How Should A Sweater Fit?

A lot of my clients ask me how should a sweater fit, so I figured it was time to write down my typical answer so you can understand this, as well. These fit rules apply to any sweater, but I’ll use a v-neck sweater in my images below to demonstrate how a sweater should fit on a guy.

A quick note before we begin: Most sweaters are made of cotton, wool, cashmere or blends with other fabrics. This is a problem for tailors because the fabrics are fragile, which makes them very hard to work with, so you should find a sweater that fits you perfectly off the rack, as it’ll be very difficult, if not impossible, for a tailor to fix a majority of sweaters. The only exception are cotton crew necks. Those can easily be tailored.

What do I wear under a V-Neck Sweater or Crew New When Trying On?

It’s important you’re wearing the proper shirts when trying on your sweater so you can get the proper fit.

V-Neck Sweater

When you’re trying on a V-Neck sweater, you should only be wearing a Dress Shirt or Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt because these are the only two shirts that you should ever wear under a v-neck sweater. That means no t-shirts, polo shirts or any other kind of shirt. Just a collared shirt.

Crew Neck Sweater

When trying on a crew neck sweater, you should only be wearing a t-shirt or v-neck shirt because that’s all that should be worn under a crew neck. You might be able to get away with a collared shirt, but it’s not my preference to wear them with crew necks because it usually looks pretty bad.

What a Sweater Looks Like When its Too Small/Tight

I want you to see what a sweater looks like when it’s too small. See the points below for details.

How Should A Sweater Fit TooSmall

  1. Shoulders – If he pulled the sweater shoulder up so his shirt collar was tucked under the sweater collar, the seams would be sitting on top of his shoulders, which means its way too small. You can kind of see the seam sitting way too high on his shoulder on his bent arm side.
  2. Arm Hole – Way too tight, you can see it bunching underneath his armpit. I guarantee it’s incredibly uncomfortable.
  3. Neck/Collar – If he pulled the sweater so the collar was touching his shirt’s collar, the “v” of the neck would go down past the top of his armpits.
  4. Sleeve Length – The sleeves are way too short, which is why he has them pulled up on his forearms in this picture. I know this because (See the next point)
  5. Body Length – The body length is about 2 inches too short. At the shortest point, a sweater should hit past the bottom of your belt buckle.

What a Sweater Looks Like When Its Too Big

How Should A Sweater Fit Too Big

  1. Shoulders – The seams are way past where his shoulder starts sloping down and are just resting on the upper part of his arms – not good.
  2. Arm Hole – Way too big, so it’s making his chest look super wide and baggy with all that extra fabric around the chest area.
  3. Neck/Collar – You can tell it’s too large because you can see his shirt on the sides of his collar. If he pulled the sweater forward, so the “v” rests better against his shirt collar, the “v” would go past the top of his armpits.
  4. Sleeves – They’re hard to see because his hands are in his pockets, but with everything else not fitting properly, I’m sure the sleeves are way too long and not ending at the bend of his wrist. Also, they’re way too big and baggy, which just look floppy and wrinkled in odd places.
  5. Body Fit and Length – I bet if he pulled his hands out of his pockets, the sweater would be way too long and go past the 2 inch mark below his belt buckle. As you can see, there’s excess fabric on both sides of his torso because the sweater is just to big.

How long should a sweater be?

A sweater should end somewhere between just past your belt buckle and no more than 2 inches past that. In a lot of my other fit guides, I usually differentiate the length based on your height, but for a sweater it doesn’t matter. It should hit between those two points for everyone. This goes for all sweaters.

how should a sweater fit

Sleeves

Length

While wearing the sweater – when you bend your wrist, so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should end where your wrist ends. So where the white shirt cuff stops in my picture below. A sweater’s sleeves shouldn’t be totally smooth and ripple-free – if it is, that usually means it’s too small. It’s impossible for a sweater to fit like that, so don’t bother trying. Just make sure it ends at the bend of the wrist and not before or after.

Sleeve-Length-Ashely-Weston-How-Your-Suit-Should-Fit

Fit

The sleeves should fit close to your arm, but not so tight that you can see your muscles or the ripples of the shirt underneath (like the sweater that’s too tight above) or so loose that it’s floppy and folding on itself. The model I used was very muscular, but you can’t see his biceps well-defined, or the folds of his collared shirt under the sleeves.

