Guide to Fitting Clothes (for men)


Super Member
Jun 7, 2022
Fit is a crucial aspect of fashion. A good fit can make less budget clothes look expensive. A bad fit can make expensive clothes look sloppy.

Measurements. Measure your neck, chest, waist, sleeve length, and leg length. Sleeve length starts from the back of your neck (the mid point) to your wrist bone, and it may be easier to measure it in 3 separate sections: neck to shoulder, upper arm and forearm. Leg length measures from crotch to the base of the ankle. Waist is typically measured at the navel or widest point.

Dress Shirt
  • First, make sure the shoulder line meets the shoulder. If it's too high or too low, you'll notice a lack of arm mobility. This is not easy to tailor, so if shoulders are out of position, don't buy.
  • You should be able to fit roughly 2 fingers between your collar and neck comfortably. If you can fit 4, it's too loose.
  • If buttons are tugging, it's too tight.
  • The length of the torso should be below the waist but not below the crotch.
  • Waist is most important measurement. If the waist is too big, it will bunch up when you wear a belt.
  • How tight the pants are is preference. Typically, 1 inch of room when you pinch is a safe bet. And you should be able to do a squat comfortably without fear of your pants ripping.
  • Should meet the base of ankle with minimal amount of your socks showing. Whether to have a “break” or not is preference, but generally a quarter break to no break is preferred (aka you don’t the pants so long that there are lots of creases).
  • Chinos/khakis and dress pants tend to be worn a little bit higher than some jeans. Jeans come in low-rise, high-rise and mid-rise which may inform where you wear them. Keep this in mind when measuring.
  • Keep in mind vanity sizing is a thing. (i.e. A 32 might actually be 34” instead of 32), so try it on when possible. Also, regular/slim/skinny fits can vary between brand; one brand’s skinny could be another’s slim.
  • There shouldn’t be a gap between your jacket collar and shirt collar.
  • Lapels should lay flat against the chest (if they curve, it’s too tight)
  • If the back of the shirt has horizontal stretch lines, it’s too tight.
  • Some people have square-shaped shoulders, while others have more sloped shoulders. This a factor to keep in mind.
  • Jacket torso should end at your thumb knuckle
  • If there are horizontal stretch lines on the chest and/or your nipples poke out, it's too tight.
  • Whether to go for a tighter or looser fit depends on fashion taste, but a decent standard is roughly 2-3 inches of room in the chest and torso.
  • Torso length should hit the mid-fly (2-3 inches below belt). If your stomach is exposed when you raise your arms, the t-shirt is too short.
  • Arm sleeve should hit the middle of the bicep. Possibly higher if you are muscular and want to show it off.
  • Make sure the arms sleeves of the shirt aren't too wide, as this will make your arms look smaller by comparison.
  • Your physique is a factor. A bodybuilder may have wider arms and a smaller waist. An overweight person may need clothes with a little bit more room in the waist than the chest.
  • Fabric is a factor. Cotton stretches and may need high heat to return to form. Spandex can allow shirts to contour the shape of your body; shirts with a few % of Spandex are accomodating.
Belt: Should be 2” larger than pants size.

Tie: Length should meet the belt. Tiebar should be 3/4th the width of the tie and placed around the 3rd-4th button of the shirt.

Note: Fashion has subjectivity to it; your mileage may vary. Preferences can change across culture and time period. These are general principles that are safe and conform to modern expectations, but ultimately, do what works for you.

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