There is such variety in fashion and silhouettes these days that we can no longer think in terms of one type of correct fit. Instead, we need to think about fit differently depending on what was intended for the look. I like to think about fit in terms of three different categories: Tailored fit, which is what we previously thought of as perfect fit, body con fit, which aims to really show off the wearer’s curves, and oversized fit, where items are larger and intentionally more loose. 

  1. Tailored Fit: Here items skim the contour of the body and are structured in all the right places, achieving a perfect balance between snug and roomy. Blazers and most jackets, classic bootcut trousers and jeans, shaped button down shirts and blouses, flared skirts, most sheath dresses, most coats, basic cardigans and pullovers, leather jackets and t-shirts fit in a conventionally flattering way when they adhere to a tailored fit. 
  2. Body Con Fit: Here we are looking for an intentionally form fitting effect. Items fit more closely to the body than they do for a tailored fit. Items designed for a body con fit include jegging jeans, most skinny jeans, bandage dresses, tank tops, frocks like the Bailey 44 striped dress I posted last year, some pencil skirts, turtlenecks and sheath dresses, and leggings.
  3. Oversized Fit: Here the fit is much roomier than the tailored fit and therefore less conventionally flattering. There is lots of slouch, lots of volume and far less structure. So-called perfect fit goes out the window here because shoulder seams droop, waists are too wide, armholes and trouser crotch points hang too low, and sleeve lengths are too long. The lack of waist definition and tailoring is not everyone’s cup of tea. It looks like you should size down at least a couple of sizes in these items, yet they are supposed to look boxy and baggy. 

The oversized fit is the most fashion forward and edgy fit of the three. In some respects this fit is already quite trendy through items like oversized knitwear, oversized vests, big tees, boyfriend jeans and shirts, billowing blouses, baggy short shorts and harem pants. 

If you assess a garment according to the wrong fit, you might end up wearing an ill-fitting garment. A body conscious item will be too loose if you assess it according to tailored fit. And an oversized garment will not be loose enough if you assess it according to tailored fit.  

Here’s an extra detail to consider. Sometimes you can manipulate fit to achieve a specific look, either by sizing up or down in an item, or just by default because that’s how the item fits your body. For example, the charcoal wool trousers that I’m wearing in this outfit were supposed to be tailored. Yet when I tried them on in my size, they looked more slouchy and oversized. I liked the baggier fit and decided to embrace the fact that the trousers didn’t look anything like the fit that was represented on the model. 

Tricky stuff! Are you more confused than ever about correct fit, or does it all make perfect sense?