That’s because Astaire was a master of using clothes to create a greater sense of muscularity to his whippet-like
frame. When it came to trousers, he favoured cuts that created a greater sense of bulk. He wore his pants at his
natural waist to endow his 5’9” frame with greater height. He favoured forward pleats that add a certain soft volume
to the hip area, and his trousers were full-cut but well proportioned. They ended invariably in substantial cuffs
complemented by sturdy lace-up shoes.
THE STATUESQUE MAN
Actor Gary Cooper stood at 6’3”, but because of a lean frame and athletic shoulders, he had
a tendency to photograph much taller. Even before Fred Astaire made his way to Anderson & Sheppard, Cooper was
already a customer of the Mayfair firm renowned for its legendary drape cut, which creates volume that is perfect
for leaner, taller men. Full-cut trousers help give a tall man a sense of dynamic muscularity.
Tall, slender men should select coats with elements that emphasise horizontal lines, such as bolder patterns, patched
pockets, additional ticket pockets and even turn-back sleeve cuffs. Similarly, they should look for trousers that
are slightly more generous in cut. Taller men can also afford larger-diameter cuffs and slightly longer breaks
across their shoes. However, their trouser hems should always be in proportion to their shoe size.
THE ATHLETIC MAN
For those of you who’ve honed your physique in the swimming pool, boxing ring or on the rugby pitch, your underlying
physique, with shoulders and chest far larger than your waist and hips, should already provide you with an
Atlas-shaped silhouette. So, why would you want to hide all your hard work? Says Joe Morgan of Chittleborough &
Morgan, Savile Row’s most body-conscious structuralists, “We’ve seen a lot of men coming in who’ve worked hard on
their physiques, so correspondingly, they want clothes that show off this hard work.”
An athletic man benefits from being able to perpetuate different styles. His silhouette will be flattered by fuller
cuts, sitting at the natural waistline. But an athletic man can also wear slim-cut trousers with equal aplomb, and
he can sport forward- or reverse-pleated trousers, plain-front trousers, cuffless or cuffed hems, according to his
whims and fancies. Many of these decisions will be related to the style and level of structure of his coat, and how
the silhouette of his trousers can complement rather than detract from this.
THE COMPACT MAN
Similar to the larger man, the objective of a shorter gentleman is to always emphasise vertical lines. However,
unlike the larger man, the short man should stay away from ‘dressing big’. His clothes should fit him like a second
skin. In this regard, he may be better off selecting clothing from an Italian brand or tailor, who tend to cut
closer-fitting coats and trousers.
As pleats tend to add weight to the hips in trousers, a short man is often best served by a close-fitted plain front.
Trousers should strike at, or just below, the natural waist. Too high a waistline may create the appearance that the
trousers are devouring the torso. It is also important that the fork of the trousers be as high as possible, and
that the front creases of the trousers are both sharp and veer towards the inside.
When buying trousers off the rack, there is a tendency to size up and have them taken in at the waistband and across
the centre seam of the seat. But this is bad for a shorter man, because taking in trousers here has a tendency to
pull the front creases of the trousers further apart. To create a narrower, leaner look, it is advisable to buy a
size down in trousers and open the waistband up to add room. This will bring the front creases of the trousers
closer together, which creates a narrower silhouette, while the smaller-sized trousers will also feature