manning told the The Yorker that the popular line in the store is the denim. He said, that Peter Manning is one of the only brands making men’s jeans in a 27” inseam. Additionally, Manning says that the $495 leather jackets are a big hit. Leather is hard to alter, and providing a jacket with sleeves that fall at just the right point—well, that can be a revelation for men who have long had trouble finding the classic piece.

What Manning Does Well

Overall, Peter Manning really excels in providing the clothing items that are hard to find off the rack—maybe not such a huge revelation for this brand, sure—but people seemed pleased with the fact that shopping from Peter Manning made things easier. Here is a look at some of the best finds on the site:

Shirts

According to the website the Peter Manning Dress Shirt is made with the finest European fabrics for a luxurious feel. Even better—they’ve got polos, henleys, and more—plus a guide to styling these pieces if you need some help with this stuff.

Peter Manning covers all the shirt basics—the brand offers a range of colors in polos, tees, long sleeves and short. But, there isn’t a ton of variation in pattern, and it would be nice to see the henleys in a few more colors.

Lambskin Leather Jacket

The New Zealand lambskin jacket is a basic black or brown jacket, that promises to go with everything. Another product with great reviews. While it would be nice to see an edgier, moto version, we appreciate the inclusion of an essential that’s both tough to find in a wide range of sizes and nearly impossible to alter.

Suits

Peter Manning’s suit selection is fairly minimal, but the Essex separates come in a range of neutrals and have great reviews. These are the basics most men take for granted, but the specialized sizing and the affordable price makes these a total score. Jackets go for $450 a pop, and are made from 100% Italian wool in a year-round weight. Pants are $198.

What They Do Well

Obviously, Peter Manning is something of a boon to the “not-so-tall” man. Manning, the man, is a shorter guy himself, and understands all the pain points of shopping for clothing only to find that nothing fits. While the brand does have suits—that by all counts look pretty good—the real benefit is the fact that they have things like polos, henleys, and even leather jackets.

These items are definitely more of a get, as “specialty” sizes tend to focus almost exclusively on workwear basics—without much room for expressing personal style. Sweaters are just over $100, while button-ups (from flannels to dress shirts) hover around $70.

Not exactly bargain bin prices, but most pieces fall within a comfortable mid-range. Peter Manning is cheaper than Brooks Brothers, staying well within that J. Crew price point.

Is Peter Manning Worth Checking Out

If you’re under 5’8”, Peter Manning is well worth a shot. We liked that they offer an alternative for getting basics for everything from shirts and sweaters to yes, suits. Often, the common wisdom for shorter men is, telling them to get a suit custom-tailored. And, honestly, that’s only the tip of the iceberg for menswear.

You might have a great suit in your closet, already, but as a shorter man it may be hard to find sweaters, shirts, and jackets for the everyday—frankly, a brand that addresses that need is well worth checking out.

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