Q I have a question about blazers and jackets. I have a number the same size, but with varying fit. Some of them seem right, and some seem loose and the button could be 2 inches farther in. Still others the button pulls tight and I think that's wrong, but I see a number of men on television with that, so it may be a new style. Which is the correct fit?
A As you have discovered, not every size 43 regular jacket fits the same as other 43 regulars. The reasons have a lot to do with when you bought them, the company or designer who made them, and the type of stores where you bought them. Perhaps the most important element to consider when deciding which is the correct fit is what do you think of as your personal style. What look fits your comfort zone, your background/education and field/industry, and also projects the image you want the world to have of you.
When you bought the jackets is an issue because a loose fit or a trimmer fit varies in popularity as styles and trends change. The loose, boxy fit has been out of style for some time now; the sack-like "gentleman's cut" from Brooks Brothers and the Armani draped jacket that American men were wearing during the mid-1990s are not part of today's silhouette. So, if you bought your blazer several years ago or were passed it from your father, it's likely to be a too-full cut, in need of altering and slimming to update the look.
The company or designer who made the jackets is another important element affecting the fit of your jackets. Each company usually has a strong single image that it projects to the world. There is a major difference between the conservative clothes made by, say, Hickey Freeman and Ralph Lauren, and the more middle-of-the-road and slightly fashion-forward designs of Hugo Boss and Zegna, and the way-out styles of Thom Browne (that look both too tight and too short to the traditional man's eye).
Not only do these three different looks represent vastly different attitudes about what it means to be a well-dressed man, but they are also often found in different men's clothing stores.
The type of store where you bought them is not as clear-cut a concept as it once was. Time was when a Brooks Brothers cut meant conservative, traditional and perhaps a bit old-fashioned. Today, the store also has a separate department that sells the extreme opposite, "shrunken" clothing from the trendy Thom Browne. His influence may be the clothes you noticed on young TV guys (the jackets that seemed too tight and too small). Paul Stuart, that bastion of elegant traditional men's clothes, also has a separate department these days that sells a unique line of fashion-forward designs under the label Phineas Cole. These are neither extreme nor super youth-oriented styles, but they are several steps more toward the dandy dresser than the quietly traditional garments that the store is known for. And most large department stores have several separate areas devoted to the clothing of specific designers, each with its own look and its own customer.
You may wonder if the subtleties in the clothes you wear can possibly send such telling messages. I strongly believe they can. So many different elements influence a man's look. Even though you have no control over where you were born and you inherited some elements, you still have within your control the ability to choose the messages you want to send with your clothing choices. Consider carefully; select what to wear that projects the positive (and consistent) image you want the world to see, then tailor as needed or decide where to shop as needed.
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High Profile on 02/11/2018
Print Headline: Properly fitted jackets not baggy or 'shrunken'