The Full Theory on Fit// Part 1

Posted by Madeline Rossouw on

The Full Theory on Fit

Part 1

There’s more to fit than just getting your body into a specific piece of clothing. By breaking away from the dated ways of image consulting, I've shifted my focus to these two things when working with my clients:

  • The scope of the wardrobe
  • The way garments fit - irrespective of your current body type

It’s been said that "if you don’t have fit, you don’t have style" and that "good style hinges on good fit". But what do you truly know about it and how your clothes should fit your body?

Here are the checklists for you to study & pay attention to from now on, especially when out shopping and trying on new garments.

In this article, Part 1 of The Theory of Good Fit, I'll discuss principles of the fit of

1. Underwear// A Good Foundation

2. Tops and

3. Jackets

Let's dive right in and if you're not too sure about something, leave a comment below.

1. A Good Foundation

Underwear is the essential layer of clothing you wear daily and proper fit here, should not be overlooked. By wearing a bra that fits you properly, it can transform the look of your outer garments as well as your overall appearance.

Choose well by:

  • ensuring all your breast tissue is inside the cup of the bra; there should be no overflow
  • ensuring the core (the little piece between the two cups), sits flush against your breast bone
  • ensuring you can raise & lower your arms and the bra stays in place
  • ensuring the bra supports and lifts as apposed to "squash" or flatten your chest
  • my best tip// get measured every time you shop at a new store/ at home before you go to the stores so you know your measurements and can shop properly ☆

2. Tops

I know that oversized garments are really trendy at the moment, but keep an open mind here. Some brands like Country Road, for example, have adjusted the style of their basic hoodies/ track tops ranges that are available every year, to keep up with the times. Some of my clients just buy one size larger than what they normally buy to successfully pull off an oversized look. That aside, when buying your tops (this includes t-shirts, button shirts & jerseys/ sweater tops) you should pay attention to the following:

  • the shoulder seams should rest on the edge of your shoulders, right where your shoulder ends
  • shoulder seams should lie flat on your shoulders and not fold or bulge
  • side seams should run perpendicular to the floor
  • the fabric of your top should drape your body and not hug it or sit tight around it
  • be cautious of the extra fabric under the arm// when lifting your arms up a little, you shouldn’t have "bat wings" between your arm and your body (unless the top is distinctively designed to be a batwing style or you bought it oversized)
  • long sleeves should end just at/ below your wrist bone// I have longer arms and prefer my tops to end between my wrist bone and the base of my thumb
  • sleeves of non-stretch fabrics (blouses) should not be tight - they should be allowing you to move freely// sweaters and t-shirt sleeves can be fight fitting as long as the do not hug and bulge
  • the hem of your top should cover the waist band of your pants/jeans/skirt. It can be longer// I personally prefer longer hems that I tuck into my jeans or skirt at the front or on the one side, for a stylish and casual look. A good hem length test, is to raise both your hands as high above your head as if pretending to reach for something on the very top shelf; your hem should still cover your mid section when doing this (aka no rolls should be visible ;) )
  • tops should skim your body through the waist too and lot look snug and hug around your tummy
  • buttons on blouses should not gape or pull at all
  • my best tip// buy for your largest area - if you have broad shoulders, buy a blouse that fits your shoulders and have it taken in at the bust and waist by a seamstress. Same with buying your items to fit your large bust and having it slightly altered at the shoulder seam and waist. If your largest area is your tummy, choose a blouse that fits you well there or really look into alternative top styles that work better on this specific area, where you would not need to have garments taken in over the bust and/ or shoulders (which can be tricky) ☆

3. Jackets

Although most jackets are designed to be form fitting, your jacket shouldn’t be confining. A perfectly fitted jacket can really make your outfit, so pay attention to:

  • the seams on top of the shoulders. They should lie flat and run even and perpendicular to the floor. Your shoulders are the "hanger" for your jacket and therefor the most important place where your jacket should fit properly, is at the shoulders
  • the shoulder seam should hit right at the edge of your shoulder, even if there is some padding in. Your jacket shoulder edge should never stick over your own shoulder edge
  • if your jacket is meant to be fitted, it should curve in & skim your waist. It should not be tight across your back, even if it is fitted
  • full length sleeves should end at the bend of the wrist & at the top of your hand. It is also acceptable for the sleeves to end at the wrist bones, leaving room for a sweater or blouse sleeve to stick out a little
  • the jacket hem should fall at a place that flatters your body. It should sit straight and even all the way around - not higher at the back than in the front. If this is the case, your jacket does not fit you properly
  • the lapel of your jacket should lie flat and smooth
  • the collar of your jackets should fit close to your body, not gaping open at the back of your neck
  • if there are buttons on your jacket, you do not have to be able to button them. There is much discussion around this, but unless it is a winter jacket that you would want to be able to button/ zip, your jackets do not need to be able to close in the front
  • my best tip// to determine if your jacket fits over your back, shoulders and upper arms, you should be able to reach up & out (as to give a comfortable hug) without the jacket pulling tight/ restricting that movement ☆

Part 2 of The Full Theory of Fit will be up by the end of this week!

M

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