How To Tell If Your Clothes Don’t Fit

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Poorly fitting garments will make or break your style in a big way. Women are not as likely to get things altered as men are, so it helps to purchase what fits you best from the get-go. Here’s how to tell if your clothes don’t fit properly. This will help when purchasing new clothes and also assessing what you currently own.

Let’s start with the obvious…if it won’t zip, snap, or close without you going through contortions, it’s too small. If you can’t reach, lift your arms or bend over without things binding, they don’t fit you properly. Never assume because you wear one size in a certain brand, you will wear the same by another manufacturer. They all use different fit models, which makes their sizing unique.

Fit in a Blouse or shirt

We’ve all been there. A top fits us generally. We love the color, the price, and the style But if it gaps, requires constant adjustment, impedes our movements, or shows every lump and bump, it doesn’t fit.

Horizontal stress lines that pull from the underarm or the neckline, like above, mean the top is too narrow for your shape. Go up a size, and you’ll look thinner in the garment.

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Gapping is my enemy number one with a button-down shirt or blouse, and I am not even well endowed. Properly placed buttons can help a lot, so look for tops with a button that lines up with the widest part of your bustline. You can try going up one size, which subtly changes the placement of that center button but be careful this doesn’t then  make it too large through the shoulders.

hollywood fashion tape to help clothes fit properly

If everything else fits, but your blouse still has gaps between the front buttons, this Hollywood Fashion Tape may be your answer. It’s an easy-to-apply, undetectable fabric tape that holds the opening closed… until you decide to remove it. It’s also helpful for fast wardrobe repairs like fallen hems, bra straps that slip and show, etc. I recently used it to hold the excess length of the shoulder strap on my expensive shoulder bag that kept sticking out!

A long sleeve should be 1/4 to 1/2″ past your wrist bone. Shoulder seams on a set-in-sleeve should sit on top of your shoulder where you feel bone movement when you lift your arm. If it droops over the upper arm, they’re too wide for you. (I am not talking about dropped shoulders here).

In sleeveless tops, the armhole needs to be shallow enough to cover your bra but not so tight it causes pull lines across the front or back. Petite garments have shorter armholes.

Fit of Pants

  • You should be able to fit two fingers into the waistband of your pants. If the back gaps in a waistband, they’re the wrong shape for you. If they fit everywhere else, it’s the easiest alteration to make.
  • Whiskering and pulling horizontally from the crotch means you need to go up a size. You can always have a waistline narrowed, but adding width across the backside and thighs isn’t so easy.
  • A camel toe is a clear sign the pants are too small on you. 
  • Side pockets and any front pleats should lay flat. Gaping pockets add width to your hips and mean the pants don’t fit.

Pant length varies with the style. Read more about it here-How Long Should Your Pants Be?

fit of Bras

 bra and panty on dresser

  • Your cup should not runneth over, or it’s too small. Your breast tissue should all fit within the cup of your bra.
  • Gapping and puckers mean the cup is too large.
  • Straps that slip off your shoulders or dig in, mean your bra does not fit.
  • The center front of your bra should lay flat against your ribs, so the bra structure does all the heavy lifting, not the straps.

I recommend a professional bra fitting once a year to ensure you’re wearing the correct size.

fit of Shoes

Your toe box needs to be high and wide enough to accommodate your foot without pinching. If you have bunions or hammer toes, opt for shoes with flexible tops that will stretch with your foot. If the heel slips, it may be too narrow, or the shoe may be too long. There are many gel inserts and extra pads you can add to shoes to adjust for a comfortable fit, but if they’re too short, you’re going to hurt your feet so choose another style or go up a size.

Here are some products for shoes

I do use shoe stretch with shoe trees when my shoes are very close to fitting perfectly. This helps ease the leather and saves my feet from the stress of doing it.

By the way…you may also enjoy –The Best Shoe Hack You Never Knew

Which clothing item do you find the most difficult to fit properly?

Thanks for reading, and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


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