Save Money and Shop Smart: Know the Style Pyramid

by Antonio on April 24, 2013 · 45 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

Let’s just be honest: style, for men, is a hard thing to grasp. It’s especially hard when buying new clothes. We always forget our sizes, we don’t know how things are supposed to fit, and we can never figure out what matches or looks good. Sometimes what we buy ends up sitting in the closet because we don’t like the way it fits or looks when we wear it. In short, shopping for clothes can feel like a confusing or frustrating process. But it doesn’t have to be. What if I told you there was a way to simplify style? If you can focus on the easy-to-remember tips in this article, you’ll be able to walk into any store with a clear idea of what to buy, and you’ll walk out and into the world with confidence in how you look.

My favorite tool for selecting clothes that look good on you is the Style Pyramid.

It’s a simple three-step rubric: Fit, Fabric, and Style.

Fit - Fabric - Style - The Style Pyramid

Fit, Fabric, & Style – The Style Pyramid

A piece of clothing that doesn’t meet all three criteria is a piece of clothing you’re better off not wearing.

  • Fit sits at the top of the pyramid. Everything else comes from it. If a garment doesn’t fit well, none of its other characteristics matter — it’s not going to look good on you. Fit should always be your first stopping point when you consider a purchase.
  • Fabric is key in determining the quality of a piece of clothing. If you’re not satisfied with the raw material, you’re not going to be all that satisfied with the finished product. It’s less of an absolute barrier than fit — you can have many degrees of quality, whereas fit mostly breaks down into “good” and “bad.” That said, fabric is still a crucial consideration.
  • Style is about your own personal taste and the image you want to present. If something fits and is well made, but doesn’t give you the look you want, it’s still not a good purchase.

Work your way through the pyramid in this order when you’re thinking about buying clothes. If something doesn’t fit, stop there. If it fits, but it seems cheaply made, skip it. And if it fits and is of good quality, but doesn’t feel right for your style, wait for something more suited to your tastes.

When all three intersect — then it’s time to buy.

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Fit

Fit is at the top of the pyramid for a reason.

The way your clothes sit on your body affect the way they look to others more than anything else about them.

Most men wear a suit 2 sizes too large.  Fit matters - a lot.

Most men wear a suit that is two sizes too large. Fit matters – a lot.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you can look sharp-dressed in totally inappropriate clothes just because they fit well. A custom-tailored banana suit is still a banana suit. But it does mean that the best suit in the world can look awful on someone it’s not fitted for.

Think of it as the ultimate fashion triage: does the item in question fit your body? If not, skip it. It’s not worth wearing, no matter what its other merits might be.

The most general guideline for a good fit is that it should sit close to your skin without pinching or constricting. You shouldn’t feel the cloth tugging when you move around, but you also shouldn’t have any loose billowing or sagging.

In general, you should always be able to slip one or two fingers between the clothing and your body. But, every piece of clothing is a little different, so we’ll take a look at how to get the perfect fit for each item separately.

Notice no billowing around the waist - beware the muffin top!

Notice there is no billowing around the waist – beware the muffin top!

Shirt Fit

We’ll assume a collared shirt here so that we cover all the bases, but these guidelines work fine for T-shirts and other non-collared shirts as well. The only real difference is that a shirt you’ll be wearing untucked can be a little looser around the stomach and waist without it being noticeable.

  • The shirt collar should rest on your neck but not pinch it. In the case of a dress shirt, this should be with the collar button fastened, as if you were going to wear a necktie. If you can’t do that without feeling constricted, or if there’s a gap between the cloth and your neck, the fit is off.
  • The shoulder seams should end right where your shoulders do — the point where the vertical plane of your bicep intercepts the horizontal plane of your shoulder. If they don’t reach all the way, or if you’ve got part of the seam hanging down your bicep, it’s a no-go. This is a tough one for a tailor to adjust, so if the shoulder fit isn’t good to begin with, it’s usually not worth buying.
  • The cuffs should be long enough to cover the large bone in your wrist (the one directly above your pinky finger). If it’s shorter than that it won’t show properly beyond a suit or sports jacket sleeve. A straight sleeve or a slightly tapered one are both fine; the taper gives a better fit for most men.
  • The hem should fall at least three or four inches past your waist so that it can tuck in completely. If it has “tails” in the front and back, rather than an even hem, make sure the points at the side where the tails come together can tuck in, as well as the longer tails in front and back. You need the whole shirt to tuck, not just the longest parts.
  • The waist is where a lot of guys are wearing too much cloth. If your torso tapers, your shirt needs to as well. “Slim fits” can help with that, and it’s a relatively minor adjustment for a tailor to take the shirt in as long as there isn’t too much excess fabric. Get as close a fit as you can manage off the rack and then take it to a tailor if you need more.

Very tall or very short men also need to keep an eye on proportion. It’s easy for a breast pocket to wind up too far up or down your chest, or for a collar to be too short for your neck, especially when you’re having things adjusted. Keep an eye on the details and make sure none of them are “floating” too far from where other men are wearing theirs.

black-white-fit

Jacket Fit

A jacket gets a little more space off the body than a shirt, but not much. You’re still trying to avoid gaping open spaces, billowing or hanging cloth, and anything tight enough to pinch or pull.

  • Shoulders, like with shirts, have to be well-fitted to begin with. They can’t be adjusted, generally speaking. Like the shirt, the seam should end right where your shoulder does, not before the turn or hanging over it.
  • The chest is usually the only numerical measurement for off-the-rack jackets. If it’s taken right, the lapels of your jacket should rest comfortably on your shirt front when you stand, with just enough slack that you can slide a hand into the inner pocket. If the lapels are hanging far enough forward that there’s visible space between the shirt and the jacket in your natural resting pose, it’s too loose.
  • The waist affects how the buttons close. They should fasten without any tugging or pressure on the button (it not only looks better, but it’ll also save you buttons popping off). The buttoned sides of the jacket should rest on the shirt beneath them, with the fabrics touching.
  • The sleeves should fall just a bit shorter than your shirt sleeves. “A half-inch of linen” is the traditional phrase, but in practice it can vary a bit, so long as the shirt is visibly longer than the jacket you are just fine.
  • Length should be at least enough to fall past the curve of your buttocks, rather than resting above it.

Your big warning signs with a jacket are flapping around the lower part, gaps between the jacket and your chest, and of course, any tugging or tightening when you move. Tightness in the arms or sides can also show up as wrinkles where the fabric is pinching.

Notice the crotch doesn't extend down to the middle of the thighs - and the material near the cuff isn't overly bunched.

Notice the crotch doesn’t extend down to the middle of the thighs – and the material near the cuff isn’t overly bunched.

Trouser Fit

It’s good to have your shirt and your jacket flat against your skin at most places, but your pants — for obvious reasons — need a touch more room than that. The problem is that most guys go too far and get more room than they need, going from “comfortable” to “saggy.”

  • Length is pretty easy to judge; a good fit has the trouser legs ending where they just brush the tops of your shoes, or rest very lightly on them. This is why you need to bring nice shoes along with you when you go shopping. If you’re not touching the shoe leather at all or you’ve got a pile of bunched-up cloth resting on it, the fit is off.
  • The waist should be tight enough that you can’t pull the pants all the way off without unbuttoning/unzipping the fly. If it’s digging in or bunching up, it’s too tight. Aim for a fit in between those two. Make sure you’re fitting the waist where you want to wear it — on slacks, that should be up above the hips, at the natural waist. Jeans can be a touch lower, closer to the hips.
  • The rise is the distance from the waistband to the place where the seams join in the crotch. It should be as close to your body as comfort allows. A little room for movement is obviously necessary, but a lot of men are wearing pants with two, three, even four or five inches of “sag” in the crotch. Get rid of that! You want enough room for everything you’ve got between your legs, and not much more.
  • The seat can vary a bit from brand to brand. There’s no real numerical measurement for it, but it’s another place where you don’t want sag. A loose trouser seat makes your butt look big and soft. Find a brand that hugs your cheeks. You want just enough room that you can slip a wallet in comfortably.

Trouser styles can vary pretty widely, so take these as broad guidelines. Heavier-set men are going to want a little more looseness in the seat than skinny dudes. Just be sure you’re avoiding anything that’s uncomfortably tight or so big you can make the extra fabric sway by swinging your hips around.

Fabric-400

Fabric

Judging the quality of fabric at a glance (or a touch) can be challenging.

Product information can sometimes help you here, but it’s just as often misleading — things like “thread count” can be measured in different ways, and some merchants are more honest about it than others.

Inspecting Fabric

In general, if all you have to go on is the actual garment itself, look for the following key qualities:

  • 100% construction. If it’s cotton, it should be all cotton. If it’s wool, it should be all wool. A percentage point or two of synthetics may be fine (it’s common in “stretch” clothing, for example, and some wools will come with a small amount of synthetic blended in for mildew resistance), but if the blend goes much lower than 95% base material, it’s probably cheap fabric.
  • Appropriate weight. This can vary. If it’s a summer shirt, the weave should be loose and made from fine threads. If it’s a three-season suit, it should be made from sturdy wool, and you should be able to feel the weight in your hands. Avoid anything that seems flimsy, especially in trousers and jackets. You want those to have enough heft that they drape smoothly when you wear them. Too light and they’ll wrinkle and billow.
  • Even weave. Check for little knots or imperfections in the surface of the cloth. You don’t want those little bumps, and you definitely don’t want holes or snags. Not all fabrics are smooth — seersucker, for example, is going to be distinctly dimpled — but they should be even. If some bumps are bigger than others, or the spacing is uneven, you’ve got a problem.
Inspect & look for the details in clothing - if they are there you can bet the manufacturer did right in places you can't see.

Inspect and look for the details (such as a boutonniere latch on a jacket) – if they are there you can bet the manufacturer did right in places you can’t see.

Inspecting Construction

We say “fabric” because it’s convenient and easy to remember, but it’s worth taking a look at the rest of the construction as well. It’s less common for manufacturers to make shoddy clothing out of good cloth, but it’s not unheard of. Jeans are particularly common offenders; beware of “all USA” denim that’s then made into jeans in the Philippines or Malaysia or somewhere known for lower-quality goods.

Take a look at the details of the construction, whether it’s a fabric item or something as basic as a leather belt:

  • Stitching is a good place to check for basic quality assurance. If there are loose thread ends or wobbly stitches, the garment probably wasn’t made with much care or checked very closely. You can safely expect that to result in a lower quality (and lifespan) overall.
  • Hemming at the cuffs and edges are another good place to look for unevenness or imperfections. If the hem has wrinkles or folds in it, or is wider in some places than others, you’re not looking at a very well-made garment.
  • Materials on the detailing are another good clue. Are the buttons Mother-of-Pearl or plastic? Are the zippers thick brass or flimsy plastic? Are the rivets (blue jeans) evenly-stamped and sturdy? Think twice before buying anything that cuts corners on those small details.

Buying Online

Most of the above tips are only useful when you can hold the garment in your hand. How do you check the fabric (and construction) quality when you’re buying based on nothing but a picture and a written description?

  • Stick to brands you trust. If you can, try to avoid making first-time purchases of a brand online. Buying a pair of jeans from a company when you already know you like their quality is fine; buying just because you’ve heard good things is riskier. You could get lucky — but you could also get unlucky.
  • Only buy from sites with good return policies. Look at both the refund/exchange policy and the shipping details. Full refunds with no questions asked are best. Free exchanges with the shipping labels included (so that you don’t pay the return shipping) are nearly as good. If the website doesn’t have either of those, you’re taking a chance on spending more money to return something that didn’t work out.
  • Construction methods can take a little more research to understand, but it’s worth your time. If you’re buying shoes, know the difference between Goodyear and Blake construction. If you’re looking at jackets, know the difference between fused and unfused canvases, vented and unvented backs, and so on. When the only information you get about a product is a short description or a bullet-pointed list, you want to know what every term in there means.

style-400

Style

Style is the hardest of these three to define. Does the item say what you want it to? If the answer is yes, then it suits your style.

