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Old 01-12-2015, 12:09 AM
Location: NYC
281 posts, read 284,348 times
Reputation: 729


Originally Posted by Hivemind31 View Post
Nothing, in principle. In practice, they don't fit a LOT of men correctly.

As an example, the size of the body of a shirt is dictated by the size of the neck. Big neck, big shirt. If your neck doesn't "match" the rest of your body, you're SOL. As a lean guy with an 18" neck, if I went off the rack, I'd have two options:

1) Get a shirt that fits my body, but be unable to button the collar (or wear ties, and that's non-negotiable for me...I love ties). Even a collar spreader wouldn't save me.

2) Get a shirt that fits my neck, but I'd be swimming in it, like I'm a little kid that wore his dad's shirt.

That doesn't even touch arm length, but it's less of a factor.

Same with me. I have a 16" neck, that's the same as my father in law, but I am otherwise a Small in most items, whereas he is an XL or so, maybe a large if it runs very big. I need a 37" chest and only a 31" in pants waist. But my arms are very long for any shirts off the rack and I need a 35-36" inseam so everything at a store like Macy's winds up looking like I ran it in a hot dryer for hours. Also, no one really makes a 35" inseam off the rack, definitely not at that waist size.

Dress clothes are a nightmare for me. Lucky for me I avoided them for years being an electrician but I start a new job in the financial sector soon (IT, very corporate) so I have to go shopping for a new work wardrobe.

Off the rack is okay, not great but okay, if you need a standard size, however if any of your measurements are outside the norm for the determining the measurement of that garment, you're going to look weird. Back in the day, men's suits were custom made. My grandfathers had suits that always fit exactly. Now those are specially advertised as bespoke suits and most menswear is mass produced. At minimum, you need to get legs, sleeves, maybe waist and chest tailored or else it will not fit, and will look like it too. (I'm still learning about this, as I said I am allergic to business casual...that will have to change soon.) When you buy a good interview suit they will measure you in multiple places to get the cut and tailor of it exactly right.

I have to chuckle when the women in my life complain about sizing. If only they knew, men's sizing is no better. And these days, the size on the label often does not match the actual measurement of the garment. The quality of many clothes has definitely gone downhill over the past decade.
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