Napoleon's Tailor offers stylish threads for small men looking to make a big impression.
"I love it," says customer Al Raya. "Trousers fit well, shoes shined, so forth, your first impression is always your best impression."
Raya is one satisfied customer, but it's been a challenge convincing others. It seems short men are in denial.
"Petite may be fine for the women. It doesn't work for men. They will refuse to buy clothes that have anything to do with short, even if it fits," says store owner Gary Anders.
"If you've ever seen Danny de Vito, he's really only five feet tall," says Anders, who helps his customers relax by reminding them of powerful and sexy men who happen to be short.
In a nation where the message seems to be bigger is better, small anything seems to be out of style. At Starbucks, a short coffee is called a tall, and some fast food chains have eliminated small sodas from their menu.
"I can't supersize myself to get into a department store. Thirty-nine cents isn't going to do it," says Anders.
A line on the door warns customers: if you are taller than this line, the clothing will not fit you…a little attempt at humor that Anders' customers appreciate.
Napoleon's Tailor ends the humiliation of shopping in the children's department or the expense of custom tailoring.
"I've had customers walk out of here and go, 'I bought something off the rack.' That child-like quality in the voice of wonderment, because that hadn't happened to them in years, if ever," says Anders.
You may be surprised to learn that short men are not in short supply. Anders says nearly twice as many men actually fall into the short category as those who wear big and tall clothing. Yet, because there seems to be a stigma attached to acknowledging that you're small, most men would rather not shop a store that caters to the little guy.
The following are the store locations:
7254 W. Foster
Chicago, IL 60656
317 N. 76th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
And here is another store:
Short Sizes Inc
6051 Mayfield Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44124