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Wardrobe Fabrication: Dimensioning

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

Gentleman, have you ever found yourself wishing you were taller, leaner, or perhaps more built in your upper body? Each of these three desires can be fulfilled by fabricating your wardrobe with these goals in mind. In this piece we will discuss how the pieces you choose can help you gain confidence by accentuating your body type. Finding clothes that compliment your body type is just as important as determining the message you want to convey to the world with your wardrobe.

We've spoken time and time again about not dressing a certain way just because it's trending, this is another reason. As a retail worker I've seen it many times; men coming in with a pinterest picture and going straight for the skinny pants, or the inverse going straight to the straight cut jeans. Just because a certain style is being advertised to you, or that's what you've always worn, does not mean that that style will match the dimensions of your body. Regardless of how nice the picture you have (of another person) looks, dressing and furnishing your wardrobe with dimensionality in mind is critical. This realization should not be discouraging. With every body type there is a dimensional margin that when followed will always flatter. That does't mean that one should stick to only one fit, that is why I said a dimensional margin.

For example, if a heavier set gentleman is inspired by slim jeans but can't fit in them he should look into tapered pants. The dimensions and associated style of slim jeans is derived of their aggressive taper, with little room through the thigh, a low rise, and a minimal leg opening. A large man can scale these dimensions up with a tapered jean while avoiding any unpleasant squeezing or pinching through the thigh and along the waist. Now, finding jeans off the shelf that will meet these dimensions is the difficult part, and the fun part! The important part in this quest for dimensionality is to persevere; never settle, gentlemen. Settling will undoubtedly result in discomfort and will end with the piece in question gathering dust. If all else fails, a pair of well made straight cut jeans can be custom tapered to the exact desired dimension for a maximum of $25 at your trusted local tailor.

On the opposite pole, say you're a smaller man looking to add mass to his upper body via his formal wear. The best way to do this is invest in a suit with a broad lapel (perhaps even a peak detail), well fitted shoulder, and tailored drop. If you're new to menswear these terms may mean nothing to you which is why I will now show you in the picture below. This model isn't overly muscular or large but he has wisely chosen his suit to convey strength. Clearly, the larger dimensions of this suit around his shoulders (the peak lapels) coupled with an accentuated (double breasted) drop in width from shoulder to waist gives him a strong "V" shape. Using nothing but the dimensions of the suit details this man has imparted strength, and mass to his surroundings.

Gentleman, conveying the desired message to your environment becomes much easier with an understanding of the power of dimensioning.Though this article has introduced this concept, mastery takes years and many mistakes so dig in.

-The Engineer