The Long and Short of Fitting Men

Male clients are fun to work with since I find they are very open to trying new outfit combinations. Sometimes I think – hmmm the clothes all look the same, but with a little creativity an everyday outfit looks grand!

I always encourage all clients – especially men – to buy the highest quality clothes they can afford. The reasons I do this is because men tend to keep clothes longer and wear them out more often than women do. Buying good quality means a garment will look good and last longer.

Plus Sized Men's Personal Stylist

I, your Personal Stylist, have worked with men with larger builds who are shorter or even men who are taller with slim builds. Both of these shapes deserve special attention. For instance, just like women, men do have an appropriate “rise” for their build. For instance, many men do not look good in a low-rise jean, especially if they are tall. They look as though they are wearing someone else’s pants. In reverse, a rise that is too long and goes to or beyond the waist looks off balance as well. So similar to women, I try to find out the best rise in the first consulting appointment.

Tips From Your Personal Stylist

In recent years, men’s clothing has shifted to a more narrow silhouette. I do like it, for the right person. I find men with larger builds cannot wear the skinny jean and often look very off balance. For larger shapes, the wider, less-fitted leg is always more flattering – not too wide though! Always allow for stretch in pants and jeans, which often means you buy them snug. That way, as they stretch out, you won’t have a baggy seat. Check the amount of stretch such as Spandex, etc., in them.

Sometimes guys have a very large neck size, yet a thinner body than the garment has allowed. For this look, we either go down a size and the client does not button the shirt, or we buy the larger neck size and have the sizes tailored (taken in).

Suits are “nested” which means the jacket and pants come together, and the pants are always 6 inches lower than the jacket. For instance, a 38 regular jacket has pants in a 32 waist. Tailors can size up or down in the pants. If you want, however, suit separates can be more the exact size since you pick them out separately.

Another big improvement in buying clothing, especially for men, is the man “cuts” available in shirts. I love this! Long ago, before I even did styling I shopped for my husband, who is very thin. We always went to Brooks Brothers that had the “slim” fit. This store is still a great option, and they actually have four fits now: Traditional, Slim, Milano, and Brooks has shirts at DXL men’s store in extended sizes as well.

Destination XL Men’s Button Down

Often the Milano fit is the best for very slim men. It’s great to have these options. Other stores also have slim fits now at Nordstrom, Macy’s and other men’s stores. Many of the shirts are even in non-iron.


Keep it sassy, Indy.


Beth Divine,

AICI Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist