No matter where you live, autumn is finally here, and with it the season’s latest styles. We’ve watched coverage of the various men’s fashion shows and designer releases and have noticed a few trends appropriate for the shorter man to work into his look:
For our debut collection, we took these runway inspirations and more and gave them our own unique spin. Our button-down shirts feature plaid patterns specifically chosen to give you a longer look and include all the main colors of the season — dark blue, gray, black and dark camel — with accents of yellow and oxblood (no pink or orange accents, however, as they didn’t look quite right). We also designed a line of light weight merino wool sweaters in complementing colors to help you dress your shirt up or down as desired. Finally, we’re also adding our take on tone-on-tone black and tone-on-tone white with colorful accents to give you the perfect option for holiday parties, the office or a special night out.
We’ve talked about the importance of how a trim body fit and narrow sleeves in our shirts can make you look and feel better. But the neck is where it all comes together in every sense. As the part of the shirt that frames your face, it not only gets looked at the most, but also leads the rest of the fit of the shirt.
In any shirt, the collar should lay about your neck without constricting it. You want the collar to be as close as is comfortable when buttoned, allowing ventilation and breathing room without leaving too much of a gap. While conventional wisdom is to fit two fingers into a buttoned collar to determine neck size, we prefer a comfort check. When buttoned, can you still talk and breathe normally? Is there skin bulging over the top? Then it’s way too tight. If you can grab the band from the back, pinch the collar and still talk normally, then you need to go down a size.
While less of a concern for shirts that will be worn unbuttoned, a collar that’s too big or small indicates an ill-fitting shirt, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure this aspect of your shirt fits perfectly even if you’ve long ditched your tie collection. If you like to wear a tie from time to time, our shirts can accommodate necks as small as 13.5” in our XS to 18.5” in our XXL.
Unlike most aspects of our shirts, the collar height and shape are as much a matter of fashion as they are function. We’ve avoided the current trend of a full spread collar look, as it places too much emphasis on the horizontal over the vertical, creating a wider appearance. Instead we favor a medium spread, hitting right around where the collarbone meets the center of your body when buttoned to help visually elongate your neck and body. When unbuttoned for a more casual look, hidden collar buttons tack the collar down to prevent flare and eliminate the need for collar stays — you know the ones you have to search for every time you put on a dress shirt. We also made the point a bit smaller to avoid any drooping that could make your body look shorter.
In Part 1 we discussed the importance of a trimmer cut for a well-fitting shirt. While sleeves are a smaller part of the shirt, they can have a large impact on how a shirt fits, feels and makes you look. In designing shirts for guys 5’9” and under, our measurements of real guys provided us with the data we needed to make sleeves that not only fit right, but provide the appearance of a longer, leaner upper body.
Starting at the top of the sleeve, we raised our armholes, giving you a better range of motion while eliminating the excess bulky fabric that makes arms look fatter, especially underneath a jacket or sweater. Also, we found that the larger armholes of traditional shirts make most shorter guys look like they have bat wings and also reduces mobility as the sleeve attaches lower on the body. In addition, since the arm appears to start further from the waist than on a traditional shirt, it lengthens the look of the torso.
As an added benefit, a smaller sleeve naturally creates the illusion of a bigger bicep; when trying on our shirts or any other narrow-sleeve shirt, always make sure you flex your arms to ensure the sleeve fits close without being restrictive. Besides, how often do you legitimately get to flex in front of a mirror?
Next is one of the biggest complaints shorter guys have about shirts: sleeve length. Our measurements show that as guys age and put on weight, their arms remain the same length. While this may seem obvious, most larger shirts also have longer sleeves, which adds unnecessary fabric and a ballooning effect above the cuff, making your shirt look ill-fitting no matter how trim the body of the shirt may fit on you.
At the bottom of the sleeve, our cuffs have been sized appropriately to help emphasize the length of your forearms. In addition, we set two cuff buttons side by side rather than top to bottom so you can adjust the cuff to fit your wrists or get extra room for a larger watch.
Finally, the often overlooked sleeve placket: the open slit in the sleeve that goes up the forearm. The standard length of a sleeve placket can end too close to the elbow, making your arms look shorter than they are. Our thinner placket is shorter than a traditional shirt to make sure it ends about half the distance between the wrist and elbow.
As designers, we believe there’s no unimportant part of a shirt. That said, when someone says, “Hey buddy, nice shirt,” they probably aren’t referring to your cuffs. As the part of the shirt that makes the biggest impression, the body is the best place to start explaining what makes a Jax Everett shirt different than any shirt you have ever bought before.
As you can see from any magazine photo spread, most menswear is designed to look great on tall, slim men. The problem comes when shorter guys try to find a version that fits them. Buy small to get the right length and you often get a shirt that’s too tight around the body. Buy large to get room for your chest or belly and you get a shirt that’s often too long elsewhere.
That’s why to create our clothing line for men 5’9” and under, we threw out the standard industry measurements and assumptions most other designers start with and instead measured real men from around the country. Armed with this data, we’ve built a collection that provides a fit that, well, actually fits.