Quick tip: If you’re wearing a v-neck sweater, lightly tug on the sweater sleeve so your dress shirt cuff is sticking out about 1/4″. It’ll have a little bunching near the wrist, that’s fine. As you can see in my picture below, it still looks great.

V-neck-sweater-header-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Shoulders

Like with all your garments in the Essential Series, you want the shoulder seams to hit just where your shoulders start to slope down into your arms. I call this “the natural end of your shoulder”. See the picture below for what I’m talking about – the seam hits perfectly at the point where the shoulder turns into the upper arm.

how should a sweater fit

Body

For any sweater, you want to be able to pinch no more than 2 inches of fabric on either side of your lower rib cage. You also don’t want to be able to pinch any less than 1 inch of fabric, as that’s way too tight. You want it to lightly hug your torso, but not be so loose or tight. This goes for ALL BODY TYPES. I know some of my larger clients fight me on this, but they always come around when they see how much better and fitted it looks. A little rippling in a sweater will always happen, so it’s unavoidable.

Collar

This only applies to v-necks, as crew neck sweaters are all pretty universal. You want the bottom of the “v” to be no lower than the top of your armpits.

Neck Opening

The opening of the v-neck should be just wide enough so that you can tuck your collar tips and they stay in place – like the image above. A wider opening than that would look terrible, as it’ll show too much shirt on the outside of the collar like the image of the too big sweater. For crew necks, they’re a pretty standard size – they shouldn’t be stretched out or show any shirt underneath.

Armholes

They shouldn’t be so high that they’re cutting into your armpits like in my “too small” image or so big and low that it looks like a bunch of excess fabric is around your chest like in my “too big” image near the top of this story.

The Best Sweaters Every Man Should Own

See my V-Neck Sweater Essential Article for my favorite sweaters that every man should own.

Credits

Photography: Justiin Charles
Model: Joseph Boyd at Wilhelmina Models
Hair/Makeup: Brendan Robertson for Exclusive Artists Management using Clarins Skincare and Kevin Murphy Hair Care

How Should A Blazer Fit?

The short and honest answer for how should a Blazer fit is exactly how a Suit Jacket should fit, so if this article looks familiar, it’s because it’s pretty much the same advice.

How long should a Blazer be?

The length of your blazer will dictate how “balanced” your upper body is to your lower body. The blazer should end around mid to lower crotch. Mid-crotch if you’re under 5ft 9inches, lower than that if you’re taller than 5′ 9″.

A tailor can shorten your jacket up to an inch without messing up it’s proportions, but they can never really let much out because there’s no fabric there. Overall, you generally want this part to already be perfect when you’re buying a blazer, even off the rack.

Crotch Measurements

Blazer Sleeve Length

While wearing the blazer – when you bend your wrist, so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should be about ¼” above the top of your hand. A lot of people recommend that it hits the top of your hand, but that’s bullshit – then none of your shirt sleeve will be showing. This length allows for a little bit (¼”) of your shirt sleeve to peek through. If your sleeves are longer, a tailor can easily fix that. If they’re shorter by more than an inch, ditch the jacket, the sleeves can’t be let out enough to fit properly.

Sleeve-Length-Ashely-Weston-How-Your-Suit-Should-Fit

Shoulders

You want the shoulder seams of the blazer to end where your shoulders end – where they start curving down to your arm, basically. You should see no divots or wrinkles in the shoulders anywhere. The shoulders should lay perfectly flat, with no divots or rumpling or pulling on the shoulders. If you have more rounded shoulders, the seam should still end in the same place, you would just need a little more padding in the shoulders to make them appear less rounded. If the shoulders are too big or small, a tailor will have a very hard time fixing this, and it would be very expensive – if it was even possible. So ensure these fit properly when buying a blazer from anywhere, as well. 

RealMenRealStyle has this awesome graphic showing the proper shoulder fit.

shoulder fit graphic

Body

With the top button fastened (never the bottom button), the blazer should lightly hug your midsection, but not feel tight or constricting. It shouldn’t be pulling at the button, creating an ugly “X”. The X mean’s it’s too tight. If it’s roomy around your stomach/waist area, you can (and should!) have a tailor take in the sides of the jacket so it fits properly. This is a very easy and common fix for a tailor to do. Remember: For tailoring purposes, it’s better to have a jacket that’s slightly too big in the body than too small.

