Not too big, not too small… with the elements of fit under your belt, a smart appearance is easy to achieve.

The aim of dressing (apart from protection from the elements) is to look and feel good, no matter what you’re wearing. So, before you choose a style and colour, you need to make sure that the basic fit suits your individual body shape.

Looking smart, sophisticated and well groomed is never as important as when you’re all dressed up in formal wear.

A CEO in an expensive suit that’s too baggy still looks as though he’s wearing his older, bigger brother’s cast-offs. First impressions count, and baggy in the work place is usually judged as juvenile, messy and unkempt – not cool.

Clothes that are too tight create an equally bad impression. They make you look as though you borrowed them from someone else’s cupboard – or you need to retire them to the ‘fat pile’.

The trick is to make it appear that your outfit was tailored specifically for you, and you alone – without paying for that privilege!

The rule of thumb is to ensure that your clothes closely follow the natural lines of your body.

  • Pulling on the fabric around the shirt buttons
  • Bunches of fabric above the waist- band or under the armpits of your shirt
  • Stretch lines near the zip
  • Pooling of fabric over your shoes
  • Loss of body shape; if you start to look ‘square’ or ‘boxy’ either on top or at the bottom, an intervention is needed!

Although different body shapes – tall, short, muscular, slim or large – are suited to different styles, there are some general basics for formal wear.

When tucked in, your shirt should create a straight line from armpit to hip, without excess fabric.

The waist of your pants should fit snugly, but not too tightly – there should be no bulge above the waistband.

Pants should end just on the top of your shoes, making a slight dent or ‘break’ at the bottom.

In a traditional formal look, pants should definitely not show your socks.

The top button of a shirt should be easy to close, and one finger should fit comfortably between collar and neck.

The shirt cuff should end just at the wrist joint, where the base of your thumb joins your arm.

  • If your wardrobe is stylish but ill-fitting, there are affordable ways to make adjustments:
  • Organise a clothes swap with friends.
  • Get too-long pants hemmed by a tailor (or a helpful friend or partner!).
  • If a lot of your clothes need altering but you can’t afford a tailor, ask around among friends, colleagues and family – you never know whose cousin, uncle or mother is an ace with a needle and will do your alterations affordably.
  • To tuck in your shirt, flatten it against your body neatly, then do up your pants. If there’s excess fabric flapping about, fold it away into pleats against your waist and then let your belt hold the pleats in place.

Good fit, comfort and confidence go hand in hand for the sophisticated man. Use our advice and be fit for life!

STYLE GUIDE FOR GUYS STYLE GUIDE FOR GUYS Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on November 09, 2020 Rating: 5
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