The #AskAW Show: Episode 06

In this episode, I answer these questions:

Q: What was your “big break” in the fashion industry?

A: I talk a little bit about it here, as well.

Q: What is the most important thing to keep in mind on a first date?

A: I actually have a whole long story about this in my free 10 Style Mistakes ebook. It gave me the inspiration to write the book!

Q: I work out and am having a hard time finding clothes that fit me properly. What can or should I do?

A: Get your clothes tailored to fit your body type properly. See the video for details, as well.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask in the comments of this youtube video or send me an email.

How Should Dress Pants and Wool Trousers Fit?

The short and honest answer for how should dress pants and wool trousers fit is that they should fit exactly how your suit pants should fit, so if this article looks familiar,that’s why. This advice goes for any of these pants: slacks, dress pants, wool trousers, wool pants, whatever you want to call them. Since this is a fit guide, I won’t get into fabric weights here, but it’s a very important point when choosing your dress pants/wool trousers that won’t be worn as part of a suit. See my Wool Pants & Trousers article for details.

Waist and Seat

Dress pants and wool trousers should fit perfectly around your waist with no need for a belt to hold them up. They should hit around the high hipbone area, or even slightly higher. You do not wear wool pants at the same waist as jeans – which are usually designed to sit lower. Saggy pants is a big no no.

The seat, or butt area, should lightly hug your butt and not be saggy or super tight. If it feels like you’re going to split your pants, they’re way too tight. If you’ve got a bunch of extra fabric around the butt, they’re much too loose. A tailor can fix this, it won’t be easy or cheap, but if everything else on the pants fits properly, definitely get it done.

RealMenRealStyle has the perfect illustration of how the seat of your pants should fit:

Seat-Suit-Pants-Fit-Ashley-Weston

Legs

Thighs

You want to be able to pinch around 1/2″ to 1 inch of fabric on either side of your thigh. If it’s less than that, your pants are too tight. If it’s more, have your tailor slim the thighs.

Knee to Ankle

If you’re a thin to regular build, the pants should have a slight taper so that it gets narrower towards the ankle, like the image below. This will look great on this body type/size.

Legs-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide

If you’re a thicker/wider guy, you want the pants to be cut straight down from the knee to the ankle – like how your jeans should fit. This will balance your proportions nicely. If you went with a taper here, it’d make you look very top-heavy.

Dress Pants Wool Trouser Fit Ashley Weston

Hem & Cuff

Always default to having your pants hemmed to leave a quarter (also called slight) break. It looks more polished and sharper than a full break and no break at the hem is a time & place kind of thing, and not generally for everyday wear. A slight break works for everyone.

A trick I do with all my clients is to have the tailor hem the pants so that it’s slightly longer at the back of the hem. That way, when you’re walking, you’ll show less sock and when you’re standing still, it’ll lay nicer on the top and back of your shoe.

There are very few times, I’d argue almost never, when you’d cuff your dress pants or wool trousers. I’ve never cuffed pants for a single client because it’s not necessary, no matter their body type.

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

PantsFit_Breaks-2

The Best Wool Pants And Trousers For Men

See my Wool Pants and Trousers Essential article for my favorite wool pants for men.

The Best Ways to wear Dress Pants & Wool Trousers

See the bottom of my Wool Pants and Trousers article for details.

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.