I don’t know if it’s just me but did all your clothes seem to fit a bit tighter after the Pandemic?
I know! I know! We all gained some Pandemic pounds including myself but that’s not the only thing that affected the way I feel about how my clothes fit.
The biggest change was that I got used to being comfortable and I found that when I had to start going out again I didn’t want to wear anything that was even a little bit tight. AKA “real pants”.
What about you?
There is a fine line between tight clothing, loose clothing and well fitting clothing but knowing how to fit clothing properly can make a big difference in how you look and the impression you make on others.
Let’s figure out how to find the right fit so we don’t get taken down by ill fitting clothes!
Why Do We Need to Know How to Fit Clothing?
You already know that what you wear matters. It affects how others think of you. It even affects how you think of yourself.
But does knowing how to fit clothing properly make that big a difference? It can take a lot of time and patience to find clothing that fits you right. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has settled for something that fit “good enough” because I was tired of looking for something that fit properly. Is it really worth the effort to find clothing that fits well?
You know you’ve seen someone wearing something that was WAY too tight. What did you think? How about people who like to wear clothes that are about 3 sizes too big? What impression does that make?
Not only does the fit of our clothing affect the way others view us, it also affects how we feel about our clothing. If we don’t like our clothing we won’t wear it and then our closets will fill up with items that don’t serve us at all.
Knowing how to fit clothing perfectly on the other hand, will help you maintain a minimalist wardrobe that you enjoy wearing! It will help you make a good impression and it will even make you more productive.
Now that you know it’s worth the effort to fit clothing perfectly let’s figure out what ill fitting clothes looks like and how to avoid them.
1: Perfect Fit Clothing Isn’t Too Tight
The first step in learning how to fit clothing properly is learning how to stop wearing clothing that is too tight.
I know, I know, we all want to fit into the same clothes we wore before the Pandemic, or before the baby, or before our office job or whatever. We may even be attached to a certain clothing size.
But is all that attachment to the size you used to be or the number you think should be on your clothes doing you any favors?
Absolutely not. You know your clothing is too tight if it’s uncomfortable or shows too much.
If a shirt or jacket won’t let you extend your arms forward, has buttons that scream for mercy, or is something you are always tugging at then it’s probably too tight.
Skirts and dresses should not scoop your butt even if that’s what the influencers are doing.
And last but not least pants that are too tight will pinch your waist in all the wrong ways giving you nothing but pain and a muffin top. It’s also possible for tight pants to create some unfortunate lines in the crotch area.
By all means try to avoid clothing that is too tight. It is uncomfortable for you and other people too.
2: Fit Clothing So It’s Not Too Loose
I have to admit that after the Pandemic I didn’t want to wear anything tight but I might have gone a bit too far and worn my clothes too loose for awhile.
Figuring out if your clothing is too loose can be a bit harder to catch because loose clothing doesn’t make you uncomfortable but if you want to fit clothing properly you want to avoid wearing clothing that is overly loose because it really makes you look sloppy.
Shirts, jackets, and dresses that are too big have shoulder seams that hang well past your shoulders, armpits that are so big they show your bra, and a general bagginess that overly hides your figure.
Pants and skirts that are too big will fall off your waist, sag in the behind and be too long for you.
It’s important to understand which styles are meant to be worn loose and which styles need to be more of a perfect fit.
Styles that are meant to be worn loose include peasant blouses, palazzo pants, some sweaters, and almost anything in the boho category.
Fitted styles like button down shirts, suits, t-shirts, jeans and slacks should fit you more tightly as they are meant to fit your form and not hide it.
3: The Right Fit Falls In the Right Places
We have touched on how to fit clothing so that it is not too loose or too tight but those are not the only things that add up to perfect fit clothing that will make you look your best.
Clothing that fits your properly should also fit in the right places.
We talked about blouses and how the shoulder seams should sit right on the tip of your shoulder. You should also look for darts that sit where your bust is and not above or below it, hips that match your natural hips and don’t overly flare like wings, and hems that are properly measured for your height and the style of the garment.
A lot of dresses also have waistlines that are too high for your natural figure making you look like you are wearing maternity. Pants with highlighted pockets can make your butt look bigger. Skirts that are too long will make you trip. Bras that don’t fit well can create funny lumps.
Another trick to perfect fit clothing is thinking about ratios. If you have a long top that isn’t tucked in it could cut your body in half making you look wider and shorter. Instead when you try to make your clothing more of a 1/3 and 2/3 ratio by tucking that shirt in you will actually look a lot better. This is called the Golden Ratio for fashion and when you start applying it to your outfits they will flatter you much more than they did before.
