“Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.”
- Arthur Ashe
Many of us can relate to the following situation:
That button down from our favorite designer's S/S line, the one that we've been saving up for, is all sold out in the size we always wear for that designer and in that fit. But we suspend disbelief and convince ourselves that we can size up or size down because “we'll lose a few lbs” or because “that tailor down the street can definitely take the shirt in.”
Does it work out? On occasion, yes. We end up lucking out and everything works out just as we had hoped. But more often than not, it doesn't and we are left with a beautiful shirt that either doesn't fit or barely resembles the one we bought, the one that we'd hope to wear, the one that the designer carefully designed and crafted.
That's because designers think about fabric and fit when putting together their clothing lines and consumers would be prudent to do so as well.
Though, we concede, finding “what fits” can be complicated. There are a number of factors to consider including: fabric, cut of the garment, rise, casual vs formal wear, designer aesthetic, balance, and differing size charts. And you may not be in the position to try on that prized piece of clothing. So, you may ask, how do you go about navigating this complex process?
- Have yourself measured by a knowledgeable tailor and measure what fits you best.
- Ask questions; retailers are there to help and are happy to provide feedback and suggestions...we'd always prefer to have a happy customer who finds the right fit.
- Be honest with yourself.
So, as sweet as that piece of clothing you've been jonesing for is, if it just doesn't fit, it's rarely worth the time, money, and effort to bend it to your will. In the words of Ashe, "clothes do not make the man," and that shirt, pant, or sweater, is no exception.
Instead, we suggest finding what works for you and remembering the wise words of Dylan: “all I can do is be me, whoever that is.”
Because a man who knows himself is a confident man. And nothing fits a man better than confidence.