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The Science of Sizing Down

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  • Leslie Chow
    replied


    Well, if the sales people are comfortable with your hugging them or you have someone there you can hug to test out the fitment, by all means, go for it.


    For the rest of us, we can pretend while in the store, can't we?

    Leave a comment:


  • frost
    replied


    I just changed sizes. Post workout, I'm a 42.5 inch chest, and a tape measured 34" waist at the belly button (translates to 32 with vanity sizing) meaning I have an 8.5 inch drop chest to waist ratio. Yeah. nothing off the rack is ever going to fit me correctly.


    @Johdus: good to know. I'm going to buy both sizes and return one (or potentially both) when I purchase online from now on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Johdus
    replied


    @frost. I'm within an inch and a few lbs of you. And I regularly buy small in sweaters.

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  • frost
    replied


    @zerostyle - glad to hear that someone else shares my pain. On a positive note, I think I may have found a much more inexpensive tailor. I have a small load of clothing that I'm going to bring over for evaluation. $12 - $16 for tapering shirts sounds much more appealing than $40.


    As far as measurements go, I'm all over the place. I typically wear a 32x30 waist, but sometimes require a 31x30 depending on the cut of the pants. I've found that some of the offerings from Bonobos and Banana can fit HUGE, while others are spot on. My chest measures between 41" and 41.5" around, and I typically wear a 40R, though I need to remind myself to try a 38R in the future, as Joe and other members here with similar builds tend to go with that size. My Ratio shirt measurements (I have six of these damn things) are 16" neck, 40" chest, 33.75 sleeve. I originally went with 33" but my shirt sleeves were not extending past my tailored jacket sleeves. Again, part of the learning process. Size small has been hit and miss for me. I recently sized down the aforementioned BR rain coat which is bordering on too tight, but looks good for the most part, and my J.Crew pea coat, which fits pretty snug in the small, but might be just right. I don't expect to have full range of motion in a winter coat like that as I don't plan to be carrying firewood, or exerting myself in such a way that would require it while wearing it.

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  • nicholascrawford
    replied


    How about a sleeve with a cuff that could be easily cut to length it? That would be great.

    Leave a comment:


  • zerostyle
    replied


    I swear I need to invent a clothing line meant for those of us that are this "small-medium" size.

    Leave a comment:


  • zerostyle
    replied


    OP, I'm just a bit smaller than you, around 5'9, 155-160 range, and find that I am always between a small and a medium.


    For some companies, I'm a clear small. For more fitted companies, I'm very often in a spot where a small it just a little too snug on me, but a medium is way too big. The other issue with mediums is that the sleeves are always too long on me. I wear around a 32" sleeve, and mediums seem to average around 34".

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  • nicholascrawford
    replied


    Furious Styles - I just cleaned out some old clothes while visiting Milwaukee and couldn't believe I had so many XL shirts!! And I'm a small!


    YackoYak is back!

    Leave a comment:


  • kbrown
    replied


    IF your tailor wants $40 to taper a dress shirt, get a new tailor.


    I have two tailors:


    - An old german guy who is a suit / shirt maker and does high end / tricky work, like shortening sleeves at the sleevehead


    - A nice korean lady who does basic alterations.


    The german guy charges $20 to taper a shirt, and the korean lady charges $12.


    You can buy a $40 shirt and pay $15-20 to have it tailored, but it probably won't be perfect everywhere. You can pay $100 for an online MTM outfit, but you'll probably have to go through at least 2-3 shirts from the same company until you get one that fits correctly.


    If money is no object, you go in person to a proper shirt maker. It'll cost you $200+, but it'll be the best fitting article of clothing you'll ever own.


    I've tried all of the above, and my feeling is that the $40 shirt + $15 tailor is the best option:


    - Shirts take the most abuse of just about any article of clothing, and even the best made ones are going to wear out sooner than you'd expect.


    - Online MTM is too inconsistent. I have 3 shirts by ratio, and they're OK, but I don't like their collars at all, and it took me several weeks to get them.


    - A decent tailor will be able to make the alterations in under a week, vs. waiting 4-6 weeks for online MTM and 2-3 weeks for a local shirt maker.