Wardrobe Interchangeability

Try to think about it in terms of your existing wardrobe. Look at the purchase you’re considering and imagine pairing it with the clothes you already own. If you can come up with a half-dozen different outfits, it’s a safe bet that it goes with your current style.

If you can’t think of any pairings, that’s not grounds for automatic rejection, but it does mean you should think hard about how you’d use the item.

It’s alright to break new ground — in a way, it’s ideal. We should all update our style from time to time. But do it realistically. If you’re going to leave it hanging in your closet for 360 days out of the year, it’s probably not a good investment.

Keep in mind, too, that some new styles may require you to purchase several items at once. Not a problem if you’re willing to do it — just be honest with yourself. Only commit to new looks that you’re pretty sure you’re going to wear regularly and confidently.

wardrobe-400

Style Upgrades

A good final question to ask yourself is, “Does this improve my look?”

Some of the best purchases are small, simple things that take your existing wardrobe and make it a little nicer-looking.

A new suit is great. But day to day it’s probably not going to make as much difference as, say, trading your Chuck Taylors for a pair of suede saddle shoes.

Not all style considerations are going to be major. They could be as basic as looking for a new buckle to put on an ordinary brown leather belt. Those little changes are often the biggest bang for your buck in terms of improving your look. Put enough of them together and suddenly you’ve got a “personal style” — without having to buy a whole new wardrobe for hundreds of dollars.

sport-jacket-400

Conclusion

The three-step style pyramid is deliberately simple.

You’re going to have more choices, more questions, and more decisions to make than this overview gives you. But it’s a good starting point — and, more importantly, it’s a good stopping point.

If something fails one of these three basic tests, you probably don’t want it in your wardrobe. So always ask yourself:

  • Is the fit good?
  • Is the fabric decent?
  • Does it suit my style?

If you’ve got a “no” in there anywhere, skip it. There’ll be better clothes some other day.

Video Summary of Post

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Written By Antonio Centeno
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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christopher April 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Excellent and informative article. It was easy to digest and now I feel that I could shop for clothing more efficiently and with the confidence that I know what to look for. I especially like your break down of fabric and fit. I would like to see a more in depth break down of construction sometime in the future.

2 Nick P. April 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Very good! I like the clear simple advice that can help us better chose clothing that will project a polished and refined look. I really found the visuals to be helpful for comparing how something looks to how it should look.

3 Lance April 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Whew! I get so tired shopping though! I found the right everything when I started spending more $ on my wardrobe. So now I’m getting my jeans at Banana Republic and Express, rather than Old Navy or Gap.

4 Farhad April 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Great article! The brown jacket in the last photo is beautiful. What brand is it from?

5 Remy Sheppard April 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I’m glad you cover style in depth. I see so many men on a daily basis who have no idea how important style can be.

Often times people take you more seriously, women find you more attractive, and you’re simply able to get farther and achieve more because you look like a well put together man.

In a world that is so quick to judge, and where how you present yourself publicly is incredibly important (especially in slow economy, job seekers) looking your best is hugely important.

6 nick April 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm

i’m a broad-shouldered dude. always have been. as a result, i always roll up my sleeves because sleeves don’t rest low enough on my arms. i always thought that it was just the way shirts were. i’ll have to be a little more diligent in finding clothes that actually fit me.

7 Will April 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I would also love to find out where the brown jacket in the last photo is from.

Great article!

8 Mac April 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Nick (post 6) i run into the same thing, as I have a bit longer of an arm. I end up doing the same thing because as the article points out, the wrist bone always sticks out and the sleeve is too short.

I also run into the issue of “this looks good now, but after a wash, i’ll look like tom hanks in big.” any suggestions?

