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Guide: It's all about fit

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“The Style Guy” is OLE MASON JAR's recurring style guide for tips and advice on dressing your best each and every day. To each man is his own style, but for those that may be misinformed, or perhaps who are looking for perspective, we will highlight the keys to maximizing your potential and stepping up your style game.

Our #1 rule when it comes to style is without a doubt fit. Sure, there are plenty of other rules/guidelines that can be debated [1] (and we will cover them in due time), but fit is the unquestionable variant that is the backbone of any gentleman’s wardrobe. In an effort to validate this point, all you need to do is the “two man test” [2]. Take 2 identical bodied men you don’t know and stand them next to each other. Now, take those same two men and dress one in something that is economical (inexpensive) but fits well, and the other in something that is exponentially more expensive but several sizes to large.  From a distance, who has better style?  Answer = the person wearing what fits.  This will win every single time, no matter what variation you loop in.  The point is…it does not matter the brand/price/color or details, if it does not fit then it is all for nothing.

A common misconception is that fit applies to those that are slimmer and not those that may be a little on the husky side. This actually could not be further from the truth, as those that are larger benefit even more from clothing that fits, as it can help contour and give a more flattering appearance. A proper fit helps to enhance all body types.  For example, take below picture (which I love). Same guy, but two very different fits.  He is by no means slim, yet the slimming suit makes him look  sharp, well put together and exudes confidence like you wouldn't believe.  Guy on the left is that poor soul just getting by each and every day...and same guy on the right is the guy who has it all figured out (OK,maybe not all true but you have to admit it sure seems like it just from having the right fit).

(Photo credit www.gq.com)

A great fit is something that is not too large or over sized, but also something that is not too tight.  You want something that is going to accentuate and look crisp, slimming and tailored.  How tailored and slim depends on the comfort level though, and the slimmer you go (without being too tight) the more high fashion your look becomes.  The general rule for what a good fit is would generally be 3 – 4 inches of additional fabric in the torso, as well as trouser legs. 

With fashion, lines often are blurred, particularly with what might be "in style" in other parts of the country / world, so if you’re newly looking to improve your style…we definitely feel your pain.  High Fashion designers and crazy styles seen in the likes of New York, or in other parts of the world can be intimidating. What we had to learn a long time ago though, leave the cutting edge stuff for those that want to be cutting edge and unique.  The fashion designers are going for extreme and shock value, so instead, stick to a timeless and classic style that will hold true 20 years from now[3]

What is the right fit for a shirt? Below graph examines a proper fitting shirt[4]. 

What’s next?  Well if you are reading this article and looking at your closet realizing there are likely quite a few items that break multiples rules mentioned above, you are not alone. A quick fix, and way to salvage a lot of those shirts / pants, is to take them to a tailor. They can remove the additional fabric for a pretty reasonable price, while magically making wearable again! 

If you are in the Charlotte area, I can recommend a few good ones!

PS: Our shirts fit great, so shop The Alexander collection :)

Best,

BR 

•   •   •

A native of NC, Bradley Rhyne is OLE MASON JAR's Co-Founder and CEO, as well as chief editor for all content and social media. With his extensive experience in the finance and accounting industry as a Vice President for a fortune top 10 company, Brad brings a wealth of knowledge, creativity and business acumen to OLE MASON JAR. 



[1] As hard as it was for me not to touch on square toed shoes, this is a detail that is less important than fit. Do not fear though, this will eventually be covered in all of its glory.
[2] That is right, I just dubbed this little gem while typing.  I am claiming it for now, until a Google search confirms otherwise!
[3] Also feel free to go watch Mad Men for a good indicator of how something should fit.

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