Suit-Jacket-Length-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

Collar

The collar should rest against your shirt collar, which in turn should rest against the back of your neck. All of these should touch lightly, without significant gaps in between. If there’s a gap, it’s too loose. If there’s bunching just under the back of the jacket collar, it’s too tight or the stance of the jacket is off.

Collar-Fit-Ashley-Weston

Armholes

They should be high, but not so high that they’re cutting into your armpit. The picture below shows where the armholes should be on your blazer. Notice it’s not cutting into his armpit? They should be large enough that you don’t notice them, but not so big that you have a few extra inches between your armpit and the bottom of the hole. The arms should be able to move somewhat independently of the jacket’s body during normal motion, but not excessively.

While I’m speaking about blazers and motion, a lot of guys who are new to wearing dress clothes usually complain that they should be able to move their arms more while wearing them. Let me tell you that a blazer is not activewear, so don’t think you should be able to do everything you normally do while wearing a blazer. It’s just not built for that purpose.

Armholes-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

Button Stance

The blazer’s second button from the bottom (aka the top button) should lie just above your belly-button, never below. My rule of thumb is no more than about an inch above and never, ever below. Otherwise it’ll throw off your body’s proportions and you’ll look really odd.

Button-Stance-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

The Best Men’s Blazer/Sport Coats

See my Navy Blazer/Sport Coat Essential Article for my favorite blazers that every man should own.

How Should an Overcoat or Peacoat Fit?

It’s time to answer the age-old question: How Should an Overcoat or Peacoat Fit? Alright, maybe it’s not age-old, but it’s still important either way. The rules are very similar to how should a suit jacket fit but keep in mind, with an Overcoat, at least, you’ll usually be wearing a suit or blazer underneath it, so the size will need to adjust accordingly.

Before We Begin

When trying on Overcoats, make sure you’re wearing a proper-fitting suit jacket or blazer so you can see how it’ll really fit. Trying on an Overcoat with just a shirt underneath will likely result in getting one that is too small and will look horrible when you’re wearing it with the proper clothing underneath it.

Also, when trying on a Peacoat, make sure you’re NOT wearing a suit jacket or blazer underneath, because like I said in my Overcoats & Peacoats essential article, this coat is not meant to be worn with those items.

Like with almost all your clothing, your coats can and should be tailored, but you always want to make sure at least the shoulders fit, because it’s very difficult and costly for a tailor to fix these, if they can at all.

How Should An Overcoat Fit?

Peacoats-and-Overcoats-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-2Shoulders

Even though this will be going over a suit jacket or sport coat/blazer, you still want the shoulder seams of the coat to end where your shoulders end. If the shoulders are too tight or loose, they will be very hard to fix at a tailor’s. You should see no divots or wrinkles in the shoulders, as well. If nothing else, the coat’s shoulders should fit perfectly.

RealMenRealStyle has this awesome graphic showing the proper shoulder fit.

shoulder fit graphic

Sleeves

With your arms straight down, bend your wrist, so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should lightly touch the top of your hand. This length will cover anything you’re wearing underneath – which is what you want with a coat.

The picture below is from my How Should A Suit Fit? article, but I wanted to show you what I’m talking about when I mean palms facing the ground. Where the white shirt cuff is hitting is where your coat sleeves should be hitting. Just enough to cover it, basically.
Sleeve-Length-Ashely-Weston-How-Your-Suit-Should-Fit

Body

When buttoned, the coat should not be roomy, but should lie close to your body. That being said, it should be in no way taut or feel constricting on your chest or midsection when wearing it over a suit or blazer.

This picture below (of the same coat my model is wearing, by Brooks Brothers) perfectly illustrates how it should fit in the body. He’s only wearing a sweater and Oxford dress shirt underneath, so it’d fit a little tighter in the body if he had on a suit or sport coat/blazer.

ML00401_GREY_2

Lapel Width

For Overcoats, the lapels are pretty standard width, so this is a non-issue. The lapels on the Brooks Brothers Overcoat above are a little wide, but they’re still very acceptable.

How Long should an overcoat be?

