Get the Perfect Fit
The Right Fit for a Button-Down Shirt and Trousers
The first thing to scrutinize on a button-down shirt? The vertical seams, which should sit just where your shoulders meet your arms. "You don't want them to droop," says Liz Lange, a designer for Target.
- Shoulders: "The seams should rest on the tops of the shoulders and along their edges," according to Constance White, a style director for eBay.
- Chest: "The placket should lie flat, with no pulls or puckers," says James Aguiar, cohost of Ultra HD's Full Frontal Fashion.
- Sleeves: Cuffs should fall just past the wrists and be tight enough that a bracelet won't fit underneath.
- Waistband: "With the pants' button closed, there should be room to slip your hand in flat against your body," says Clinton Kelly, cohost of the Learning Channel's What Not to Wear.
- Hips: The crotch should hang no more "than half an inch below your anatomical crotch," says Kelly.
- Hems: Generally, the hems should graze the tops of your shoes, about a half inch from the floor.
The Right Fit for a Sheath Dress
- Neckline: Lying at or just below the collarbone, it should never gape, even when you lean forward
- Chest: The dress should not pull or sag at the bustline.
- Armholes: "Look for a cut that's generous enough to allow a full range of motion but doesn't reveal your bra," recommends Olsen.
- Hips: The fabric should fit close to the body, especially when the hips are wider. If the fabric hangs too loosely, "it can cause draping, and you'll look like you have a bag on," says Dawn Del Russo, a stylist based in Verona, New Jersey.
- Hem: "A sheath dress looks chicest when it hits just at or slightly above the knee," says Aguiar. A dress that's any longer will make the legs appear more stout than sleek.
The Right Fit for a Jacket and Jeans
- Shoulders: If the jacket's shoulders extend beyond your own, the jacket doesn't fit, says White.
- Sleeves: They should be roomy enough to allow for only a shirt and long enough to show just a sliver of cuff.
- Waistband: "Not so tight that it creates a 'muffin top' or so large that it gaps in the back or puffs in the front," says Del Russo. A six- to eight-inch rise (the measure from the crotch to the waist) isn't too revealing or too dowdy.
- Legs: "The thighs should fit closely, but not enough to show body definition," says Del Russo. Fabric in the seat should never sag.
- Hems: Bootcut jeans slim and elongate the legs when the hems are about a half inch from the floor.