Was at the gym Saturday morning. Guy walks in with a shirt that looks like it came in a spray can. I always carry a bag, the bag has a notebook in it. Here’s what I came up with:
Bro you are not an Avenger.
In working with Dylan and Duncan (and Elena, which is a whole other story – all I can say is that if you really really want to get into shape try keeping up with a dancer in your workouts) my body has changed. My clothes fit better. Which is great, yeah yeah yeah, but … shouldn’t clothes just always fit anyway? Isn’t that what tailors are for?
That is different from the fact that my clothes look better, they do. But that isn’t fit. In theory, all clothes can fit.
Fit is comprised of three components. The first is comfort. Why? Elegance. You never saw an uncomfortable elegant person. There is a faction of Ivy that doesn’t care so much for comfort. That’s silly. Ivy was just an itch in fashion’s pants until somebody said, “You know, this shirt is even more comfortable untucked with shorts.” There is a faction of Ivy that takes actual pride in being uncomfortable. I suspect that faction lets the uncomfortable thing bleed over into other areas as well.
Where some other styles all out of my favor is when they stop at comfort. Fit must be comfortable, but it also must be also be an upgrade. No one should look better with their clothes off. If you do, don’t wear clothes. And you know what I am saying. Fit must create lines. Now. Whether we like to admit it or not, the human eye prefers for the most part certain aesthetic rules. Ask any good architect. You can collect these rules and submit them to the test of time. If they still stand, then you have a classic on your hands. Another reason to love Ivy, if dignity is not your thing. The frame and shape of most Ivy is classic. Ivy fits.
The third component to fit is that how well each piece communicates with each other. Too loose a collar and a necktie looks droopy (unless you unbutton the collar, go degage). Too tight a waistline and your shirt looks like an upside down umbrella. Too long a tie and your pants look too high. Or too low. Too long a tie messes up a lot of other things. Socks too short = pants too short. If you have to do socks at all. Etc. A single piece can fit, but unless it is talking to the other pieces and making them fit, what’s the point?
Kevin Cortez over at Reviewed (here’s a link) did some work on how masculine clothing should fit. He worked with two tailors, Stacie Pettersen, head stylist and manager at Beyond Bespoke Tailors in Manhattan, and Joe Holsgrove, coatmaker and tailor at coat maker at Dege & Skinner located on Savile Row. In his article, Mr. Cortez went to the trouble of explaining what Savile Row is. Draw your own conclusions. Still, there are a few notes that are worthy of our discussion here.
- Pettersen says one finger between your collar and your neck. I read an article in GQ in the 80’s that said two fingers, that has always been my rule. Mr. Cortex goes on to point out that unless you can get a finger in there, you are choking yourself. I submit that is something I would know anyway, but perhaps he had a word count he had to get to. Which would also explain the Savile Row thing.
- This is a quote from the article: “The sleeve length of a men’s dress shirt should land where the base of your wrist meets your hand. There must also be a half-inch of gathered fabric near your wrist so that when you extend your hand, it doesn’t show forearm.” I am not sure how you pull that off where that half-inch comes from. But I do know this. If you are not wearing a wrist watch because it is messing with your cuff, your watch is too big or your cuff is too small. You pick.
- According to Mr. Cortex, you should be able to bend your arms.
- Here though was a good rule of thumb. If you have a hard time finding things that fit, buy the piece that fits the biggest area and then tailor everything down from there. Now, this comes from tailor. But it makes sense.
- Ok, I try to take it easy on fashion writers, but this is one of the reasons I am such a Boyer fan. He CAN WRITE. Here. Mr. Cortez moves on to how a jacket should fit, and tells us, “The most important parts of a jacket’s fit, Pettersen explains, are in the sleeves, shoulders, and body.” In his book about doors, he says, “The most important part of a door’s function is it’s ability to open and close.”
- But they do offer something, I tested it, and it works for me, see if it does for you maybe. They say that you should be able to fit a fist into your jacket at the lapel. Any more, it is too big, any less it is too small.
- Stacie Pettersen is an interview I need to get. She is talking about jeans. “The waist should fit completely—there should be no gaps at the waistband,” she says. She goes on to say that a belt is just jewelry for your clothes, that it shouldn’t hold your pants up. I totally disagree. I never go without a belt, and it holds my pants up all the time. I even tie the string on my bathing suit. You? Ms. Pettersen says that the hem of your jeans “… should appear clean. It should also fit comfortably around boots just as well as flat shoes or sneakers, without any extra fabric hanging out.” What extra fabric? Isn’t that the point of the hem? I am missing something. I will call her.
- This is totally unrelated, but one of my fashion resolutions for the year was to not wear jeans at all all year.
- Pettersen and Holsgrove disagree about slacks. Here’s something you may not have known. “The very term ‘slack’ derives from the Saxon word for ‘loose’, and as such, these garments should fit that way,” Holsgrove says. Ms. Pettersen likes them tighter and tapered.
The feature image is a shirt that fits. It is a Polo polo, because that book is coming out and I am into it.