Module 2: The Perfect Fit: Look 10x Better in 10 Mins (or Less)

Welcome to Module 2: The Perfect Fit: Look 10 times better in 10 minutes (or less)

In Module 1, you learned:

  • The real reasons why it’s so hard to look good when you’re not in a suit
  • The 2 (just 2!) biggest style rules all men should follow to make looking good effortless 
  • How to Identify your “Style Needs Type” to figure the right style direction to suit your lifestyle.

In Module 2, you’ll learn:

  • Why your height, weight, shoulder slouch aren’t to blame when it comes to why it’s hard finding clothes that fit.
  • How you can cut your shopping time in half and actually have fun by following “the clues in the construction”.
  • How to make yourself look taller using one simple principle to balance your proportions.

Let’s start with a short video:

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Now that you see where the Casual Style Course is going to take you, let’s jump right into Module 2’s lesson: Fit.

WHY IS FIT SO DAMN IMPORTANT

Google “style rules for men”, and I’ll put good money on one rule appearing on every list: “It’s all about the right fit.”

AKA: Your clothes should fit properly on your body.

I’m not a fan of universal rules, but this is one I happen to agree with. Perfecting how clothes fit on you will solve 90% of your style problems.

But in order to help you really understand why good fit is important, it’s much easier to show how poor fit is really bad for your style.

 

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Construction Worker Konrad’s makeover. Your eyes do not deceive you. Courtesy of GQ

1. Clothes that are too big make you look fatter
Take a look at poor “before” Konrad on the left in comparison to “after” Konrad on the right. He has a lean build, but you wouldn’t know it in those huge sweatpants and hoodie. Don’t let the bum clothes fool you, it will have the same effect if you wore a nice suit that’s too big for you. By changing how his clothes fit, Konrad visually loses a good 20lbs!

2. Clothes that are too big make you look shorter
When clothes go up in sizes, they get wider and longer. This is due to how human anatomy works. The taller you are, generally the wider your shoulders and hips will be. Since Konrad is wearing clothes there are too big for him, they’re too wide AND too long. This makes his torso look really long and legs really short. The low crotch of his sagging pants enhance this illusion, making his legs look extra stumpy. 

Notice how much taller he looks in the after photo once he wears pants that fit closer to his body.

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Photo via The Style Architecht

3. Clothes that are too tight come off as too feminine
This has nothing to do with sexuality. The simple truth is, outside of gym clothes, form fitting, tight clothing aren’t part of men’s day to day wardrobe’s like they are for women. It’s the same way ties aren’t a normal part of a woman’s wardrobe. The moment a woman wears a dress shirt and tie, her look feels more masculine.

Even on a lean guy, like the gentleman above, there is such as thing as “too tight”.

If your jeans are tight enough where you can trace the form of your legs, you’ve definitely crossed the “too tight” line and entered women’s leggings.

4. Clothes that are too tight are also uncomfortable
Ever put on a t-shirt that was a little too snug? Remember how uncomfortable that was? Now imagine that feeling, but with something like jeans. Yeah, doesn’t sound like fun. I wouldn’t recommend bending down.

Action Step: Take a minute to think about the clothes you’ve been wearing. Are they too small? Too big? Why do you think you’ve been buying these sizes?

After you’re done thinking, I’ll share the most common reason I’ve heard from clients and readers.

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IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THEM: THE TRUTH ABOUT WEIRD BODY PROPORTIONS

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Every week, I get a dozens of emails like this, guys telling me about their unique, “weird body proportions”, and how it seems impossible to find clothes that fit.

Do some quick math. That’s hundreds of guys in the past year that can’t find clothes that fit because they’re too muscular, too tall, too skinny, have thighs that are too big. Maybe you’re one of the few that have emailed me telling me something similar.

But that seems like an awful lot of guys having the same problems. Maybe something else is going on here?

I got some good news for you! You, nor those hundreds of guys, are doomed to a life of never finding clothes that fit.

The truth is, it’s not you, it’s them! And by them I mean your parents and clothing brands. (Yeah, that’s right, I called out your Parents.) 

Here are two truths about clothes, sizing and you:

1. Nobody teaches us how clothes should fit when we’re young
Sure, our Parents bought our clothes, but did they sit you down and walk you through how a t-shirt should fit? Did your Dad tell you what kind of break your pant should have, or how much cuff on a dress shirt should show from your sleeve?

My Parents sure didn’t. I got all my style advice from rappers and bad teen movies, which is why I spent a lot of lonely years in high school looking like this.

2. Clothing sizes from brand to brand are different
Ever find you’re a size 32 pant in one brand, but a 34 in another?

That’s because there are no standards for clothing size measurements. It’s the reason I’m a Medium in J.Crew t-shirts but Large in Uniqlo.

Brands hire their own “fit models”, guys who are essentially templates to how they want clothes to fit.

Some fit models are larger, some have wider shoulders, some are a lot taller. This means sizing is a mess when you shop at different brands, and why it can be extremely frustrating trying on clothes that are “the right size” but don’t seem to fit!

The great thing is, both of these are fixable. You can learn how clothes should fit you. You can also learn a better way to figure out sizing besides what the size tag says. I’ll show you both next.

Let’s get started.

THE SIMPLEST GUIDE ON HOW CLOTHES SHOULD FIT A MAN

Imagine it’s Saturday. 1pm.

You popped into your favorite coffeeshop for an afternoon cup, and you grab that last buttery croissant. You go for a walk and pass by that men’s shop you always see, but never went into. Something in the window catches you’re eye. You finish your croissant and pop in.

