Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Fashion Fundamental

I’ve been writing a lot about this blog without actually blogging enough, so here’s a real post for ya! Exciting, right? Well this is a simple but crucial one, and I’m sharing what I have learned to be the most important aspect of looking good: fit.

You will read this on a million different blogs, but that doesn’t make it any less significant or true. The way your clothes fit goes ten times farther to making  you look good than the clothes themselves. A $100 suit that is well fitted can look ten times better than a $5,000 suit that is not. Likewise goes for pretty much any type of clothing you can buy.

So if this is already spread far and wide on the menswear blogging network, why am I bothering to write it again? Well you might say it has something to do with my lack of creativity, but I say hell no! It’s because this fundamental of dressing is Just. That. Important.

Also, up next I will begin actually reviewing some brands and clothing that I have tried and tested, and I want everyone to understand that, because of this strong belief, being able to find a good fit is immensely important to me in rating and reviewing products. My favorite brands are my favorite brands mainly because they fit so damn good.

So what makes good fit? I will go into greater depth and specificity in future articles, but there are a few pretty solid ‘rules’ to finding clothes that fit according to modern as well as classic style. Here are a few big ones:

Dress Shirts:
  • Honestly, I think the most important thing to looking like you fit in your clothes is to buy shirts that fit your waist (or get them taken in). The billowy tuck makes anyone look uncomfortable at best, and like they are playing dress-up in their daddy’s clothes at the worst. Look for fitted or slim fit shirts, as most regular fit clothing is made for fat people. Tailors and seamstresses can also easily add darts to the back of a shirt to get a slimmer fit.

  • Shoulder seams should rest on the corner of your shoulders. This, and neck width are the two main measurements a tailor won’t be able to change.

  • You should be able to fit one to two (but no more) fingers between the collar of the shirt and your neck without cutting off circulation.

  • Sleeves should hit the corner of your wrist and stick out one inch past your blazer or jacket sleeves.
  • These days, most style pros are calling for little to no break. This means that the hem of the pants should just rest on your shoes, or touch only enough to cause a slight fold in the lower leg. Don’t forget to consider whether or not you will want to roll or cuff the leg when considering length.

  • Personally, I think slim-straight is the best cut, but this can vary greatly depending on your body type. In general, you want something that you can fit into comfortably, but doesn’t hang off your body and pool at your knees and shoes. Don’t be afraid of a little taper in the lower leg. 
  • The most important thing for fit on a blazer is the shoulder. Put the blazer on, stand next to a wall, and slowly lean into it. If your shoulder hits the wall before the corner seam of the blazer, it is too small. Likewise if the corner seam/pad of the blazer hits first, it is too large. Also, the modern trend is for a ‘deconstructed build,’ which translates to small to non-existen shoulder pads (sorry folks, looking like a box is out).

  • Pay attention to the armholes. High cut armholes will not only allow for greater mobility, but will also make you look less like a penguin.

  • The sleeves of your jacket should be cut at the wrist bone, one inch above your shirt sleeve.

  • Sides of the jacket should taper in to your body, but this is a quick fix for a tailor, and shouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker in the shop.

  • I forget this one a lot: make sure the collar of the blazer rests snugly against the collar of your dress shirt, and avoid that dreaded collar gap. Sometimes it is fixable, but it is often a tough task for a tailor (oooh alliteration)!

  • Lastly, you should be able to comfortably curl your hands under the bottom hem of the blazer (while wearing it of course).
I’m really not an expert, I don’t go to a tailor all the time, but these are the rules I’ve compiled from reading everything (honestly, I read everything) from GQ to websites of bespoke tailors to fashion blogs, and so far they’ve steered me right every time. Having clothes that fit you correctly makes an unbelievable difference. I’m not going to give the life coach bullshit speech, but honestly, you will feel more relaxed, less concerned about your shit bunching up or getting creased or untucked, yadda yadda, and you’ll look ten times better (and know it).

As this blog develops I will at some point go into more detail for each item of clothing regarding fit as well as other aspects like material and color, and PHOTOS!

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