Let's hear it for the little guy: Philip Statman wants a designer suit. He is short, but determined. He has to be

'HE MAY be small but he is perfectly formed,' announced my mother. Standing 4ft 1in and weighing five stone, I was being surveyed by Morry Levenberg, late of the Whitechapel Road, and with a reputation for making a nobody look like a somebody. 'The secret lies in padding the shoulders,' he said.

Three weeks later it arrived, dark-blue, with long trousers, and oh, those shoulders. With pride, at 13 I had become, well in advance of my time, the first bionic bar mitzvah boy.

Still perfectly formed but now 5ft 4in and size 36 short, I felt it was time for a foray to the sales, as a treat to myself and to celebrate my 40th birthday, another coming of age.

This was to be my year for an Armani, a Cerutti, a Valentino. I would no longer be intimidated by the large cut of Hugo Boss nor of sales assistants who in past years had described me in mock French accents as 'mince' or, even more unhelpfully, stared with an expression of disbelief ('Of all the clothes shops in all the world he has chosen ours and expects to be fitted]')

Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Austin Reed - there would be a suit out there on the peg just waiting to leap on to my back and be taken for a spin to the Cantina del Ponte on Friday night. At the first grand store I pass rows of designer suits.

'Show me a 36 short, please.'

'They all go on the first day, sir. Those you are looking at now are not for you, you are far too small.'

'But today is the first day,' I protest, my resolve showing signs of erosion.

Next stop, the shop next door: a logo on the front announces it specialises in the long and the tall. My mind, playing tricks, or perhaps simply overburdened by years in darkened auditoriums watching Sergio Leone movies, registers The Long, the Short and the Tall.

'Can you advise me?' I ask the salesman.

'Have you tried shopping at Newmarket?' he snorts. The Man with No Name takes out his revolver and plugs this wise-ass between the eyes.

Me? I shrug off the slight and head for Liberty, where I am confronted by rack after rack of designer wear.

'I'm small,' I say.

'I can see that,' replies the assistant.

'You do realise that this is the year of the small man?' I protest.

Try telling that to Kenzo. Eventually I find the rack for shorties: a row of rather traditional charcoal-grey suits.

Tired and dejected, I return to my office with thoughts veering wildly between the spectre of the Harrods children's department (again) and the hitherto unappealing charms of grunge.

But there is a third option: a trip to Milan. To Valentino, to sit in a comfy chair, to be pampered, fawned over, and yes (at last]), to be fitted out in designer made-to-measure - or as near as dammit. Me with my memories of Morry Levenberg, late of the Whitechapel Road.

Valentino. What a shop, what an experience. A small man walks in, a tall man walks out.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Finacial products from our partners
Property search

Scottish independence: How will kilt-edged stocks fare?

Scottish companies were caned when the separatists surged in the polls. Is this the future, asks Simon Read, and would they be any better together?

Two million first-time buyers are locked out

The drought in lending to people with low deposits has created legions of frustrated buyers, writes Emma Lunn

Leaving money to charity in your will could help reduce the tax bill for your loved ones

Next week has been designated "remember a charity in your will week", to put the focus squarely on the subject
Money is slipping through our fingers: the UK is falling behind other countries in the amount we put away

How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away

The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options

Energy firms found guilty of bad practice could have licences revoked under Labour government

Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator

A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university

Fresh from A-level delight, the moment does not have to be soured by students resigning themselves to thousands of pounds worth of debt in three years' time. Rob Griffin sees how to pass the university challenge

'Dismal' eurozone data sparks concerns

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is under pressure to launch promised stimulus before the EU slides further
Love but not marriage: property is one area where cohabiting couples are in danger of losing out

How couples can protect their financial interests when cohabiting

People who simply live together cannot assume they have the same rights to each other's assets as spouses or civil partners. Michelle McGagh sees how they can protect their financial interests
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam