Monday evening I was sitting at the City of Brentwood Planning Commission Meeting when an architect approached the podium facing the commissioners’ bench. His pants drooped down the back in large folds as if he were wearing a big diaper underneath. I tried not to pay attention but my mind kept asking the question: “Didn’t he look at his back when he bought these pants?” The answer was obviously, “no.” Today’s Friday Fashion post goes beyond labels. It’s not even about style. It’s about one of the foundations of western apparel. It’s simple and yet one of the most neglected men’s fashion rules in America. Why don’t we wear clothes that fit?
I have seen people take expensive, designer clothing and make them look cheap because they were the wrong size. I have known physically fit and well-proportioned men look frumpy and disheveled because their pants, shirts or coats were too big or too small.
Fellow men, consider this next time you’re buying clothes:
- Always look at what’s going on behind you. You might not see it, but everyone else does. That’s why the Chinese invented the mirror.
- Make sure your shirts taper with your body. If you have large shoulders than buy athletic cut shirts or have them altered to take off the excess material on the side. If you’re working out and have an athletic built, the extra shirt material will make you look bigger in the stomach. And, no, don’t bunch it up and tuck the excess fabric on the back of your pants. Again, we can see your backside.
- The same applies for your suit or sports jackets. But beyond tapering on the sides, make sure the jacket arm length shows just between half and an inch of your shirt cuff underneath. Put your arms down to your side and curl your fingers slightly. You should feel the edge of your coat as your fingers get half-way up your hands. The bottom of the coat should rest on your knuckles. A well-fitted sports coat will make most guys look sharp with little or no help.
- As far as pants are concerned, I wrote about how I prefer flat fronted pants here. But regardless, make sure that the seat of your slacks, the seam that attaches both legs of the trouser together, is not droopy. Otherwise, you’ll get the “junk in the trunk” or “diaper” effect going on behind you.
If you want to see what well-fitting clothing is supposed to look like, watch Daniel Craig in James Bond’s Quantum of Solace. I don’t think he wore anything that didn’t fit him well in the entire movie. Even after fighting the bad guys all night long and blowing up a bunch of stuff, he still looked great, mostly because of his well-fitted suit, as you can see in the picture below.
What other tips do you have to keep a man well fit?