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RANT: Can't ever find clothing that fits me / constantly between sizes. Advice?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok,

Here's the deal: After a couple of years of trying to dress better, I'm still -constantly- tortured by trying to find clothing that fits me.

I look for very classic staples, but even then it's difficult. Here are some examples, maybe you can help recommend brands or other options that might help fix this:

About me: 5'9, vary between 150-160lbs with narrow shoulders

Suits/Blazer
* At my height, I'm almost ALWAYS somewhere between a 38s and a 38r. 38r's run too long on me, but 38s's look too short. The best balance I've found so far is the JCrew Ludlow line whose 38r runs on the shorter side.
* My shoulders are quite narrow - I really need something like 17" across. However, almost all 38's run about 18", with the slimmest being around 17.6". It's not terrible, but at 18" it leads to those "dents" that appear under your shoulders when you bend your arm

Any suggestions for modern blazers that run around 17" across the shoulders, 28-29" BOC, and 20" P2P ?

Shirts
* For casual shirts, smalls usually work for me, but sleeves can be a bit long (I need 32")
* For dress shirts, even for the extra slim fit models (BB ESF, Charles tyrwhitt tailored fit, etc), I need a 15.5" collar. However, the chest and waist run way too big on me in those shirts. Sizing down to a 15" collar shirt will work almost perfectly for me, but it means I can't close the neck.

Shoes
* The only affordable well made shoe I've seen here in the US is Allen Edmonds, but they don't quite fit me. At 9D, they all run a little bit long on me and my heel slips. At 8.5E, my toes are just a bit crunched

Overall, can anyone recommend some brands that basically run very slim and on the shorter side? Obviously I can go with MTM, but I'm trying to avoid doubling my cost on every single item. Any good shoe alternatives to AE that might work? I've looked at Meermin, but it's tough without being able to try them on.

I feel like some kind of in-between-sizes mutant that doesn't fit into anything.
post #2 of 16

I'm 5'9",145 lbs, 16" shoulders, 15" neck,  Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald jackets fit pretty good on me with minimal tailoring (tapering, sleeve length, and possible dropping the neck). The only drawback is that they have center vents.

 

As for shirts, CT extra slim 15/33 fit decent but I guess you already know. I now own about 10 MTM shirts and it took me 3 shirts to nail down the fit with only one of those shirts not being wearable. So consider MTM. No other OTR shirts I've tried are even close to CT so you might want to just start with MTM and invest your time there. Have you considered 15" shirt and moving the button out a bit?

 

I also wear a 9D in AE shoes. My advice for them is to buy from a retail store and try on multiple of the same size. Some shoes fit me better as 8.5D. Their shoes aren't 100% consistent. And if 9D is slim, maybe you just need a wider shoe? Don't be scared of annoying the shoe salesmen, it's their job. If you have to try on 20 shoes to find the right one then that's what it takes to get the sale.

 

I admit that I always feel in between a Medium and a Small. For example, sweaters. Small is always borderline too short in the torso but overly tight, whereas medium is slightly too loose and certainly too long. Very annoying!

 

Finally, you're quite lucky. I have a friend who is 6'3" and requires XXXXXXL jackets, shirts, etc. Compared to him we've got it easy. 

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms View Post

I'm 5'9",145 lbs, 16" shoulders, 15" neck,  Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald jackets fit pretty good on me with minimal tailoring (tapering, sleeve length, and possible dropping the neck). The only drawback is that they have center vents.

As for shirts, CT extra slim 15/33 fit decent but I guess you already know. I now own about 10 MTM shirts and it took me 3 shirts to nail down the fit with only one of those shirts not being wearable. So consider MTM. No other OTR shirts I've tried are even close to CT so you might want to just start with MTM and invest your time there. Have you considered 15" shirt and moving the button out a bit?


I also wear a 9D in AE shoes. My advice for them is to buy from a retail store and try on multiple of the same size. Some shoes fit me better as 8.5D. Their shoes aren't 100% consistent. And if 9D is slim, maybe you just need a wider shoe? Don't be scared of annoying the shoe salesmen, it's their job. If you have to try on 20 shoes to find the right one then that's what it takes to get the sale.


I admit that I always feel in between a Medium and a Small. For example, sweaters. Small is always borderline too short in the torso but overly tight, whereas medium is slightly too loose and certainly too long. Very annoying!

Finally, you're quite lucky. I have a friend who is 6'3" and requires XXXXXXL jackets, shirts, etc. Compared to him we've got it easy. 

Which Fitzgerald jacket did you go with? I bought a 38R, but it runs a bit long on me. The short ran way too short.

Unfortunately I need the 15.5" collar to match my huge head, otherwise the 15" CT/BB shirts would work from me. I guess I can still buy my OCBD's and other shirts that I'll never wear a tie with in a 15.

