Yesterday I talked about the number on the size label being merely a starting point when you are considering a purchase. Fit is what’s important. Today I want to take that principle further: Don’t let the designer or the retailer of an item dictate to you the way it should fit on your body.
Sure, the designer might have had a specific look or even a specific body shape in mind. And retailer staff reveal their opinions in the way that they showcase the item in photography and displays. But like the size on the label, these things are merely starting points. Once the item is on your body, the way it looked in the magazine or on the website are no longer very relevant. What is important is what the item does on your body and for your happiness factor.
This might mean going up a size or two to create a more fluid fit. Or sizing down to create a more formfitting look. It could mean going up a size and tailoring the parts that are too big. Or sizing down, repositioning buttons, and letting out a side seam on the areas that are too tight. Sometimes it just means embracing the fit on your body, regardless of what it looks like on the model. The look might be very different, but that doesn’t matter if it works for you.
My favourite wool trousers, the Theory Yanettes, were shown on the model as a sleek ankle pant. But that’s not how I chose to make them fit my body. They are roomy and full length with scrunch on me. If I’d gone down a size, I may have achieved a fit that was slightly closer to that of the model, but I didn’t even try doing that. I prefer the fluid fit of the trousers in this size and left it at that.
My favourite Jil Sander Gaberdine skirt is shorter and sleeker on the six foot model than it is on a five foot six inch gal like me. The fit on my frame is longer and more A-line. I could have tapered the side seams a little, and had the skirt shortened to achieve a closer fit to that of the model. But I prefer my skirts longer, and love the extra architectural volume that the silhouette creates over my thighs, so I left the skirt as is.
You might look at these pictures and prefer the fit on the model. That’s ok because it’s a personal preference. I’m not saying the item looks better on me. I’m saying that I’m happy with the way the items work for me, and when it comes to a purchase decision, that’s the only relevant piece of information.
Think beyond how an item fits a model, and focus on how items fit your own proportions and suit your needs. If you have the freedom to choose a longer, shorter, wider, or narrower version of the fit than what was originally intended by the designer or suggested by the retailer, go for it.