Men, You Don’t Need Designer or Expensive Clothes to Look Good

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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?

Fashion Friday Maurilio Amorim ill fitting

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.

Daniel Craig suit well fit Maurilio Amorim

What other tips do you have to keep a man well fit?

  • Tommy Lane

    Excellent post.

  • Tommy Lane

    Excellent post. I really appreciate your insight on men’s dress.

  • While I agree James Bond did look terrific in his clothes, his large wardrobe staff and being ripped didn't hurt either! 😉 However, your point is well taken and accurate. Do you ever look at some people and think, did they really look in the mirror this morning and say to themselves, " yup, I look good!"

    I was in the men's clothing business for many years and my favorite is when a guy tried on a sport coat and then proceeds to raise his arms directly in front of him and states " These sleeves are too short." I would reply, well, if you're going to walk all day with your arms out like that they are, but if you put your arms down they are just right!"

    Finally, men need to understand they are not the same size waist they wore in high school. Pull your pants up OVER your belly and your tie might just reach the top of your pants!

    • Well said Barry. And I would love to have James' Bond wardrobe team, his personal trainer and private chef.

  • Tommy Lane

    Excellent post. I really appreciate your insight on men's dress.

  • I must admit, I'm a big fan of your Fashion Friday!

    I also must admit that I always bought XL shirts, a habit left over from the oversized 80's. I finally started buying Large about a year ago, and I'm happier with the fit.

    (However, I still like to wear XL Depends under my slacks)

    • Glad to know you're a fan of Friday Fashion. It actually embarrasses Gwen.

  • All of my shirts are fitted and are wrinkle free (I just throw em in the dryer). I also buy flat fronted pants. Most guys that I see could easily get by wearing fitted shirts, but there are not nearly as many to choose from, so most men don't buy them…or they don't know they exist. Men need to invest more in their shoes. Not necessarily more money per pair, but more in the up-keep. Keep them shined and put "shoe trees" in them.

    • Mitch, aaah, shoes are so important. I had an older lady tell me when I was a teenager something I've never forgotten: you can usually tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes.

  • What if your belly is so big that you need XLs? How do you tailor around that?

    • Good question, Greg. You might have the opposite problem where a shirt fits around your waist, but then it's too big around the shoulders and neck. A good seamstress or tailor can help make the shirt look good. No matter your body type, when clothes fit properly, you automatically look better.

  • jeff loring

    Nice post Maurilio! If anyone needs to have those diaper pants taken in, I know the place to go.

    • Jeff, I thought about you when I was writing this post. You have the best fitting clothes of anyone I know. And, as well as you should. I need to come by your shop sometime and shoot a video on what to look for when buying a suit or jacket.

  • I have terrible posture and have to think about it all the time. So true.

  • Maurilio, Good stuff. thanks for sharing. I do have another fashion question. How long should the tie hang?

    • Tie lengths can vary with styles. For example skinny ties tend to be worn longer than fat ties. However, the rule of thumb for all ties lies on your belt buckle. Ideally, the tip of your tie should hit the middle of your belt buckle.

  • Bob K

    I hate a tight waistband. It makes my tummy ache. I buy them loose and if my “behind” bundles up then at least I am comfortable. To me it about how you feel and not how I am seen from behind. 🙂

  • Hi, nnYour topic is really so good that men Donu2019t Need Designer or Expensive Clothes to Look Good and your article is really so good for about this topic. nnThanks guys for sharing it.

  • Shirts that are athletically cut not only fit an in-shape
    person better, but they also help to provide comfort. Not to mention that they
    look great one the person. One thing an athletic person has to be careful about
    when wearing an athletic cut shirt though is to be sure to buy one that fits and not one that is
    too small. A shirt that is too small will no doubt tear or rip along the stress
    points of the stitching under the amount of pressure from the muscles of the
    body. That is if the body builder is actually that strong. 🙂

  • Architect

    I am the architect of whom he speaks, and to be honest here, I do in fact wear depends or a “diaper” for medical reasons. 

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