Ill-fitting clothes make a lean guy look frail, a big guy look bulbous, and an average-sized guy just look downright frumpy (that’s right … frumpy). Having well-fitting clothes will enhance all body types.
You can break almost any rule of style … except fit. It says “I care that much more about how I look”. And believe me, that makes all the difference. This is why fit is the single most important thing to master about dressing well.
What Constitutes Great Fit
The basic premise of proper fit: your clothes should skim close to your body and outline your frame without being too tight. We’re not talking about putting on a second skin. Your shirts should fit close without being too tight or constricting. Your pants should feel comfortable and allow you freedom of movement. But, at the same time, you don’t want to look like you’re taking sizing cues from MC Hammer.
The goal of a good fit is to lie as close to the body as possible while maintaining comfort. It should never look as if your clothing is working hard to cover your body – any time you see signs of strain at the seams or the buttons, this means your clothing may be too fitting. Take a look at this comprehensive guide from Primer Magazine. They cover the proper fit on everything from button-ups and suits to t-shirts and jeans. And here’s a quick cheatsheet to use when out shopping for those stylish, yet fitting, clothes.
Finding The Right Fit
Try. On. Everything. If it doesn’t fit, return it. It’s plain and simple. This goes for online shopping, as well. Don’t be afraid to utilize companies’ generous return policies. More often than not, you can send the item back and exchange for a differenct size, a refund, or store credit. To help with online shopping, get to know a tailor and have them take all your measurements for you. Utilize online sizing guides to find clothes that fit your measurements or at least come very close. Befriending a tailor might possibly be the best thing to happen to the fit of your wardrobe.
This article first appeared in a slightly altered version at A Curated Style.