The goal of a well-fitting shirt, no matter what your height, is to accentuate the positives of your body while reducing focus on the negatives. A shirt needs to provide a close fit around the body without feeling too tight; unlike in women’s fashion, you don’t want to show off every curve.
Our modern fit shirts are proportioned for your height and build so that they’re neither too long nor too tight. By removing the excess fabric of a traditional shirt, you avoid the sloppiness of classic shirts on shorter guys that can make you look bulkier and shorter than you really are.
While providing a modern fit, care was taken to make sure our shirts provide a little extra fabric around the chest and waist to avoid anything that might make it look like the buttons are about to pop off. The result is a fit that provides the look of a trimmer waist while leaving room for a few extra pounds around the belly, giving your torso a longer, leaner appearance. Additionally, on the back of the shirt, we added small pleats to each shoulder, giving you a full range of motion without stretching the shirt.
When it comes to shirt length, our shirts are designed to look great tucked in or out. When tucked in, this length means you don’t get excess fabric bunching up around your crotch and butt, yet is still long enough to stay tucked in when you move around. Untucked, it ends at just the right spot to prevent an unfortunate plumber’s crack when you lift your arms while providing a flattering length that makes you look taller.
Finally, unless you’re going for a retro-geek-chic look, odds are you don’t use a chest pocket. More importantly, pockets often ride too low on the torso and visually disrupt a streamlined look, making you register as shorter than you really are. Our shirts have no pockets on them, giving your body a long, uninterrupted line from waist to neck.
A staple of the Kentucky Derby, seersucker has long been seen as a springtime fabric. But once the race is over, the ticket stubs are torn up and the mint juleps have all been quaffed, gents tend to put their seersucker back in the closet for another year.
To us, though, seersucker truly comes into its own as a summer fabric. Lightweight and breathable with lots of natural stretch, the puckers in seersucker keep most of the fabric away from your skin, creating micro air pockets that allow you to cool. When woven with other fibers like silk it can make the fabric even cooler and faster drying. Trust us, it takes just one overly long outdoor summer wedding, one of those ones where they write their own vows, to realize the joy of a seersucker suit.
And despite what you see at the Derby, you don’t have to dress like a Southern gentleman to put on and pull off seersucker. While the traditional white and blue stripes are certainly the most well known combination, seersucker can come in a host of different colors in solids and plaids. If traditional seersucker is too casual, black and gray stripes give you a suit that looks great at the office or a night out on the town. You can even unleash your inner James Bond with a black-on-black seersucker tuxedo jacket (satin peak lapel optional) for an elevated formal look that keeps you cool at the baccarat table, seducing a double agent or in the heat of a climactic shoot-out with SPECTRE henchmen.
With its natural wrinkle, seersucker is the perfect traveling fabric. It looks just as good straight from the cleaners, right out of the suitcase, or after a 10-hour flight. And unlike more delicate summer materials, it’s easy to clean; shorts and pants should be able to be machine-washed and air tumble-dried, while unlined jackets will need an additional cool ironing to help flatten out the lapel and hemlines afterward.
We’re putting the final touches on a collection of shirts for shorter guys that will look great in seersucker, with jeans and everything in between. Sign up here to be the first to know when we launch our Fall collection or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Jax Everett is a new kind of men’s clothing company, one founded on the simple premise that all men should be able to look good no matter what size they are. As we’re putting the finishing touches on our collection and our online store, we wanted to introduce ourselves now to let you know what we’re working on and get your feedback.
Jax Everett was born out of our experience in the fashion industry witnessing first-hand the fact that stylish clothing is usually only designed to standard proportions that aren’t realistic for all men. Not only that, but quite frankly, designers like to design for tall, skinny people, as any runway show or fashion magazine spread can attest.
If that’s you, congratulations on hitting the genetic jackpot. For the rest of us, especially guys shorter than 5’9”, we’ve had to deal with clothes that are too long, too baggy and too bulky.
So we decided to do something about it. With Jax Everett we’re creating the kind of clothing company we always wished we could shop at by taking all our favorite styles and redesigning them to perfectly fit shorter guys.
We’re not designing to standard industry sizes or adjusting from established proportions. We started from scratch and designed for you by crowdsourcing detailed measurements from men all across the country. You’ll see the results in every aspect of our clothing, from things you’ve struggled with forever like shirt length to details like ditching shirt pockets that make you look shorter.
But your measurements are just the beginning. When we launch you’ll get the chance to vote on which styles we produce; we believe this is your clothing company as much as it is ours and want you to have a voice in the clothes we make. By focusing on guys shorter than 5’9” and involving you in everything we do, we’re creating a clothing company unlike anything else on the market.
We’re still looking for measurements to dial in the fit, so submit your specs here. And check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all summer long for updates, chances to vote on our products, style tips and other things we think you’ll like. It’s your brand too, so hit us up and let us know what you’re thinking.
This is more than just a clothing company; it’s a new way of thinking about what clothing should be. And we can’t wait to share it with you.