What Not To DoPosted by Peter Manning on
Even if you don’t consider yourself “into fashion,” how you dress matters. Whether we care or not, others are making assumptions about us based on our appearance. Wearing clothes that fit properly is important, especially if you are "less than tall". Clothes that fit make you appear taller and thinner, and quite frankly, more put together. A man whose clothes fit him well gives the appearance that he pays attention to details, that he takes pride in his appearance and himself. This is stuff that leads to success in life and love.
Let’s start from the bottom. Don’t let your pants bunch up around your ankles and if you find your hems are all torn up from dragging, it’s time to make a change! Know your inseam and work to make sure your pants have the proper break. Pants with excess material look sloppy and make you look shorter. Look for pants that have a slimmer leg and smaller ankle opening. A pant leg with too much extra material makes your leg look wider than it needs to. Also, keep as much bagginess out of the seat. A medium or lower rise will look best.
Up top, fit and proportion are equally important. I witness violations every day on the streets of New York City, which is supposed to be one of the most fashion-forward places on earth. It's quite astonishing how many men here walk around with jackets and shirts that hang to their knees, and polo and T-shirt sleeves that fall below the elbow. Short sleeves should hit around mid-bicep, by the way. Shirt sleeves should be slim and should not billow around the upper arm and elbow. If you decide to wear a shirt out, it should fall right below the hip to about mid-zipper. If it’s too much longer you’ll look like you are wearing your dad’s shirt. Keep the body as slim as you are comfortable with, but the slimmer the better— as long as it’s not tight.
For your sport coat or suit jacket, make sure the bottom doesn’t fall below your backside. Too long and you shorten yourself. The sleeves should land right at your wrist bone, with your shirt sleeves hitting below the base of your thumb, allowing for a quarter- to half-inch of cuff peeking out. Make sure the outside edge of the shoulders on your jacket measure to the tip of your shoulder bone, letting your sleeve create a straight line from shoulder to cuff. Too wide a shoulder will give you a boxy look. Keep it slim.
Trends come and go and body types can dictate variations, but stick to these general rules of thumb, and you’ll always look good. And feel great. I see it every single day in our fit shop. The right fit can change your life.