Ask not what a good tailor can do for you… Ask what you can do for your tailoring
Everyone knows that impeccably custom-tailored clothes look great – just one glance at celebrities on the red carpet can tell us that. Unfortunately, many assume that a tailor comes with a celebrity price tag, so they probably never even consider looking for tailored garments. The truth is that, these days, there are retailers out there who offer a fantastic, tailored fit at affordable prices, so you no longer need to earn a movie star salary to be able to look red carpet ready. But what difference does it really make? Well the short answer is A LOT. Here is just what good tailoring can do for your wardrobe…
Make your clothes fit properly
This is kind of a no-brainer, but well worth mentioning. Most stores offer a limited range of sizes, and if you fall outside of the ‘average’ bracket, then it can be difficult to find garments that fit correctly, meaning that your outfits tend to look, well, ill-fitting or sloppy. Not a good look on anyone. You may even think that your clothes fit okay, but until you try garments that truly fit properly, you just don’t know what you’re missing! A good tailor can use their magic to alter clothes that you already have to make them fit your proportions (okay, it’s not actually magical, but boy can it feel that way!). Better still, though, are the clothes that a tailor has created with your measurements in mind from the start. These will fit correctly straight away, meaning that the clothes are flattering and make the most of your best assets. Small details like pocket size and placement are taken into consideration too, and it makes all the difference. If you’re buying clothes off the rack, it helps to have your actual measurements in mind before you purchase anything. Brett from The Art of Manliness breaks down how to take your own measurements in this helpful post. Brett decided to create the guide when he realised he wasn’t familiar with his own measurements when out shopping one day. “This isn’t the first time this has happened to me… When you’re looking for a pair of trousers or a nice shirt, knowing that you’re a L or an XL won’t cut it… I figure I’m not the only man out there who has had this problem.” His guide is particularly helpful because it includes information on how to correctly measure your chest, neck, sleeve length, waist, and more.
Prevent your clothes from becoming damaged
We’ve all done it – bought a pair of pants that are too long, and sworn that we’d get them taken up, only to realise after a couple of weeks of wearing them that we waited too long and now the cuffs are damaged from trailing on the floor. Uh oh. Or we’ve purchased a shirt that’s a size too small because it was the last on the rack (and we’re harboring dreams of going to the gym), and now the seams have bust. Whoops… If we just chose clothes that fit properly in the first place, they would be much less likely to become damaged in this way – often to the extent that they’re beyond repair, meaning money down the drain. It’s difficult to find clothes that fit properly in regular stores, but find a reputable tailor, or a store that carries a wide range of sizes, and your money will be well-spent as your clothes will last longer. And if you’re unsure whether those pants are fitting properly, Dan Trepanier at Articles of Style explains one classic tell-tale sign that your pants are too tight: pocket flare. “A common issue with men’s trousers is pocket flare, which is often accompanied by wrinkles across the front hips. This can be caused by a number of different factors. Typically, it means the pants are tight across the hips/seat, causing the pockets to pull open.” In other cases, the pocket flare (and wrinkles/crunching at the front of the pants) is caused by an athletic seat (high, prominent glutes) and/or a tilted pelvis… The more you know! If you’re experiencing pocket flare, you may consider sizing up on your next purchase, or buying a pair of pants that have been tailored specifically for men with an athletic seat or muscular thighs/glutes (or even just carry a little extra weight in those areas). Our James trouser in tall and shorter men’s sizes is perfectly tailored and designed, based on our best-selling, perfect fit jeans, to offer that necessary extra space and eliminate pocket flare altogether.
Make your wardrobe look classier
The difference between a shirt that fits properly, and one that fits badly, is huge. Put a man in a well-fitting shirt, and he’ll look like a million dollars, no matter what the price tag of the shirt itself. Put him in an ill-fitting shirt, and he’ll look cheap, even if the shirt cost a bomb. Of course, quality materials are important too, but even inexpensive fabric can be made to look good with a great fit. So, if you want your outfit to look classy, make sure that the fit is flawless. No-one will guess it didn’t cost a mint if the fit is good. When checking the fit of your shirt, here are some points to look out for:
- Sleeve length: your sleeves should end on your wrist, rather than above or below. The best way to check that the sleeve length is right, is to make a fist when wearing the shirt. Your knuckles should just graze the cuff.
- Shoulder seams: these should line up at the apex of your shoulder. If the seams drop down over your shoulder, the shirt is too big. If it doesn’t reach the natural ‘end’ point of your shoulder, then it is too small.
- Collar: you should be able to comfortably fit two fingers inside the collar (while you’re wearing it, of course!) at a right angle to your neck. If you can’t fit two fingers, the collar may be too tight; or too loose if you can fit more than two fingers in.
I’ve rounded up some more telltale signs that your clothes don’t fit right in this post, aimed at taller men. There will be a similar post aimed at shorter men going up very soon! And it’s not only dress shirts that can be tailored to fit perfectly – casual attire can and should also be adapted to suit your frame. Our Luxe-Fit Polo shirt and t-shirts, available in both shorter and taller men’s sizes, are a great example, as they offer an unparalleled fit thanks to our proprietary size scales.
Make your clothes look professional
Alongside looking expensive, a suit that fits well also shows that you’ve made an effort to look polished in your attire. An ill-fitting suit looks sloppy, which probably isn’t quite the impression you’d like to make at work. If you want that promotion, it’s worth investing in your clothing. You know what they say – dress for the job you want, not the one you have. (Unless you want to be Batman, in which case you’re out of luck…) In most workplace scenarios, a well-fitting suit is sure to impress.
Inspire confidence in the wearer
You know the way you felt at that wedding / graduation / birthday party where you treated yourself to a tailored suit? Your clothes can, and should, make you feel that way all the time. Sure, a t-shirt and chinos is casual attire, but when it fits properly, it feels good. And that helps you to feel good. Not only will you feel more comfortable physically if your clothes fit well, but your confidence will soar, too. You deserve to feel great about yourself – and don’t let those ill-fitting, off-the-rack clothes tell you otherwise. So if the shoe garment fits… There are lots of benefits that a good tailor can offer, but tailored clothes don’t have to cost the Earth. If you’re outside of the ‘average’ bracket, chances are you’ve had to get your clothes tailored already if you’ve bought off the rack from a regular store. But here at ForTheFit.com, we create clothing from scratch with shorter and taller men in mind, meaning you get a tailored fit with no alterations necessary. We like to think that we’re like a store and a personal tailor rolled into one!