9 Vince April 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I find that a lot of shirts have flying-squirrel wings around the armpit, as if my armpit is developing a tumor. That’s a great thing to avoid.

10 Dave April 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Which is all fine and dandy if you’re 6’1″ and 160lbs.

However, at 5’8″ and 210lbs (barrel-chested and growing but not overhanging gut), getting a decent fit is all but impossible. With a 16 1/2″ neck and 33″ arms, getting a shirt *not* to billow is an impossibility (although slim-cut shirts, oddly enough, seem to work OK. I haven’t ever owned a suit because suits are only make for one body type, and it ain’t mine (and I cannot afford a bespoke suit.

I’d love to dress better (I’m doing OK, but…) if I knew how to get a decent fit.

11 Clayton April 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Great article and content as usual, Antonio.

Is this the kind of content we can expect if we sign up for your style university? I’m most interested in finding online resources to order fabrics for shirts, pants, etc, and taking that to a tailor in town to get a good fit.

Also, quality shoes at a good value.

12 Stu April 25, 2013 at 5:15 am

Someone really needs to start making sensible dress shirts at reasonable prices. I take a 17″ collar, but with most brands that equates to a ridiculous amount of fabric hanging off me. Even Slim Fit is usually a few sizes too big. I’ve found one brand with a reasonable fit, but the shirts are expensive. Add tailoring costs on top and I’m paying a ridiculous amount for each shirt.

Might start teaching myself to sew. Then I can tailor my own shirts and possibly (one day) make them myself.

13 christo April 25, 2013 at 6:18 am

gonna have to bookmark this, a neat summary of good fit, explained simply, thanks.
and This seems like the best article to ask on, I’m visiting California for a month (I live in the UK) and while there i want to pick up some good quality US clothes, that are far to expensive in the UK (basic levis cost around 100 dollars in uk money), so other than levi’s (or even good alternatives to levis) are there any other good quality, but affordable US Brands/items out there I should be looking for? any advice would be appreciated

14 Robert Roy April 25, 2013 at 6:57 am

To those with too short or long sleeves: If you really like a garment it should be worth investing some extra bucks in altering it by a tailor. I do it all the time and I’m so satisfied.

Especially long sleeve shirts have their sleeves too long for me (I’m kind of short with 172cm or 5’8”) and my collar size is 38cm or nearly 15 inches but the sleeves tend to be too long.

Same problem with trousers or jackets. But buying a suit for €300,- and spend additional €15 for some minor changes on trousers and jacket is no big deal.

There are different brands which tend to fit better on specific body types. The brand s.Oliver in Germany for example have more fitted/waisted suits for short people. You should always talk to the vendors. I was looking for a new suit so I spoke to the vendor in one of the suit wards. I looked a second long down on me and said straight: “You’re wrong with me. You should go over there to this ward, to my collegue. He can help you. I have only classic suits. You need fitted/waisted ones.”

If you’re short but very muscular and athletic still stick with waisted shirts and suits but buy them one or two sizes bigger and get the sleeves shortened by a tailor. If you are bulky or “paunched” (don’t know the word in englisch) there are in-between sizes.

If you still find nothing stick to a tailor. He mastered his profession and can help you in any case.

15 Dave April 25, 2013 at 7:06 am

Why is style last? Why would you spend the time to check an item’s fit and analyze it’s construction in the first place if it didn’t match your personal style? Good article otherwise, but it seems like the cart’s in front of the horse on that bit.

16 Mr. Wallace April 25, 2013 at 8:24 am

Glad to see some proper guidance on trouser length. “Men of a certain age” seem happy to let their pantlegs pool up on their shoes, and mags like GQ persist in hems stopping above the ankle bone. Your trouser fit illustration should be put on gas station pumps and milk cartons.