No matter what climate you live in, it should end somewhere above your knee – never longer. A good rule of thumb is mid-thigh to just above your knee is where your Overcoat should hit. If it needs to be longer because it’s too cold, then it’s time to throw aesthetics/fashion out to the window and go full Constanza Gore-Tex.

How Long Should An Overcoat Be

 

How Should A Peacoat Fit?

Overcoats & Peacoats Ashley Weston

Shoulders

Just like with Overcoats, you want the shoulder seams of a Peacoat to end where your shoulders naturally end – where they start curving down to your arm, basically. You should see no divots or wrinkles in the shoulders anywhere. The shoulders should lay perfectly flat, with no divots or rumpling or pulling on the shoulders. If you have more rounded shoulders, the seam should still end in the same place. If the shoulders are too big or small, a tailor will have a very hard time fixing this, and it would be very expensive – if it was even possible. So ensure these fit properly before buying your peacoat.

RealMenRealStyle has this awesome graphic showing the proper shoulder fit. Even though it’s for suit jackets, your Peacoat shoulders should still look like this when the jacket is buttoned.

shoulder fit graphic

Sleeves

Just like an Overcoat: With your arms straight down, bend your wrist, so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should lightly touch the top of your hand. This length will cover anything you’re wearing underneath – which is what you want with a Peacoat.

The picture below is from my How Should A Suit Fit? article, but I wanted to show you what I’m talking about when I mean palms facing the ground. Where the white shirt cuff is hitting is where your Peacoat sleeves should be hitting. Just enough to cover it, basically.

Sleeve-Length-Ashely-Weston-How-Your-Suit-Should-Fit

Body

When buttoned, the jacket should lightly hug your midsection, but not feel tight or constricting. There shouldn’t be a whole lot of “play” if you were to put your hands in the jacket and pull forward. The jacket shouldn’t be pulling at any of the various buttons on the front, making any creases in the front. If it’s very roomy around your stomach/waist area, you can (and should!) have a tailor take in the sides so it fits properly. Remember: better to be slightly too big than too small.

Quick Tip: When wearing your Peacoat, leave the bottom two buttons unbuttoned. It allows the coat’s bottom to flow better when walking or sitting. Buttoning a Peacoat all the way down is very odd looking and never done by anyone but a rookie.

Lapel Width

For Peacoats, the lapels are all standard width, so this is a non-issue.

How Long should a Peacoat be?

Unlike the Overcoat, a Peacoat should hit anywhere from mid to lower crotch. On my model, above, the Peacoat ends right around lower crotch. Anything longer than that wouldn’t be acceptable. Anything longer than lower-crotch or shorter than mid-crotch would throw off the proportions of your body and make you look weird. Balancing proportions is a mistake a lot of guys make and can really influence how big or small you look in clothing.

Crotch Measurements

The Best Overcoats & Peacoats for Men

Check out my Men’s Overcoats & Peacoats essential article for my favorite coats for men of any age or body type and the different ways to wear your Overcoat and Peacoat.

Credits

Photographer: Justiin Charles
Model: Joseph Boyd at Wilhelmina Models
Hair/Makeup: Brendan Robertson for Exclusive Artists Management using Clarins Skincare and Kevin Murphy Hair Care

What Size Belt To Buy

This article is part of my Men’s Clothing Fit Guide.
I see a lot of belt tragedies out there in my everyday life. So let’s get this settled once and for all and show you what size belt to buy. This will ensure we never have to talk or think about it ever again!

What Size Belt To Buy?

This is pretty straight-forward. Take your pants waist size and simply buy the next size up from that.

So if you’re a 34″ waist, buy a 36″ belt.

This will leave the perfect amount of belt left and won’t look too short or too long. See my graphics below for how your dress and casual belts should look while you’re wearing them.

The Proper Width & Lengths Of Your Belts

I talked about this in my Essential Belts story, but I’ll reiterate here, as well.

Dress Belts

You want the width to stay as near to 1.5″ as possible. Anything wider will be more bulky and is considered more casual. Anything slimmer than that is a woman’s or a fashion belt and that’s not what we’re going for here. Even though the width is only slightly smaller than a casual belt, it makes a huge difference in appearance. Compare this picture of a guy wearing a wider belt as a dress belt compared to the image of my model. Night and day, in my eyes even though it’s only about half an inch difference.

