It’s About the Fit!

Fashion is changing and seeking to be more inclusive every day. The first signs of this include designers creating clothes in different fits and shapes, as well as hiring a more diverse group of models.

On that note, finding the right fit for your body and style is crucial. Garments such as shirts, blazers, and pants can be adjusted, but there are principles to keep in mind.

Shirts and Jackets

When trying on a shirt or a natural-shoulder jacket, pay attention to the stitches on the shoulders, which connect the body of the garment to the sleeves. The stitches should lay on the spot where the shoulder ends and the arm begins.


An illustration of how shoulders should fit as well as the ideal shirt width. Photo: Beckett Simonon

To define the right width for a shirt, you should be able to pinch 2 inches on each side or 3 inches for a looser fit.

The length is more open to the interpretation. It is recommended not to go longer than mid-crotch or mid-hip when wearing a shirt untucked and it should be longer than that length if you are going tucked.


How a untucked shirt should be worn

For jackets, especially blazers, the recommended length is somewhere between mid-crotch or mid-hip (approximately 5 inches below the waist) and lower crotch or full hip (approximately 7 inches below the waist), but it really depends on the jacket.


An example of the ideal shoulder fit and length for a blazer.


The waist is the most important part of the pants; it is imperative to avoid pants that are too tight or too loose. The width varies, but just like shirts, you should be able to pinch at least 2 inches on each side.

Another aspect to pay attention to is how it fits in the back. Make sure that it is “softly grabbing the backside”; if it is too tight, it is going to be very uncomfortable in more than one way and if it is too loose, it will look messy.


Examples of how the pant’s waist should look. Not uncomfortable lines. Photo: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

When it comes to how long pants should be, it is all about personal choice. There are three types of breaks or lengths: full break, half-break and no break.

If the hem covers the upper part of your shoes is a full break, if it barely touches your shoes is half-break and a no break if it does not touch your shoes at all, exposing ankles.


Pants’ breaks (left to right): full break, half-break and no break. Photo:

Find your fit, look your best

No matter your body type or style, there is a fit that will make you shine. Just take the following tips on your next visit to a store.

The shirt and jacket shoulders as well as the pant’s waist are the only parts that are very hard and expensive to fix. Before buying any garment, make sure these fit well. Pants should fit well without the need of a belt, since belts are for decoration only.

Finding the right fit requires time and patience, so dedication is key. A few stores or brands with alteration services include Thom Browne and Nordstrom.

About author


Nicolas Lu is a Public Relations professional specialized in Fashion and Luxury Goods. He also collaborates with magazines and online media by writing articles about fabrics, style trends and other fashion related topics.
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