Your appearance; whether sharp and confident, relaxed and cool, or sloppy and scruffy is often reduced to the fit of your clothing. Finding the right tailor may be crucial, but there is nothing nearly as significant as sharing a critical eye with the fitting-room mirror. The following should serve as a general fit guide for the novice. It doesn’t take a special skill to make clothes fit, it just takes paying attention to details.
The Collar: The collar should just graze your neck without constricting it. You should be able to comfortably put two fingers in your collar after it is buttoned.
The Shoulder Seam: It must be at your shoulder bone. Anything above or below is ill-fitting.
The Sleeves: These should not be so tight that you all the details of your arms are visible neither should it be so loose that it billows. When bending your arms, a fitted sleeve cuff moves just an inch upwards. Make sure that you sleeve doesn’t gather at the cuffs, it causes your limbs to appear shorter.
The Cuffs: These should meet the point were you palms begins. It should be tight enough but a bit loser than your properly fitting watch.
The Shirt Lenght: These should be such that bending and making natural movements does not cause the shirt to become untucked. Additionally, if you fold your hands behind your head, your shirt should remain tucked. If this is a problem, the shirt may be too short or the armholes may be too low. Alternatively, armholes should not be tight around the shoulder.
- The tie should not tighten your collar but should simply just sit under your collar.
- Your knot should vary depending on your collar. A wider collar also known as a spread collar ( mostly on british shirts) would call for a larger knot such as a full-windsor. A narrow collar, such as a classic, buttoned down or tab collar (mostly on American shirts), would call for a four-in-hand. Experiment and see what knot looks good to you. You knot must be at the center of your collar, a little shift will be noticed.
- When using a tie clip, note this, it must be between your third and fourth button from the top.
- While standing straight, the bottom of your tie should just reach the center of or the tip of your belt buckle
Dress Pants and Chinos
- No pants should need a belt to stay on your hips. Pleats are your worst enemy, avoid them ; they make you look as though you are carrying more weight around your stomach.
- Trousers should not be tight to the leg, but also should not billow. It should be comfortably close to the leg without causing resistance when you sit or walk.
- You generally want a single break in the pant leg. A break is a crease at the base of the pant leg created when the pant collapses onto the shoe. If you’re going sockless with slim chinos then you probably want no breaks.
Let us note that clothes best flatter a fit body. When it comes to your appearance, apparel is only part of the equation. It is important to eat well, drink well, and exercise occasionally. The simple truth is you don’t need six-pack abs to look good. It is much easier for clothing to look great for someone in shape than out of shape.
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Make sure you read my previous post How Well Do You Know Your Fabrics?
Gabriel Adewale Balogun
Image Consultant | Fashion Designer | Personal Shopper.
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