Bowie’s playing in the background. A worker ask if you need help, you say you’re fine and head over the clothes. You pull some pieces off the rack. A jacket, some shirts. Grab some pants. Head to the dressing room, try them on.

Man, you look really good.

You put what you didn’t like back, head to the counter, pay and go back on your stroll.

You glance at your phone, it’s 1:15pm. Quick, easy, enjoyable.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

It is. I know, because this is how most of my shopping trips are.

I love going shopping.

I love checking out what’s new and trying it on. And I especially love it when my girlfriend says “Oh, you look really hot.” when I’m wearing something new I picked up. 

I love shopping because it doesn’t take me hours to do it. I can pop into a store when I’m out grabbing my afternoon coffee and pick something up between meetings.

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I feel like Ryan Gosling in that shopping scene in Crazy Stupid Love. Looking cool as fuck eating a slice of pizza, breezing through the stores like a pro. 

How?

By cutting down on the biggest time waster at stores: figuring out if the clothes fit me.

In the video below, I’ll show you a better way to approach sizes, fit and shopping. Check it out:

Here’s a fit cheatsheet. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to memorize it.

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DOWNLOAD HI-RES PDF (RIGHT CLICK -> SAVE AS)

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A QUICK NOTE ABOUT PROPORTION

Just like with fit, I don’t want you to concern yourself with too many rules and tiny details when it comes to proportion. Don’t worry about the width of collars, length of a coat, or things like how big your watch face should be. We cover that in later modules.

Remember, we want to focus on the things that have the biggest impact on how we look first. Tiny details can come later.

So, the only thing I want you to focus on when it comes to proportion right now: Making sure your tops and bottom, visually “cut you roughly in half” (including your head)

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Let’s bring back our friend Konrad.

Recall the points made about how long his torso looks because of his long tops. How how his sagging pants made his bottom half look short and stumpy.

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If I draw an imaginary line the length of his head to the hem of his shirt, and duplicate that line, you can clearly see that his torso is visually MUCH longer than his lower body.

While on the right, thanks to wearing proper fitting clothes, he’s much more balanced, at nearly 50/50 ratio of torso to bottom. (I’m going by his back leg, since it is the anchor.)

Cut in half.

Another example, I’m barely 5’8″ (this is me saying I’m a tall 5’7″). Some shirts are too long for me, so I get them shortened, or tuck them in. I make sure however I decide to wear them, my tops and bottom connect roughly halfway on my body.

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Take a look at this great example of what would happen if I wore a shirt that’s too long, via my friend Brock. He’s roughly the same height as me.

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Using the same measure and compare method that we did on Konrad, the same proportion issues can be seen. The solution to balance the proportion this time is to tuck in the shirt, making his torso the same length as his lower body.

By using what we learned in the “Clues in the Construction” and the “Cut in Half” Proportion trick to buy clothes, you won’t run too much into problems of clothes not fitting well. In those small cases you do, I’ll show you how to fix it in Module 3: The Essential Wardrobe.

But for now, all you have to do is keep these two concepts in mind.

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Before we go, let’s do a quick exercise.

Exercise: Judge the fit of clothes of the men above

Using what we learned in today’s module –  examine the fit of the outfits in the men above.

Take a couple minutes. Can you spot the guys with great fit, ok fit and bad fit?

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Ready to hear what I think?

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Guy #1: Fit overall is spot on. The shoulder seams of his sportscoat line up with his shoulder. His sleeve lengths hit right where his wrist end. His proportions are balanced, cutting him roughly in half. And his pant hems end right where his leg ends, giving him a clean, sharp pant leg. A+!

Guy #2: Very subtle. His t-shirt fits properly in the shoulders. His jeans are sitting a little low on his hips, throwing his proportions off a bit. His torso looks a little long but not terrible. His pants are a tad too long, in combination with wearing them low, cause weird bunching of fabric. A little sloppy. B-

Guy #3: Jacket is definitely a size too big. The shoulder seam drops a good 1″ past his shoulders. Notice how big his sleeves look on him. He’s swimming a bit in his jacket. Let’s give him a pass for an oversized sweater, it might be a stylistic choice. The pants, however, are far too long for him, causing a huge stack in fabric at his feet. These pants would be dragging on the floor if it weren’t being held up by his wide boots! He can do better. C-

How’d you do?

LESSON 2 RECAP

KEY LESSONS

  • Proper fitting clothes has the greatest impact on how you look Expensive designer clothes that are too big for you will still make you look terrible. Taking 10 minutes to properly size your clothes when shopping will make you look 10x better. You’ll instantly look slimmer, taller and more masculine.
  • Your body type or proportion aren’t the reasons why it seems hard to find clothes that fit The fact that nobody teaches us when we’re young what to look for in terms of clothing fit, in combination with inconsistent sizing from brand to brand, make it a challenge. Using size labels as starting point and following clues in the construction give us a better, faster way of finding clothes in the right size.
  • It’s important to focus on “rules” that have the largest impact You don’t need to memorize 30 different bullet points on fit and proportion, you just need to follow 2 rules (“The clues are in the construction” and “the visual cut you in half”) to get an amazing fit.

ACTION STEPS & HOMEWORK

1. This weekend, stop by a men’s shop (for example, your local J.Crew) and put the techniques in this lesson to the test.
Take something easy to try on into the dressing room, I’d recommend a t-shirt or jackets.
Get 3 different sizes of the same thing. Take 10 mins and try each on. Follow the clues in the construction to identify what’s too small, too big and just the right fit on you. Pay attention to how the clothes visually separate you (proportion). 

Take some selfies of you wearing the different sizes (You have my permission!). You don’t have to buy anything, but feel free to!

Post to the Facebook group your findings.