The key to being well dressed isn’t what you wear, but how you wear it
By: Brenton Mitchell
To many men, the concept of fashion isn’t something that holds much importance or interest. This isn’t to say that these men dress poorly, but usually, the basis behind why a certain outfit might look good doesn’t register in their minds, and so a different end result is produced. While this isn’t necessarily a critique on a man’s ability to dress himself, it is an unfortunate side-effect of the gender norms that formulate the idea that fashion is a topic reserved for women, for whom clothing is more of an art than a tool.
Now, of course this idea isn’t universally true; in fact there has been a noticeable shift in the way young men handle their style. The evolution of streetwear and influence by hip-hop artists such as Kanye West have evoked a response in many, which falls hand in hand with sneaker-heads of any age. There are many “schools” of men’s fashion, such as the aforementioned streetwear scene, which encompasses a wide range of styles frequented by staple brands such as Supreme or Bathing Ape. When it comes down to it however, grouping style into specific categories such as streetwear detracts from what clothing is meant to be, which is an extension of the self.
As such, the focus should be less on what a person chooses to wear, and more on how they wear it. Every piece of clothing has a specific “Fit”, which is the way the piece is meant to fit on the body and achieve the desired look. Before we begin, it goes without saying that clothes definitely look best on a body that is in shape. This isn’t to say that those whose body types fall farther away from the average can’t make their clothing look good, but rather that the options available will undoubtedly decrease.
The first step to improving Fit is to know your measurements. Sizing of clothes varies from brand to brand, and the only reliable way to know how an item fits is to either try it on in person or compare your measurements to those listed on the given website.
In regards to sizing, it’s definitely a more common mistake for people to wear a larger size than they should rather than the reverse. In these cases it may take some getting used to when wearing something more form-fitting, but the end result is well worth the adjustment.
The way a specific item fits is different depending on what type of item it is. For example, a T-Shirt should fit relatively snug in the chest, getting slightly looser with the hem sitting comfortably at the waist. A T-Shirt that is too long or baggy creates a look that is sloppy and unappealing. Another thing to watch out for are “wings” that are formed when the short sleeves fit improperly, this is easily noticeable as there will be a distinct space formed between the arm and the sleeve when held at the sides.
For pants, a pair of jeans still ultimately reigns when it comes to flexibility and comfort. It’s hard to go wrong with jeans, as most styles look good as long as the sizing is correct. The big thing to avoid however is boot-cut jeans, since they are almost always unflattering and don’t go well with other items. In general though, skinnier fits are usually more appealing than baggier ones. Refer to the visual aid for a frame of reference.
Throughout this journey, sizing will be the easiest part to master. The hard part is developing and working towards defining personal style. The key word that should never be forgotten here is “personal”; clothing is a means for self expression and should be treated as such.
If a band t-shirt and ripped jeans is your style, make that work by making sure both those items fit well and look good. This same principle counts for every variation under the sun, and through focusing on improving the fit of your clothing you’ll achieve a noticeable effect in the way you look and (hopefully) feel.