Dress Belts Too Short Long Thick - Ashley Weston

Casual Belts

Have your casual belt somewhere between 1 3/4 – 2″ wide. Anything more than that is too wide and will look out of place. Slimmer than that looks more like a dress belt.

Casual Belts Too Wide and Long - Ashley Weston

The Best Mens Belts To Own

Check out my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials – Best Dress & Casual Belts story for details about my favorite belts that every man should own.

How Should Dress Shoes Fit?

This article is part of my Men’s Clothing Fit Guide.

I’ve seen so many articles and videos taking how to get the proper dress shoe fit that are completely unnecessary and just create more useless work and steps for the poor readers. Of course, if you ask a shoemaker or shoe salesperson about what goes into fitting for a pair of dress shoes, they’ll tell you about the painstaking process you must endure as they pull out their Brannock device and start measuring the length of every toe hair in relation to the current barometric pressure. As someone who dresses and fits men for shoes as part of my career, it’s all hogwash.

Never once, in all my years, with all my clients, have I ever needed to get an exact measurement of their feet – and this is because the brands and manufacturers don’t work this way. Their sizes aren’t universal and can vary wildly between brands. So a 9 in one brand might fit the same as a 10.5 in another brand. Each one is different, so it’s great that you know your right foot is 10.236 inches long by 4.789 inches wide, but that really doesn’t matter unless you’re getting custom made shoes.

So what you have to do is try on dress shoes and figure out how to get the best fit in that style/brand. Let me show you how.

Before Trying On Dress Shoes

You should know and do these few things before trying on dress shoes.

1. Know Your General Shoe Size

I’m assuming you’ve worn shoes before and have a general idea of your size? Great! That’s all you need. Like I said earlier, since each manufacturer has different fits and sizing for their shoes, it’ll all be trial and error anyways. The thing you want to do is get in the ballpark and use that as a starting point.

2. Dress shoes should fit perfectly the first time you try them on

If they don’t, they’ll never fit. Leather, especially in dress shoes, will stretch very, very little, so “working in” a pair of dress shoes is not going to happen and will be a waste of your time and money. One of the worst things ever is wearing a pair of uncomfortable shoes – as a woman, I know this all too well!

3. Your feet swell throughout the course of the day

So, if you can, try on shoes in the afternoon. This way, you’ll get the most realistic size and fit of the shoes.

4. Your feet are not the same size

Make sure the shoes fit your larger foot first, not the smaller one. Slightly too big is not uncomfortable, slightly too small is very uncomfortable.

How To Try on Shoes

When you’re trying on shoes, here’s the things to do and look out for.

Socks

Wear the type of socks that you will normally wear with these shoes. In other words, don’t wear your thick woolen socks, or your super thin ankle socks when trying on dress shoes.

Length

If you feel ANY bunching in the toes or feel the shoe pressing against any of your toenails, they’re too short. I see some places talking about your toes grazing the front of dress shoes – this is not correct.

Your feet shouldn’t be touching or grazing anything in the front. If they’re grazing, that means when you walk, your toes will be jammed into the front of the shoe, because your feet will shift slightly forward as you walk, which is very uncomfortable. Either go up a half size and if that doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a style or width issue. So try a different style or a different brand that makes the same style. Luckily, with dress shoes, they’re pretty darn similar, so you’ll find an equally great one, I promise.

Width

The shoe should not be putting any pressure or squeezing on the sides of your foot – anywhere. If you feel anything like that, you may need to go up half a size and see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn’t, you can see if they make a wider size in the same style. If they don’t, then try a different style or brand. Some brands are wider than others.

On the flip side side of that, you also shouldn’t have any room on either side of your foot that allows your foot to move left or right when it’s laced up. If this happens, go down half a size and see if that fixes the issue. If not, you can ask if they have a narrower width in this shoe. If not, you may need to try a different style or brand.

The average man has a medium width of D. If a brand doesn’t specify a width, which most of them don’t, this is probably the width they use. Again, though, a brand’s definition of a D width varies, so watch out for the differences. A narrow width is a B, a wide width is E and an x-wide width is 3E.

If your foot falls between a B and a D, go with the larger width.