When you carefully select clothing that actually fits you it will refine your look and it can even make you look thinner, taller, and more put together.
4: Find Perfect Fit Clothing for Your Body Type
Last but not least, when you are trying to fit clothing perfectly you need to consider your body type. Some things work really well for one person that won’t work that well for another.
For example, I am short and curvy with a pear shape body. Because of that I favor boot cut or flared jeans and tops that show off my waist and smaller torso. When I do wear flowing peasant blouses I make sure to do a half tuck to make my legs look longer.
If you have an apple body shape you might prefer straighter pants and looser blouses.
Generally if you have a flowy top you want more fitted pants or skirts and if you have full skirt or flared pants you may want a more fitted top.
Tall people can pull off more dramatic looks and things like kimonos much better than short people and short women should choose skirts that hit at the knee or mid calf.
Even the shoes you choose to wear can change how tall or short you look. For example tan shoes tend to make you look taller.
If you look around on Pinterest you will find a lot of advice for how to dress for your body type. I also love the advice of personal stylist extraordinaire Natalie Frazier on Instagram!
Mostly you can figure it out by looking in the mirror after you get dressed and noticing if the proportions of your outfit make you look the way you want to look. Remember that your body is not always or even mostly the problem. A lot of times the clothing is the problem and you just need to take time to fit clothing so it flatters you!
5: What to Do With Clothes That Don’t Fit
So now that you know how to fit clothing well you may wonder what to do with all the ill fitting clothes you have settled for in the past.
There are three options.
First, if you know how to sew, have a friend who sews or know a great tailor it may be worth it to have some things tailored to fit you properly.
It’s easy to hem pants, take in a blouse or dress, shift darts to land in the right places, and fix buttons that have fallen off. It is not always possible to lengthen pants or skirts, make things bigger, or fix zippers.
I encourage you to only keep clothes for tailoring that you will actually take to the tailor. If fixing an item is not worth the time and money (at least $20 for your average fix) then you need to move on to option two.
If you have something that is of high quality and in great condition you could sell it using Poshmark, ThredUp or Facebook Marketplace. You could also take it to a local consignment store where you will get paid if it sells in time.
When selling clothes remember that most people are drowning in clothes just like you and they won’t pay as much as you spent on the item. Reserve the option of selling clothes for only the best of the best. Most clothing will need to be let go of with option three.
What is option three?
It’s donating your clothes. MOST of your ill fitting clothes should just be donated to your local thrift shop or an appropriate charity. It is the fastest, easiest way to let go of your ill fitting clothes and it is also a kind thing to do. Someone out there may fit those pieces perfectly and love them!
6: Buy The Right Fit!
As you let go of clothes you may start to slowly rebuild your wardrobe with clothing that fits you better. But how can you make sure any new clothing is going to fit you well? How do you stop buying clothes just cause they “fit good enough”? It can be really tricky, time consuming and frustrating to fit clothing properly.
First of all, if possible go into the store and try on your clothing. Make sure that the item fits well before buying it. This may mean you have to go to a few stores and it may mean that you have to patiently wait for the right piece to come along.
If you are online shopping at a store you have access to in person go try a similar item in the same brand to see which size fits you best. For example I went to Old Navy and tried on some pants. They didn’t have the size I wanted in the right color but I was able to order the color I wanted in the right size cause I had tried them in the store.
Another tip for online shopping is to stick to brands you know because you know how they fit you.
Last but not least, if you order something and it doesn’t fit your properly don’t hesitate to return it. It’s okay to be really picky. Each item of clothing you buy is an investment so you want to enjoy wearing it for years to come.
Find the Right Fit for Your Closet!
I hope that this post contained at least a couple tips that will help you fit clothing perfectly to your body, your taste, and your life! I know I love getting tips that help me dress better or style my clothing in more flattering ways.
After reading this post you may find that your closet needs a major overhaul. Don’t get overwhelmed! Simplifying your closet and having only clothes that look amazing on you is easier than you think.
If you have ever opened your closet doors to find a tornado of clothing, woken up in the morning with “nothing to wear”, or felt like your weight keeps you from looking good in clothes then maybe you just need to find closet simplicity!
As a seamstress with a flare for the dramatic my love affair with clothing was at odds with my minimalist lifestyle for a long time. But I finally figured it out and now I have a fun and simple wardrobe I love! Let me share all my best tips with you in the e-book I wrote for clothing lovers like myself, Closet Simplicity!