Fashion companies are constantly introducing new products and designs to keep up with modern trends. However, most fashion companies still build their clothing for the average person. Most men's clothes are designed for the average man who is around 5'10". While major retailers typically offer petite and plus size options for women, they offer only "big and tall" sections for men. Shorter men face an uphill battle when shopping and lack options from the clothing brands tailored towards them.
Take my own experience, for example. At 5'6", I'm short. Because of my height, I dread shopping. Trips to the mall take hours and I often leave empty handed. Even when I find clothes, I always have to stop at my tailor on the way home. The entire process is frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. My taller friends can generally find their clothes right away and don't require alterations.
Since major retailers don't offer "short and small" departments, shorter men typically have limited options:
1. Purchase Custom-made or Tailored Clothing: Shorter men must tailor most of the clothes that they purchase. Some items, such as shorts, polos, and casual button downs can't be tailored at a worthwhile price. And custom-made clothing is typically too expensive.
2. Try Your Luck With Select Brands: Some brands offer certain products that can complement a shorter person's build. However, these products are often hit-or-miss and there are limited options for shorter men.
There had to be a better way. Shorter men want to enjoy the same shopping experience that taller men do. Because of these challenges, I started Ash & Anvil, a clothing company for shorter men. Our first product -- casual button downs -- is designed specifically for this demographic.
Our Everyday Shirt fits perfectly in the collar, sleeves, and chest. It provides just the right length to be worn untucked and can be worn at the office or on the weekend. Take a look at the photo below to see a comparison between our well-proportioned design and a similar shirt from Ralph Lauren.
We're excited to launch a company that gives shorter men the positive shopping experience they deserve. All of our clothes will fit a shorter man right off the rack, saving countless hours at the mall and trips to the tailor. We hope that this will be a step in the right direction towards enriching the lives of shorter men by providing them with fashionable, no-hassle clothes.
Steven Mazur and Eric Huang are 2013 Venture for America Fellows who are using the VFA Innovation Fund and VFA Accelerator to launch Ash & Anvil this spring in Detroit. They are creating a better clothing experience for shorter men and recently kicked off their Indiegogo campaign to fund their initial product launch. Support their vision by contributing to their campaign.