Most of the clients that come to me all share a common, practical problem when it comes to their personal style. Frankly, they want clothes that fit well, and they’re tired of buying a bunch of shit and hoping it works out. They end up spending more money on clothes that don’t make them feel good, and often times those same clothes aren’t realistic to their lifestyle or personal sense of style. They’re frustrated and want to improve, but know that it’s a big project, and often aren’t sure what to do about it. That’s where I come in and get to wave my magic wand! So today, this post is gonna be very practical and teach you all about good fit vs. bad fit and how to tell if a piece looks good on you. Because no one should be walking around wearing ill-fitted clothes that aren’t comfortable.
The Correlation Between Well-Fitted Clothes And Dating.
Before we dive into the practical tools and tips for choosing well-fitted clothes, let’s take a deeper look at where this could also be showing up for you in other areas of life. When clients come to me and want to work on finding clothes that work for their body, I often find another common theme comes to the surface during our deeper work. These same clients also don’t always know what they’re attracted to, and this also shows up specifically in dating. Everyone wants to be in a great relationship. Everyone wants someone awesome. When you want to learn how a piece of clothing looks good on you, you may also uncover that you don’t always know what you’re attracted to, and this also plays out in the area of romance. When I work with my stylist clients on a deeper level, in my holistic men’s program, I find they also want to gain clarity on what kind of woman they’d want in their life, and how to rebuild themselves to be such a man. Same also goes for my female clients, as I work with both.
Think about it like this, you have a date Friday night with that pretty woman from yoga class. You’re equally excited and nervous and want to look your best. You got shopping and buy a bunch of dress pants and shirts, try to match colors and think of other things you’ve seen other people wear and your deciding factor goes something like, okay, which one of these is the closest to what I saw that guy wearing. It might turn out okay, but chances are it’s never awesome. Why approach dating the same way? One of the first things I teach my clients in the first month of my Staple Style Program, Create A Minimalist, Versatile Wardrobe, is to be selective. When you become more selective about what you put in your closet, you attach a much bigger value to each individual piece, you take care of it better, and you’ll probably find that you’re no longer be happy with the cheap stuff. Same goes with dating. To be clear, I’m not calling people cheap. But I am saying that once you become more selective with your personal style, and train yourself to only buy what you love, and choose pieces that fit well, you’re more likely to find this translates to other areas of your life, especially the women you want to date.
How To Spot Common Fit Issues and Their Causes.
This photo of me was taken at the Kenneth Cole store in Miami off 8th Street. I remember I walked in with a friend, and the retail representative walked right up to me and said, “anything in this store will look amazing on you”. I don’t know if it was an ode to my fit game at the time or my own personal style. But either way, no matter what size or shape we are, it’s helpful to know how to tell if a piece looks good on you. Whenever I try something on, I always tilt my head in the full length mirror and check out every angle. My mom always makes a comment how I always turn my head like that when she’s with me. So, to help us all figure out what looks good and what doesn’t. I wanted to bring in one of my biggest style inspirations, Anuschka Rees, author of The Curated Closet. You know when you read a great book, and you’re like, OMG this is exactly what I’ve been doing, or how I feel, and now I finally know what to call it? That’ exactly what happened to me with her book. She gave me the language I needed to explain what comes so naturally to me as a stylist. Her book lays out everything you need to know about finding your personal style and building your dream wardrobe and everything in between! It reminds me of, A Return to Love by Marianna Williamson, in the way that Marianne just brought words to how my heart was feeling at the time when it came to spirituality and romantic relationships. The Curated Closet is a must-have book for every stylist to keep in their arsenal. She takes the very large, and sometimes overwhelming fashion industry, and breaks down the style elements you need to know to have great personal style through digestible, super practical examples and exercises. I’ve learned so much from reading this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
What Good Fit vs. Bad Fit Looks Like.
In The Curated Closet, Rees explains how two factors determine how well a piece will fit: the size of your body and its proportions. This includes everything from the width of your shoulders and rib cage to the length of your legs and arms and the curve of your waist. No two people are alike, so a little trial and error is inevitable.
She says says the key to a piece with a good fit is determined by three things:
- Hangs on your body just as the designer intended it to.
- Feels comfortable and allows you to move freely.
- Stays put without having to be readjusted.
A piece with a bad fit is determined by these three things:
- Looks distrorted and may be too tight in some places but too loose in others.
- Digs into your skin, feels uncomfortably tight, and restricts your movement.
- Slips down, pulls, gaps, wrinkles, or bunches up as you move and needs to be constantly tucked back into place.
She also recommends these four options when you’re trying items and trying to figure out what the problem is. When a piece doesn’t fit, she recommends these four options:
- Try a different size.
- Try a different style or silhouette if available.
- Have it tailored.
- Skip that piece entirely (when it’s poorly constructed, doesn’t work with your proportions cannot be altered, or isn’t worth having altered).
Try This The Next Time You Shop: The Essential Two-Step Fit Check.
When I first tried this, I loved loved loved how it worked wonders at isolating the problem and working toward a solution. So, naturally I wanted to share Rees’s Two-step Fit Check that you can easily try for yourself when you’re trying on clothes in the fitting room during your next shopping trip. Follow these two steps to access the potential fit of a piece of clothing, and whether or not it deserves a place in your wardrobe.
Step 1: Mirror Check.
Try on a piece of clothing in a full-length mirror and visually inspect it from top to bottom. Does it look like it should? Could the crop top be mistaken for a baggy tank top? Is there any creasing, pulling on the seams, or sagging? Pay special attention to the shoulders of tops, jackets, and dresses and the waistband and crotch area of pants and skirts. Does the waistband fit snugly around the body? Is it too tight, loose or unsupportive? If you don’t spot any issues it passes the mirror check. If it doesn’t reference her four options above.
Step 2: Movement Check.
Pants that gap in the back and slide down when you’re wearing them, blazers that give you T-rex arms, and skirts that spin around your waist as soon as you take a step, are some fit issues that only present themselves when you move. Anuschka Rees recommends doing these four movements to check and see how a piece feels on your body:
- Hug someone (or pretend to).
- Sit down.
- Bend over (as if you were tying your shoes).
One of my clients was a martial arts instructor, so naturally he likes his pants to have little to no restriction, and would literally do a drop kick in the dressing room. Hey, that’s how free he needed to be in his pants, so more power to him. I’m all about embracing authenticity in your personal style. He also loved pants that were made in ripstop material, which made it super flexible for him to kick ass at any given moment, if necessary of course.
Next time you’re going shopping, save this blog post to your phone and pull it up and try out the Essential Two-Step Fit Check. It’s really helpful when learning what pieces look good on you. I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Let me know how your next shopping trip goes in the comments below!