How to Recognize a Good Fit

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A Stylist’s Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet

By Mayna Sgaramella-McVey

The hardest part about cleaning and organizing your closet is figuring out what to keep and what to toss.  We all have our ‘someday’ jeans we would like to fit into and clothes we are keeping for our weight loss or gain.  But do you really know what looks good on you and actually fits?  We asked wardrobe consultant and personal stylist Mayna Sgaramella for her expert advice.

Recognizing Fit

Start with good posture, in a well lit room, in front of a full length mirror.  When trying items on ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where does the neckline start? Narrow or wide openings will balance out the face and body differently, so experiment.
  2. Is your shoulder seam in line with your arm and shoulder? If it falls too far past the inside of your shoulder line, you will look wider than you are.
  3. Is your arm opening fitted leaving room for movement? If you find bunching fabric at your armpit by the bust, you need a size down or try petites.
  4. Does your jacket or blouse have structure to highlight, create, or minimize curves? Use different shaped jackets to hide or highlight features. For example a 3-button jacket will minimize a larger bust.
  5. Does your sleeve length hit a flattering point on your arm? Long sleeves should end at or just past the wrist break.  Elbow length sleeves will highlight your waist.
  6. Does your shirt or jacket hit close to the top of your hip bone? The hem should be within 3 inches of the top of your hip bone to lengthen the legs.  You could layer a shirt longer than the jacket to get the same effect.
  7. Is your pant hem too long or short?  Your hem should fall ¼ – ½ inches above the floor with shoes on. Straight or skinny leg pants can fall a bit higher. The wider the leg opening, the more it should hover the floor.
  8. Does your skirt hem end at a flattering point?  Skirts should hit at or just below the knee (or where the leg naturally curves in at the knee). If you are petite, your hem should fall just above the knee, lengthening your legs.