There are many as-is options if you fall in the 5'5-5'7 range of short. We've covered "Express Clothing" for example (One of my favorite places to shop). Their smallest sizes can accomodate this section of men quite easily with little hassle by way of altering (not necessary). However, when you go below this threshold, getting the perfect fit can be quite the challenge.
A few years ago, in a combination of searching for trendy styles without having to make a trip into Soho, the East Village or any mall for that matter in the NYC Metro area, and knowing there is a huge world out there online, I decided to head to eBay in search of eBay stores for clothes.
What Is An eBay Store?
eBay sellers can create collections of their items for sale in a makeshift online shop. These online shops within eBay, called "stores", allow sellers to catalog their items by item type. For example, an auto part dealer can sell Filters, Rims, Valves or whatever under one umbrella. Just search for the store's name within eBay stores.
Clothing, Watches, Sneakers, whatever you are looking for, chances are there is an eBay store that sells those types of items. A lot of clothing shops exist inernationally that sell clothes exclusively through their eBay stores, or sell surplus of their items similar to the way B&H Photo & Video does with their electronics.
Peering Through Jungle
At the risk of running across a stereotype, the first shops that caught my attention where the stores based in Asia, particularly those in Hong Kong and South Korea. On every eBay listing, you can see where items are being shipped from or where the respective eBay store is based. My first clothing purchase from such an eBay store was a Peacoat. (Mind you, I've been shopping online since the late 90s, but never bought clothing, at most, maybe shoes and sneakers).
Like many skeptical online buyers, I was weary that the quality of the clothes I would receive might just be sub-par. This is where it pays to do your homework. Look for hints on listings. Search for the type of material (i.e. Cotton, Poly Urethane Leather, Genuine Leather, etc). BE sure to look for sizes. There are different sizes internationally. Did you know Medium for many shops in Hong Kong would equal a Large here in the U.S.? Some listings are genuine and carry measurements in inches and conversion charts (think similarly to the way Shoe sizes differ between Europe and the U.S.).
The better eBay stores will give accurate size charts illustrating the length in inches or centimeters of everything from sleeve length, pant length, inseam size, and the measurement of shoulder to shoulder for shirts and jackets. You should have a tape measure handy when discerning what will work for you. Use one of your favorite own clothing items for a healthy comparison.
Happy vs. Unhappy
I can say with honesty that my only dissapointment with shopping in eBay stores was my first experience because I didn't do my homework. I ordered a size too large. I ordered a Medium forgetting that M in that part of the world is an S over here, so the jacket I ordered had too tight a fit. The jacket also lacked the luster that I saw on the eBay listing. All of this my own fault for not reading up on the material which was listed clearly on the page.
Because of the time it took to ship the item from Hong Kong to New York, I just let it go and chalked it up as an experience. Keep this in mind when ordering by the way. Also look for shipping costs and time. Some stores have expedited options that can get you your item within two weeks. For some, shipping times can be up to a month and a half! Also watch for ratings, and never be afraid to peer through buyer feedback for added confidnence in what you are purchasing.
From there on however, every single buying experience has been a hit. I've managed to purchase trendy looking button down shirts, jackets, coats, jeans and belts that raised a lot of eyebrows. Questions like "Where did you get that cool shirt?" would come up frequently. A lot of the stuff you see in some of these eBay stores, you really cannot find in the U.S. We're talking shirts with specific cuts, designs, and even shades and tones that are hard to find.
This article is a mere introduction to the many eBay stores that we plan to start covering as a means to point everyone in the right direction of clothes that will gaurantee the perfect fit, or at least close. More so, to give you access to trendy clothes and fashion that you may not have discovered otherwise. Stay tuned. The picture we used for this article is that of a trendy jacket from the follwing eBay shop Cici-Go (which by chance, does not only sell clothes).