    Don't think of tailoring as "another expense". Think of it as a part of the cost of a garment. Very little fits properly off the rack, no matter who you are or what it is. If you think it fits properly, you are most likely wrong.


    Sweaters are a particular exception because the cost of altering them is ridiculous relative to the price.

    Leave a comment:


  • YackoYak
    replied


    I saw a bad example this weekend:

    I went to Fry's and was helped by a guy about 6'3 and 250lbs sporting what looked like a size medium short sleeve white button down shirt and tie. The arm holes constricted his biceps while his arms were hanging by his side and I'm surprised he didn't tear anything while typing.


    I second the "full range of motion" comments. In a dressing room (where other people can't see that you're crazy), go through the typical motions of your day. This may mean squats, hugs, reaching up high, etc. If you have to continually adjust your clothes back into place, they may be too tight and it will make you self conscious. Example #2: Women that wear skirts too short who constantly pull the skirt down as they walk.

    Leave a comment:


  • frost
    replied


    @Furious Styles - I actually purchased a BR trench in Khaki / size Medium, and just couldn't get used to way it made me look like Grimace (of McDonalds Fame.. aka "the big purple lumpy guy") with a khaki overcoat on. I decided I would not be wearing this with a suit jacket, as they're not typically part of my business casual attire. I would now have to return it, or exchange it.


    After speaking to customer service, I decided to exchange it for a size small, this time in the Navy color. The small fits well in the body, but the hug test has this thing stretched like Under Armor around my arms. I haven't tried layering it with a sweater yet to see how bad it gets. The correct solution would be to have the medium slimmed down in the body for a better fit, but I'm afraid to ask my tailor what he'd charge for that. Likely somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 if he's charging $40 to taper dress shirts. That's not something I'm willing to pay to have done to something I got for $100 (with stacked discounts). I'll live with the stiffness in the arms when I cross them for the sake of the overall aesthetics, but next time around, I think I'll invest in something else.

    Leave a comment:


  • Furious Styles
    replied


    Good question, frost. I've begun dipping my toes into sizing down--I got a BR slim trench from the outlet in a Small. I'm 5'9, long arms, broad shoulders, low 160s and usually wear a 38R jacket/medium. I have a slim torso, so my rule of thumb is to check sleeve length on anything downsized. The trench fits my arm length perfectly, and while the Small size means I can't wear it over any suits, I can rock it with other slim-profile sweaters and shirts. Considering I used to buy Large outerwear, this feels like a significant clothing shift.


    That said, I'll definitely check range of motion on the arms. As long as it's not causing weird bunching and lifting, go with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • tomservo
    replied


    Bruschetta, truth be told I am often a combination of upset, amused, bewildered, hungry and none of the above.


    The question was really addressed to Leslie Chow and not at all serious, which is of course a little stuffy for my taste. I see the confusion though as the syntax could be taken in two ways; as a question directed at one person and as a comparison.


    eg


    Wow, Ice Ice Baby sounds a lot like that one Queen song. Who do you think you are, Vanilla Ice?


    You spend $100 dollars on a hair cut and you went with THAT? Who do you think you are, Vanilla Ice?


    So, very sorry sorry if you took offense as none was intended. Though I am always on the lookout for a worthy nemesis. If you're interested we could probably work something out.


    Sorry for the digression, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    Leave a comment:


  • frost
    replied


    While I agree that tailoring is the ideal solution, it quickly becomes cost prohibitive. Tacking on $30 - $50 for every purchase is insanity.


    I asked my local tailor yesterday the cost of tapering 1 dress shirt. $40. I'd rather buy a shirt from Ratio that will fit out of box than pay for additional tailoring. For suits and special articles of clothing, the cost is far outweighed by the benefits, but to do that with every article of clothing is just not practical.

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  • bruschetta
    replied


    tomservo, I'm not sure how to answer your question. Are you upset, amused, bewildered, or none of the above?


    I have measurements similar to frost's, and I would buy the larger size and have it tailored. There. A post without humor. Does that please you?

    Leave a comment:

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