I see some places saying that if they’re lace-up shoes, like an Oxford Dress Shoe (Which they almost always should be, if they’re dress shoes!), you should not be able to tie the laces so tightly that the two edges of the shoe meet. I don’t adhere to this advice because some of my clients just have less meat than others on the tops/profile of their feet and when this happens, it’s not a problem. As long as the shoe fits everywhere else, I wouldn’t about this part.

Heel

If you have the width and length in check, this shouldn’t be an issue, but just in case: You want a little bit of space between your heel and the shoe, but not too much. My one finger test for sneakers is not applicable here. They should fit a little snugger than tennis shoes do in the heel, but should not be pressing against your heel as to be uncomfortable.

Lace up both shoes and take a short walk in them. There should be little to no slippage in the heel. If there is, they’ll create blisters on your heel and that’s not fun.

Also, since I hear this complaint a lot from guys – If there’s anything like a seam or stitching rubbing against your heel, don’t get those shoes. This is mostly typical in cheaper shoes. This area will never “break in”, so if something is rubbing against your heel when trying them on, it’ll never go away, so stay far away from them unless you like blisters on your heels!

The Best Dress Shoes For Men

See my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials – The Oxford Dress Shoe for my picks.

How Should Shoes Fit?

This article is part of my Men’s Clothing Fit Guide.
When I’m fitting my clients in sneakers or casual shoes for the first time, they can easily tell me when shoes are too tight or too loose, but outside of the super obvious, they have a hard time figuring out if they fit properly or not. So I came up with two ways to tell if their shoes fit properly or not. 

the one finger test

Try on the sneakers while wearing a pair of socks you’d normally wear with your sneakers (please, lord, they better not be WHITE SOCKS!) and insert your index finger between your heel and the heel of the shoe.

It should be pretty snug but not so snug that it smashes your finger and is painful. If your finger can’t move without considerable effort, the shoes are too tight and you need to go up a size.

If you can freely move your finger without really touching either your heel or shoe, they’re too big and go down a size.

Squeezing or Pressure on Sides of Feet?

White-Sneakers-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide-2

If you feel any squeezing or pressure on either side of your foot, the shoes are too small or narrow. There should be no squeezing sensation on any side of your foot if the shoes are fitting properly. If this happens, you should go up a size and see if that helps. If it doesn’t then you may get lucky and the brand makes a wider size, but for sneakers/casual shoes that’s very rare. If they don’t have wide sizes, you’re going to have to find another brand that fits you better.

But Won’t Sneakers Stretch?

I’ve heard this argument a few times from clients. Yes, but it will be very little and will not be enough to go transform them from uncomfortable to comfortable. If you buy sneakers (any shoes, really) thinking that they’ll fit once you’ve “worked them in”, you’re going to have a bad time. Sneakers should fit the second you try them on. If they don’t, they’ll never fit comfortably.

What are the Best Sneakers/Tennis Shoes For Men?

Check out my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials – The White Sneaker story for details about my favorite pairs of sneakers that every man should own.

Men’s Jeans Fit Guide

I see a crap-ton of guys wearing jeans that don’t fit properly. I often wonder who would date or marry these schulbs. The fit guide below applies to you no matter your age or body type, so don’t read this and pull the “Yeah, but I’m not…” routine that some of my clients like to do. It’s a bullshit excuse and this is how your jeans should fit if you’re young, older, short, tall, thin or larger. There’s no excuse for looking like crap in any clothing, even jeans.

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

Legs

how long should jeans be?

A large portion of my clients, when we start working together, think the length of their jeans (AKA their inseam) is something completely different than what it should be. They’re almost always a smaller inseam size than they thought.

Your jeans should be long enough to have a slight/half or full break. It looks much more polished and all around sharper. If you have the perfect pair of jeans, but they’re too long, get them hemmed by a tailor to the proper length. It’s usually no more than a couple of bucks and totally worth it.

The model from my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials: The Dark Wash Jean story has a slight or full break in every image:

I see a lot of guys wearing jeans with stacking like the images below. You want to avoid this at all costs.

If you’re not familiar with the different type of pant breaks, PrimerMag has some great images to help you understand:

PantsFit_Breaks-2

Thighs

They shouldn’t fit too tight, but lie comfortably close without feeling like it’s pulling at the knees when you walk or bend down. You should be able to pinch a minimum of 0.5 inch of fabric, but no more than 1 inch on either side of your thigh. If you can pinch more than that, try a different style of jeans based on your body type or, if possible, go down a size. As a last resort, you can get a tailor to slim the legs to this size, but it’ll be costly.

