One of the keys to dressing well is not only choosing the right trends and classics that perfectly exude your personal style, it’s also about presenting your body in the best and most flattering way possible — without trying to distort or alter your body. Anything else is just frivolous costuming. Good clothing doesn’t just change the shape of your body, it also makes everything look balanced, proportional, and neatly framed. That being said, one of the biggest sartorially related issues you can run into when dressing is wearing clothing that makes you appear bigger than you are. We’re not talking about looking more muscular, rather, we’re talking about mistakes that can make you look like a shapeless blob. Here are five clothing mistakes that are making you look bigger.
1. Wearing an ill-fitting shirt
Generally speaking, the right top will be nicely fitted to your body with little excess material. The goal of the fit is to see clean lines that are appealing to the eye and flattering to the body, with no excess fabric that billows or bunches up to make you look like you’re wearing a parachute. Alternatively, you don’t want the shirt so tight that any buttons look like they’re about to pop open. For ladies, going too tight often leads to unsightly bra lines.
Another little feature on shirts that can make you look larger, at least for men, is the addition of pleats. These pleats are extra folds of fabric that are usually placed at the back of the shirt. They’re designed to give the wearer some extra room, especially if one is carrying a little extra meat around the middle. But the excess fabric may billow out in the upper part of your back if you move the wrong way.
In terms of specific fit for dress shirts, know that the shoulder seams should hug your shoulders and end just at the break of your shoulder and arm. Make sure your sleeves aren’t too long or too short. The sleeve should extend comfortably to your wrist. Another trick of proper fit is to unbutton the cuffs, and if they reach too far past your wrists, the sleeves are too long and the shirt is too big.