FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
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  1. #1

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    Beginner Fashion Question (Stuck and Don't Know What I'm Doing Wrong)

    Hi, I'm a young professional (24 yo) who isn't a huge fan of time spent on shopping/fashion, but nonetheless has realized that I need to dress a little better than jeans + polos if I want to make good impressions socially. However, despite a lot of effort, time, and money, I am having some difficulty following the advice on here.


    My first problem is finding pants. I found some chinos, which seem to be the go-to versatile thing to wear for pants, but none were my size in the stores I went to (JCPenney and Target). I am pretty short at 5' 6”, but I know plenty of guys who are shorter, so I would have expected there to be something my size. There were a few chinos that were about the proper length (seems to be about size 28-29), but those were all much much wider in the waist than they should be. I am probably somewhere around 28-30, and all of those were 36 or more! (Related question...all the pants were expensive, like $60, I have the money if it truly needs to be spent, but is that normal or can I get good pants for a more reasonable price?)


    My second problem is finding decent shirts. The girl at the JCPenney helped me by getting my measurements, and then I picked out a white, light blue, and black OCBD, and a patterned button down. They were all “fitted” cuts. I figured that since we had gotten my measurements, they would fit. I was wrong. When I got home, I tried them on and realized the damn things were so long that they were like dresses! Even if I tuck them in (which I'd rather have the option of not doing sometimes) the damn things “balloon” out uncontrollably. What the hell?!

    Is this all just because I'm short? I know plenty of guys who are significantly shorter than me...at 5' 6” I didn't think I was that far on the left of the bell curve that stores wouldn't have my sizes. What am I doing wrong here? I find shopping and doing this sort of research to be very painful, and am getting very discouraged to have spent this much time and effort on this (not to mention money) and be getting nowhere. I'm not trying to become some all-out extremely well-dressed fashion guy (although that's awesome for those of you who enjoy it) I just want to have something that is considered nice to wear socially, please help!

  2. #2
    James's Avatar

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    ...but none were my size in the stores I went to
    ...There were a few chinos that were about the proper length (seems to be about size 28-29),

    This is when you go to the tailors. Most trousers come one size in length, normally 34in long.

    ...When I got home, I tried them on and realized the damn things were so long that they were like dresses!

    Dress shirts are long normally. Casual a little shorter. Try them on in store and find somewhere the size fits you.

    Is this all just because I'm short?

    No

    What am I doing wrong here?

    When I buy trousers, for size alone, I go for Waist, then cut (meaning shape of trousers) as I like slim.
    The length gets done by the tailor for £10, or in some stores they may do this for you.


    I find shopping and doing this sort of research to be very painful.

    You dont need to. You just need to try clothes on and understand what always needs to get tailored.
    For the shorter gentleman it is harder, i admit. But I am not much taller. 5 10 and still go to the tailors to get the length how i like.
    Be it Jeans, Chinos, trousers or even Blazers.

    Nothing of a rack will fit you, they dont even fit the mannequins half the time. Take a look. There will be pins and rolled up inside of the clothes to make it look like that.
    Thats where you need to go to the tailors to get them not just to pin it, but to cut and sew it.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3

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    James has hit the nail on the head, although to add to this I think that US sizes do generally tend to be larger all round with bigger cuts.

    That being said, I'm 5'6" also with a 29" waist and really don't have to many sizing issues, uniqlo has XS and 29" waists so all of their stuff fits, as does XS at ASOS, Topman and river Island, and a lot of zara and reiss small fits ok too. A trip to the tailors will end all your searching woes.

  4. #4

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    I understand where you're coming from, I felt the same way about time spent shopping until very recently. And of course, I'm still working out getting everything to work right myself.

    Other than echoing what the others have said on tailors, I would suggest you read these blog posts:

    Dress Like A Grownup!: The Measure of a Man
    Dress Like A Grownup!: Want. Get. Have.

    (Actually that whole blog is pretty good; I learned a great deal from it)

    As to not spending a lot, I know everyone is different in their methods and goals. Personally, I never buy something new unless it is on sale (and stores like J.C. Penny and Kohl's are always having a sale... you're overpaying if you're not buying on sale IMO), unless I really want it. Second, I browse second-hand stores (as advised in the above blog posts). You'd be surprised how good of quality items you can get for $3-10. Also, even if you spend 3x the original cost on tailoring, you're still spending less than on a new item that will not fit as well.

  5. #5
    klaroline's Avatar

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    As everyone else has said, it is perfectly normal to not have clothes fit you straight off of the rack. I can honestly say I think that at least 60% of people have had this problem at least once in their life.

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