ThighPinch

Waist and Seat

Like all your pants, they should fit perfectly around your waist with no need for a belt to hold them up. For jeans, the waist will sit a little lower than suit pants, so anywhere from mid to upper hips is where the waist of the jeans should be – definitely nothing below that. The goal is to ensure the waist sits where it doesn’t look droopy in the seat – so pull up those pants!

Waist2

The butt area, AKA the seat, should lightly hug your butt and not be saggy or very tight. If it feels like you’ll split your pants when you sit or bend down, they’re too tight. If it looks like you’re carrying a full load, you should probably try a different fit, and if that doesn’t work you need get the upper thighs taken in by a tailor to compensate for the extra room in the seat.

Or

You could also start doing some squats and get that area firmed up a bit. I don’t know a single woman that’d complain about that. 🙂

seat

The Best Dark Wash Jeans For Men

See my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials: The Dark Wash Jeans for my favorite pairs of jeans you should own for your body type.

 

How Should A Dress Shirt Fit?

This article is part of my Men’s Clothing Fit Guide.
After being asked “How should a suit should fit?“, the next question I get is how should a dress shirt fit. So I put together this dress shirt fit guide for you. My friend Andrew, over at PrimerMagazine put together a great graphic for the proper dress shirt fit below.

Shirt_Diagram

Collar

The collar should just graze your neck without constricting it when buttoned. If turning your head causes the collar to turn with it, it’s too tight. You should be able to comfortably fit 1 finger inside of your buttoned collar without it choking you. Two fingers is too much (even though the image says otherwise) and looks a little sloppy to me.

Shoulders

The shoulder seam should be right where your shoulder starts sloping down to your arm. Somewhere above the armpit, basically. If the seam starts creeping past where your shoulder slopes down, its too big. If it lands before your shoulder slopes, it’s too small.

Armholes

Armholes should be comfortable in motion – they should not be so tight that they cut into the underarm. However, they shouldn’t be so loose that there’s a bunch of excess fabric around the armpit. An easy way to check this is to tuck your shirt into your pants – if lifting your arms 45 degrees lifts your shirt out of your pants more than an inch or so, your armholes are probably too low.

Sleeves

They should not be so tight that you can see the details of your arms, but they should also not be so loose as to billow and bunch at the wrist. When you bend your arm, your cuff should not move more than an inch up your wrist. If it does, it’s likely too tight.

The sleeve/cuff should end right at the bend of your wrist.

Cuffs

When speaking of cuffs, there’s two major types: French and Barrel. They should both fit about the same.

With the cuffs buttoned, and your arms at your side, when you bend your wrist so your palms are facing the ground, the sleeves should barely touch the top of your hand (see the video above for details). Ideally, they should be able ¼” above the top of your hand, but if it’s just lightly grazing, that’s OK. Anything more than that and the sleeves need to be hemmed. You want this length so your shirt sleeve slightly peeks out from under your blazer or suit jacket sleeve.

Your cuffs should be tight enough to not restrict movement, but not so loose that your thumb notch at your wrist doesn’t stop the cuff from moving up your hand. It should be a bit looser than a properly fitting watch.

Torso/Body

You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 2-3” of fabric on either side of the waist. The body of the shirt should fit closely around your torso, no matter what your shape or size. A billowy shirt is no excuse, especially if you’re a larger man.

Length

Untucked

If you’ll wear the shirt untucked (not really what I’d recommend with a dress shirt) but either way, it should end around the mid-crotch area. Any longer than that and it’s too long and should only be worn tucked in. Shorter than that just doesn’t look good.

Tucked In

If you’ll always be wearing the shirt tucked in, which I recommend for dress shirts, then the longer the better. Traditionally, dress shirts were made very long – usually ending at the bottom or past the crotch. If you have this type of shirt, NEVER, EVER wear the shirt untucked. I can’t tell you how many times I see older guys wearing these types of shirts untucked and I vomit a little inside my mouth whenever I see it. It looks horrible.

My Dress Shirt Recommendations

Check out my Semi-Spread Collar Dress Shirt article for my favorite dress shirts.