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Answer to men's fashion changes is a good tailor

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Posted on: 01/22/18

A The No. 1 answer is that he should look for a really good tailor. Even though men's clothing styles change far less often than women's, you are right that there has been a shift, and the modern man's look is slimmer, trimmer and even slightly shorter than it used to be. I realize that most men are not highly sensitive to swings in the fashion pendulum. While the differences are subtle, they affect the overall look in a major way.

He either needs to adjust his clothing to the current styles or to buy the current styles -- this also means recognizing the differences or working with those who do. This trimmer look is essential to the way men are dressing today, especially younger men. Age-appropriate dressing has always been the mark of a knowledgeable, sophisticated man. Even so, a slightly older man who is in good shape has more leeway than one with a beer belly.

Men's clothes that are a little too large or a bit too long tend to look sloppy and wrinkled. That is why it makes sense to pay attention to general style changes. The most current look is a throwback to the mid-60s. The slim-fitted "look" then was more important than comfort. In the years that followed, comfort became more important. The relaxed fit, as exemplified by pleated trousers, fuller jackets and wider ties, became the rage. Now things are slimming down again, but not to an extreme. The pendulum swings slowly, but it does swing. A man who wants to look up-to-date should notice.

Not only are today's jackets trimmer, but they are actually shorter as well (by about 1 inch or 1¼ inches). Tapering the jacket at the waist updates the look. It helps make a man look slimmer (even if he has a bit of a belly), because it accentuates the shoulders. As to the length of the jacket, many men who used to wear a size "long," are now buying a "regular"; and clothing manufacturers are cutting all their jackets a bit shorter.

Trousers, too, are slimmer. The fashion-aware guys are wearing trousers that are narrower from top to bottom. No pleats, only flat-fronts. The width at the bottom hem has gotten narrower.

In a recent "Style Guide Tip" from GQ magazine, staff members wrote that when the magazine is preparing a suit jacket for a photo shoot, they actually have a tailor slim down the sleeves, trimming them of excess fabric. They also recommend, "When buying a suit, try sizing down," so that a man who normally buys a size 42 might try a size 40 instead. These both seem to me to be something to consider. On the other hand, their recommendation that today's suit jacket lapels should be about 2 inches wide is advice that I think is very wrong.

Yes, if you are 25 and a super-cool dresser who does not mind if the suit you buy today will be out of style in a couple of years and will need to be replaced, then go ahead. But if you want to look like a well-dressed adult, stay with the accepted width of 2 ¾- to 3-inch lapels. A long-standing men's fashion rule, widely acknowledged by the world's style cognoscenti, is that the width of a suit jacket's lapel should pretty much correspond to the width of the tie. Since I believe that Hermes makes the most perfect tie, and theirs is an unchanging 3-inch width from year to year and from decade to decade, this width is a better choice for a jacket's lapels.

I recently spoke with an extremely knowledgeable and skilled tailor who told me that he has never been busier, because a lot of men are updating their wardrobes by removing pleats and slimming down the silhouettes, and also because there are fewer and fewer true tailors around today. (The local seamstress is not trained in the same skills.) My usual advice to men is not to skimp and to have all the alterations made to any clothes that need them, but if the jacket is too large and does not fit in the shoulders, it cannot be fixed.

The tailor told me that it actually can be made smaller, but it is a major operation and expensive (about $250); it requires re-cutting the jacket. If the tailor you are considering makes custom suits in his shop, he probably can be entrusted with such an alteration. And if the suit is a favorite, it may justify the expense. Deciding to alter and update many of the clothes in your wardrobe can end up giving you a sharp new look for less outlay than one new suit.

So, you see, no matter where you are getting your how-to-dress advice -- whether from GQ, the internet or me -- it makes sense to temper it and tweak it so it fits your body, your field of work and especially your personal sense of style. That's what will make your clothes fit you best, suit your comfort zone and your pocket book, and make you look great.Read more at: | short formal dresses australia

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