17 Bryan April 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

Good stuff. I found this really helpful. My question is, how does one find decent clothes on an affordable budget? I’m in college, working to pay for it, and trying to dress decent. You can’t beat the prices at the second-hand store (not at all ashamed to admit I shop there) but finding right fit, fabric, style there depends on the day. With my budget, I can’t afford to spend much on clothes (and the whole “think of it as an investment” argument applies more when you actually have some capital to begin with). Any suggestions?
Maybe an article (or even series of articles!) on “The Gentlemen’s Guide to Buying Quality Clothing on a Tight Budget”

18 Garrett April 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

Fit, Fabric, and Style: THE TRIFORCE OF FASHION!

19 Clay April 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

Can you give description of clothing in last picture?

20 Tim J. Moerman April 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

Very good advice all around. However, I would add a few points that I learned the hard way:

1) If it’s cotton, the shirt is gonna shrink substantially after washing it several times. If a cotton dress shirt fits perfectly in the collar and is exactly long enough when you try it on new, then get the next half-size up and get the long/tall version. Even worse, some kinds of cotton shrink differently. I have non-iron Brooks Brothers dress shirts that fit perfectly at size 16/36, but when I got the regular gotta-iron OCBD’s in the same size, the collar became chokingly tight–even the 16.5 collar ends up being a bit snug. So the collar and length on a shirt are like the shoulders on a jacket–they will be what they will be, and can’t be altered (except for shortening the sleeves and tails on the shirt.) They should be the deal breaker.

2) Trusting brands is dicey. It seems to be standard practice now for brands to spend several years building up their reputation by making good quality stuff, then cash in by moving the factory to Vietnam or whatever and drastically cutting the quality–while keeping the same price and customer base who haven’t caught on yet. Clothing brands are like cars–the make alone doesn’t tell you much, you gotta know what year.

21 Mark Paigen April 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Excellent article.
Absolutely, the most important thing is fit. Unfortunately, it is also the the most ignored. Most men purchase clothing that is way too big. Getting the right size would help their appearance dramatically.
A few points –
Jacket fit – Well described but I think the drawing shows a jacket that is too long. If the hem is below the bottom of the fly of the pant, it is too long. Especially on shorter guys.
Pant fit – Perhaps the most common fit mistake. Pants don’t have to be uncomfortably tight to fit well. Bring a woman shopping with you; she will let you know when you get it right.
Fabric blends – Not always a sign of low quality. Many of the shirts we sell feature cotton/linen blends, one has a wonderfully light cotton/wool blend that is exceptionally comfortable for 4 season use. Become familiar with different fibers and their characteristics and you will have an easier time with less traditional fabrics.
Lastly – Think about the country of origin. Most clothing is imported from Asia. You will generally pay more for domestic garments but they are often well worth it. It is time for all of us to purchase fewer items of higher quality and support our local economies

22 Patrick April 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I already have great style. But this is great.

Definitely supplements my understanding of combinations and requirements.

I can’t even tell you how many times I have to tell my friends how to wear this and that, what goes with what.

23 Patrick April 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Oh stay away from brands, just do the inspections yourself. If it feels right for you and around you price range, buy it.

Don’t go buying things because of names.

24 BJ April 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Enjoyed the article as always. My eye was caught by your picture of the clean uncluttered closet. I did a search on here and didn’t see much about closet organization other than cleaning out the clutter. I would be interested in reading how you organize things, what to fold, what to hang, how to treat off season clothing. whether to encase in plastic or not. The kinds of things you want to do to care for your clothing correctly, but focused on the closet and whatever paraphernalia is best. Thanks for a great article, and I’m looking forward to more.

25 Brock April 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Another great post from the guru. I like the challenge posed to all men to know basic distinctions – fused vs canvassed, single stitching, shoe construction. Makes a lot of sense, and these little things will set you apart from 95% of men (the ones who don’t read RMRS or AoM, that is).

-B

26 Walt C. April 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Great article, enjoyed the clear definitions of what to look for and what to avoid. I guess I’m gonna have to start having a few shirts at a time tailored. I wear a 16 1/2 (sometimes a 17) 34/35 shirt, but have a 34″ waist. So if it fits in the shoulders it’s way too much at the waist. I spend a lot of time re-tucking and adjusting it seems.

