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Help. I have a medium body with a large mind

July 10, 2013

Suit with tape measureNot long ago, some friends invited my wife and me to attend a baby shower. While there, I volunteered to participate in a game. Five or six men lined up with a balloon in hand and shoes untied. We were instructed to blow up the balloon to just shy of bursting and then tie it off. “Now,” the game leader laughed, “put the balloon under your shirt to simulate a pregnant stomach and tie your shoes.” The other five men easily stuffed in the faux baby while I stood there watching. You see, I had tailored my shirt to fit just right and even though I tried, I could not shove the air-filled belly in place. It got me thinking about the number of men out there paying attention to fit and tailoring.

“I’m a guy. I wear large shirts.” For years, I subconsciously told this to myself never giving a second thought to how a shirt actually fit on me. When choosing a shirt, I considered the colors, patterns, and styles with little attention to fit. As long as I could get it on and it was not excessively big or too tight, I thought it was all good. Men, I rationalized were larger; therefore, I needed a large shirt. I was wrong.

Years ago, a friend gave me a medium sized shirt for my birthday and a light bulb went off. It fit! All of a sudden, I realized how much of a schlump I had been, wearing a large size for all those years. Once I really dove into researching fashion, a local tailor became an essential part of my contact list. I came to understand how important a tailor should be to my wardrobe.

Mid 1800s painting of a tailor by swiss painter Samuel Albrecht Anker

Mid 1800s painting of a tailor by swiss painter Samuel Albrecht Anker

In the early middle ages, the professional tailor began a rise to prominence. As Europe entered the fourteenth century, tailors could be found throughout major cities including Paris, France which proudly employed around 700. As you probably know, many consider Paris a fashion center even today. In more recent years, various tailors have set the example for the fit and look of clothes. Saville Row in the 1930s, for example, did this with men’s suits.

In the modern era, a quality tailor can be found all over. In fact, in the city, you live probably no more than a few miles from a tailor. Despite the enormous benefit to be received, too many men overlook these vital professionals. Really, there’s no reason to stay away.

I write today asking you to adjust your wardrobe to fit well. It’s one of the most necessary changes you can make. Start by determining your sizes. Find out your ideal fitting shirt, pair of pants, jacket, and sport coat. You can do this by taking some of your clothes to a tailor and asking for them to be altered to fit. While there, ask them to measure you and provide advice about what size shirt and pants to buy. You can also ask a spouse or friend to measure you. Lastly, you can try on clothes at the store using trial and error. Whatever you do, make sure your clothes fit!

Also, check out these articles:

Dress Shirt Basics (Part 1): Fit

Suits 101: Elements of a properly fitting suit

© Copyright 2013 Fashion for the average man.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Juda permalink
    July 10, 2013 2:11 pm

    I love fitted shirts on my husband but he doesn’t like the feel of a shirt hugging his body. Did you have to “get used to” that feeling?

    On another note many men have bellies that do not accommodate a fitted smaller size. Maybe men’s shirts can be redesigned like maternity clothes to fit in the other areas while having room for that “faux baby?”

  2. July 11, 2013 5:17 pm

    Very interesting blog, Jeremy, and nice to see something meant to help men with their wardrobe. I confess to being a white triangle man most of my life. Thanks for your interest in Gwichyaa Zhee, the land of wrinkled shirts.

  3. July 13, 2013 2:02 pm

    Jeremy, I think you are such fantastic support with your blog … to men – and your advice makes so much sense.

  4. July 16, 2013 1:01 am

    Great blog, with easy tips to dress your best. Love the tips so helpful!!! Thank you for visiting my blog, I will be back to visit you in hopes of tweaking my husbands style 🙂

  5. July 16, 2013 9:28 am

    Oh, I have the exact same problem with buying large clothing! I always assume the bigger size will look better and be more comfortable, and it was only recently that I realized that smaller clothing looks great on me too. To be fair, I am actually quite small and should probably stick to the smaller sizes! Thanks for stopping by Life Is Like A Dumpling 🙂

  6. July 17, 2013 8:48 am

    Great post and I think if more men paid attention to the fit of their clothes they would make more of an effort with their bodies – all round less moaning!! 😀

  7. July 22, 2013 1:16 am

    Have you heard of Cladwell? It’s a new service for men that does the shopping for them!

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