(Want to see photos of how I used to dress? Read on…)
You're here because you want to dress well. But why? For the sake of dressing well? No. You want respect – from your boss, your coworkers, and everyone else.
You want that promotion. You want your dream relationship. You want confidence and everything that comes with it. And you know that looking good can help give you the confidence you need.
Because, like it or not, you know that appearances matter. If you didn't believe this, you wouldn't be here right now reading this post.
But it's hard to dress well. It takes effort, especially for men who are below average height. Clothes aren't made for short men. They don't fit. If you don't believe me, just read this post:
And this sucks, because fit is the most important aspect of style. Don't just take my word for it. This is one thing all style experts agree on:
“The biggest style blunder that most men make is not wearing clothing that fits correctly.”
~Barron Cuadro, EffortlessGent.com
“The most important aspect of clothing is certainly how it fits the body.”
“Fit is the most important aspect of style. Us ladies aren't looking at the tag in the back of your clothes, and you shouldn't care about that either.”
~Megan Collins, StyleGirlfriend.com
If you're like most men, you've probably been wearing clothes your entire life that are too large for you.”
“Without proper fit, your clothing is going to look ridiculous. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive material, the right color or season appropriate; if it fits like crap it looks like crap.”
~Tanner Guzy, Masculine-Style.com
“Ill-fitting or baggy clothing will make you look younger, skinnier, and sloppier – while proper-fitting clothing allow you to look leaner, more mature and yes, even a little tougher.”
~Dan Trepanier, TSBMen.com
You get the point. Fit trumps all. When it comes to dressing well, nothing matters more than fit.
So let me ask you: are you happy with the way you look? Be honest. Do you look in the mirror every morning before you head out into the world and think, “Hell yeah, I nailed it.”
Or do you think, “This looks okay…could be worse.” Or maybe even, “This is as good as it gets for me.”
Well I'm here to tell you that you don't have to (and really shouldn't) settle for ill-fitting clothes. It's not going to cut it. Not if you want to put your best foot forward everyday. Not if you want to be taken seriously and ensure that your appearance isn't holding you back in life.
After all, you can't control your genetics, but can control how you present yourself.
If you say you want more confidence, you want to look good everyday, whether you're in a suit or at the beach, you have to commit to wearing clothes that fit.
Accept the fact that it will cost extra money and take extra time, and try to understand that it's so worth it.
Just look at the difference it made for me:
Sure, the new me dresses better than the old me, but look at my face. Who looks more secure, more confident, happier? It's no contest. And the new me gets compliments regularly:
“You're always dressed so well…”
“Can you help me find a suit?”
It feels great to know that, even though I may not be the most handsome, most in shape or most intelligent guy in the room, I'm one of the best-dressed.
Don't you want that feeling? Of course you do! We all do.
So, if you're ready to commit to only wearing clothes that fit, here's how to start:
Step 1: Take all of your clothes, and sort them into two piles:
- Clothes that you haven't worn in over a year
- Clothes that you actually wear
Step 2: Give away everything in pile #1.
No questions asked. Just do it. I promise you will feel better. Plus shopping and getting dressed in the morning will be way easier. Trust me on this one.
Step 3: Take the second pile (the clothes you actually wear) and sort it into two smaller piles:
- Clothes that fit properly
- Clothes that don't fit
Tip: You should try everything on in front of a full-length mirror. Have your computer nearby, with Primer's Principles of Fit series open for reference.
Step 4: Put the clothes from pile #1 back in your closet, and take everything from pile #2 to the tailor.
If you don't have a tailor, you can go to your local dry cleaner for the simple stuff – hemming pants and taking in shirts.
Chances are you'll also need some advanced alterations, so go to Yelp.com and look for a good tailor in your neighborhood. Schedule an appointment for a Saturday morning or afternoon.
Give yourself at least an hour. You'll be in and out of the dressing room a lot, especially if this is your first trip to the tailor.
To prepare for your appointment, check out these Alterations 101 infographics:
- Alterations 101: Button Up Shirts
- Alterations 101: Pants & Trousers
- Alterations 101: Jackets & Blazers
This way you'll know what can be altered and how much it should cost.
Tip: If you're trying out a new tailor, don't take all of your clothes the first time. Test them out with some simple alterations, like getting a shirt taken in. Thanks to Ed in the Comments section for sharing this tip!
Where to go from here
I hope you've already taken action or committed to taking action after you finish reading this. If so, give yourself a pat on the back. You're already on your way to upgraded style and more confidence.
On a practical level, this cleansing of your wardrobe accomplishes two things:
First, it takes the guesswork out of getting dressed. Mornings are hard enough without having to stare down a closet full of clothes that you don't even like. Wouldn't it be nice to know that everything in your closet fits well and looks good on you?
Second, you've identified the gaps in your wardrobe. It should be very obvious now that you're missing some key items – a blazer or pair of jeans or button up shirt. You know exactly what you need, which makes shopping much less stressful.
Don't try to build your wardrobe back up overnight. Dressing well is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the process, and celebrate mini victories (like getting your freshly altered clothes back from the tailor).
Thanks for reading. Go take action!
Do your clothes fit? Do you get your clothes tailored? Leave a comment below!