Summer quickly approaches! As the temperature rises, our thoughts turn to being summer fit in order to don our favorite summer apparel. As I reviewed my wardrobe, I was reminded of the critical role that garment construction and fit plays into making one appear summer fit.
A few fit tips
Clothing is meant to skim or slightly hug your body. It is not meant to act as a tent.
Foundation garments such as undershirts, bras, underwear, shape wear etc. must fit close to the body without causing a “muffin top” effect. Otherwise, the clothing you layer on top will look sloppy and will be uncomfortable.
Stretchy clothes need to be slightly stretched when wearing them. They are not meant to act as a sausage casing.
In lieu of trying to hide perceived figure flaws with ill-fitting clothing, spend time highlighting your best traits. It is far more effective.
Not your granny’s girdle
There are a wide array of shape wear options which will make your figure look more smooth and sleek when wearing summer weight apparel.
Modern shape wear is a must-have for everyone, male, female, thin and not so thin. New technology in textiles has created breathable comfortable shape wear that makes an impact in all of the right places — when worn correctly.
The top three fit ailments for men
1. Shoulder seam-itis
Men purchase dress shirts to fit neck and sleeve length, often overlooking correct chest and shoulder measurements. The shirt must be properly fitted across the chest and shoulders so that the seams line up with your actual shoulders, rather than your biceps. Conversely, men who have large shoulders with small waistlines must have the mid-section altered to fit correctly. A poor fitting shirt looks cheap, even if it was expensive.
2. Fabric overabundis
Pants are meant to show that you have a butt. They are not meant to act as a tent. Men’s pants should also show that they have legs. Otherwise, please just wear a well fitted skirt. You will not appear any sillier wearing a skirt than wearing pants that are droopy and tent like. So either wear skirts, or please have your pants fitted correctly.
3. Hemline shortis-a-dorkis
For the most flattering look, make sure that the hem of your pants, or cuff falls to or slightly past the joint where the heel of your shoe and the leather from your shoe meet. If you have a narrow or more pegged pant leg, please do the same with the realization that the pant hem will ride up as you walk. This is a more European look. If you are sporting the European flair, I recommend that your shoes be VERY nice or handmade and in excellent condition.
When your clothing fits poorly in the region between your bust line and underarm, the entire look is compromised. For a longer and leaner appearance, make certain that the blouse, blazer or dress you are wearing fits close to the arm pit. This helps define the smallest areas at your rib cage and arms. Fabric should fit closely but not tight enough to cause pull marks across your arms or chest.
Your sleeves should come to the break of your wrist. If you push up your sleeves because they are too long, you still look sloppy. Simply have the sleeves altered to the correct length. You will instantly look taller and thinner. This is particularly important if you are under 5’7”.
3. Hemline inappropriatus or frumpusdumpus —
Skirts and Pants
Your skirt or dress hem should fall at the narrowest part of your knee. For each person, the place on the knee will vary depending on what is the most flattering for your body type. It will be either slightly above the knee (no more than three inches), at the knee in the mid-section or slightly below the knee.
For pants with a wide opening or slack style opening at the bottom, keep them as long as possible without dragging them on the ground. Make sure that your pants show your silhouette and always try to have the most attractive part of your leg highlighted.
A word about tailors
Ask for references from people who work in luxury apparel. Find someone that ONLY does fine tailoring, a true artist that understands proportion. You will not need to tell them what to do. They will simply fit you. They will not need to talk much. You will instantly see that they know what they are doing.
Alterations need not be drastic to make a large impact. Often it is only a matter of a fraction of an inch that will take you from dowdy to dazzling.
Joanne is a principal and co-founder of Pittman, Lamitie & Assoc, an expert in image consulting and developing workshops. She writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare, LAFamily, and CupidPulse. Visit Joanne's site at www.pittmanlamitie.com.