27 Alistair April 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

I have been wearing bespoke shirts and suits for the last couple of years. Once you go down that path you never look back.

I feel, however, that the authors forgot to mention a very important point which is keeping fit. No point wasting thousands on bespoke shirts and suits if you then put on 30 pounds.

I’d say if you can’t keep a decent weight, i.e. strict diet and workout routine, within a reasonable margin, there is no point going bespoke.

28 The TomCat April 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

Where can I find those brown suede loafers in the last picture??

29 Silvia G. April 27, 2013 at 9:27 am

Great article Antonio, as always!

Clear and precise.

30 Christian April 29, 2013 at 2:45 am

I think it is worth noting, that pure linen cloth comes with little bumps and it is no sign of bad quality. Often, this gives the cloth the desired linen look.

31 Larry April 29, 2013 at 10:31 am

I am a short man in stature at 5’5 and 140lbs. I have a wardrobe of suits, blazers, slacks and khaki pants. The material matters and how well it fits on you is important. Also what matters is how you put it all together from solids, patterns and color to make your style. Lastly I always remember no matter how stylish you look, your shoes can be the tip off they way you dress.

32 ike April 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Always love these articles by Antonio. Thanks!

33 Joshua April 30, 2013 at 11:33 am

That brown sports jacket with the blue windowpane is awesome! Is it custom or store bought?

34 Lee May 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm

+1 on finding out about the brown jacket shown in the last picture!

35 Anders May 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Love the brown jacket!
Any idea where to find it?

36 Colin H Tomlinson May 24, 2013 at 1:34 am

A good way to check if a top (shirt or jacket) big enough is to raise your arms above your head and bring them down again. However the top ends up is how it will be when worn. End up with folds of fabric and you can be certain it will ride up with wear and look like that all day.

37 Helen June 5, 2013 at 6:33 am

I should give it to read to my husband! :)

38 Robert June 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm

If it was in style 20 years ago, now and in another 20 years then buy it.

39 Andrew Ellis July 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm

This article gave me more information than 25 years of going to the suit shop. Thank You.

40 James July 5, 2013 at 3:42 am

This is great but I find there is a major component missing: COLORS. How do we pick the colors that look best!?

41 Chesterfield July 19, 2013 at 5:21 am

I would be interested in reading how you organize things, what to fold, what to hang, how to treat off season clothing. whether to encase in plastic or not. The kinds of things you want to do to care for your clothing correctly, but focused on the closet and whatever paraphernalia is best.

42 Nate August 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I am a retail manager with a higher end classic American clothing brand.
And I disagree with the assertion about 100% construction as a point of quality. See, I have a cheap old blazer from a department store that I got in high school. It is all wool. On the other hand, I sell a blazer in a similar style that is 60/40 wool/synthetic. The blend is an incomparably better jacket.
Blended fabrics are often engineered to have enhanced performance properties (my brand is one that is on the cutting edge of these technologies), including moisture wicking, quick drying, wrinkle resistance, and ultraviolet protection.
Be careful not to discount a great technically advanced fabric because of a blanketing rule which does not apply when dealing with trusted and respected brands.

43 Trevan2 September 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for some people (like me) to find well-fitting clothes without having them custom tailored at a premium price I can’t afford. I am tall and skinny with a barrel chest and very long arms. I rarely find a shirt or jacket that matches more than two of those elements.

I would love to be able to have everything I own tailored, but unfortunately I have just had to learn to live with the muffin top and the tent-like sport coat.

44 Chip December 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

The problem with “fit” is the people in the store never get it right, so you’re sort of stuck with what you get unless you want to take it around from tailor to tailor until it’s right.

45 Max Thunder January 25, 2014 at 11:55 am

I dream of the day when being healthy and muscular is the norm. Unlikely to happen though, because the human species is going the other way.

I can’t ever find clothes that fit me and can’t afford bespoke right now… Makes me hate shopping which makes it even more difficult to find clothes that fit.

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