I definitely agree on sweaters though - same goes for t-shirts. Smalls are always really tight and mediums are massively baggy on me.
post #4 of 16

38R, however I am starting to wonder if I am small enough for a 36R at this point (chest may need opening up but shoulders might fit better). How much extra length do you think the 38R has on you? I would think it's no more than 3/4 of an inch or so in which case you're probably the only one who would think it's long. Better long than short IMHO.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms View Post

38R, however I am starting to wonder if I am small enough for a 36R at this point (chest may need opening up but shoulders might fit better). How much extra length do you think the 38R has on you? I would think it's no more than 3/4 of an inch or so in which case you're probably the only one who would think it's long. Better long than short IMHO.

Here it is on the left:



As you can see it fails the hand curling test. I've obviously taken up the sleeves though, so it doesn't look as bad with that fixed.
post #6 of 16
Rarely does a person fit rtw perfectly. This is why custom made clothes are such a great option.

I recommend finding someone good local and/or trying an online mtm company like Luxire.com.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerostyle View Post

Here it is on the left:



As you can see it fails the hand curling test. I've obviously taken up the sleeves though, so it doesn't look as bad with that fixed.

The "Fitzgerald" model looks fine on you. No need to fret over it failing the hand-curling test, since your arms are disproportionally short.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivar View Post


The "Fitzgerald" model looks fine on you. No need to fret over it failing the hand-curling test, since your arms are disproportionally short.

I agree with this assessment. I think the length is good, could even be longer without fault! For you, the hand curling test is probably not as appropriate. Since you posted, I have the same problem with the regent fit as yourself (shoulders fit poorly). We are definetely similar in upper body (except my arms are probably longer).

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivar View Post

The "Fitzgerald" model looks fine on you. No need to fret over it failing the hand-curling test, since your arms are disproportionally short.

I think this is the real problem. At 5'9, I probably shouldn't be a short (seems like most places set the bar around 5'7-5'8 or so), but I always have trouble with sleeves and where my arms fall.

I guess I'll just focus on a decent body length, and try to find more shirt brands that have 32" sleeves by default. (Brooks Brothers! Charles Tyrwhitt for some crazy reason offers some shirts in a 32 for free, but others with a minimum of 33. I don't get it).

I still get stuck with these problems, though:
* Shoulders too wide on most 38R jackets
* In between small and medium for t-shirts and sweaters
* Outerwear huge on me
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerostyle View Post

I think this is the real problem. At 5'9, I probably shouldn't be a short (seems like most places set the bar around 5'7-5'8 or so), but I always have trouble with sleeves and where my arms fall.

I guess I'll just focus on a decent body length, and try to find more shirt brands that have 32" sleeves by default. (Brooks Brothers! Charles Tyrwhitt for some crazy reason offers some shirts in a 32 for free, but others with a minimum of 33. I don't get it).

I still get stuck with these problems, though:
* Shoulders too wide on most 38R jackets
* In between small and medium for t-shirts and sweaters
* Outerwear huge on me

We would need fit pics to assess your situation properly, but I'm pretty sure that you're wrong about the shoulder problem. I'm about as skinny as they come (135 pounds at 6'1"), and like you, I have a disproportionally large head (size 60 in hats). Despite this, I look best in a shoulder width of about 17.75" (give or take 0.25 inches, depending on how the shoulder is constructed). I find it very hard to believe that you need a narrower shoulder than that, let alone one almost an inch narrower. Rather, I think you've looked too much at fashion ads, and have a mistaken idea of how classic menswear jackets should fit.

As for your troubles with the sleeve length. Jacket sleeves should always, always, always pass the tailor before you start wearing the jacket, so that they are possibly too long shouldn't figure into your buying decision. Same thing with shirt sleeves. (Although most good shirtmakers -- including Charles Tyrwhitt, which you mentioned in your post -- offer to shorten the sleeves before they ship you the shirts.)
post #11 of 16
Be careful with the sleeves on CT jackets though. They have working button holes, so if you have to shorten them too much, you will run into the button holes
post #12 of 16
Where are you? What are you willing to spend?
In a place like New York there are several MTM options
that are not super pricey. MTM from Bespoke operations
like SF Affiliate Winston Tailors, or at a lower price point,
LS Men's clothing might be the solution. MTM form
regular retailers, in my experience, is more problematical
I ordered a pair of plain gray Zanella slacks from Saks in
San Francisco several years ago. After measuring me
and a number of my own trousers that fit me well, very
thoroughly, the pants that arrived two months later from
Italy bore little relation to my measurements. My conclusion,
Saks sells RTW clothing, MTM is an afterthought.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm in DC, but head up to nyc fairly often.

The problem is that MTM shirts always tend to run $50-$100.

I was really hoping to find a brand like CT where you can find shirts on sale for $30-$35.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerostyle View Post

I'm in DC, but head up to nyc fairly often.

The problem is that MTM shirts always tend to run $50-$100.

I was really hoping to find a brand like CT where you can find shirts on sale for $30-$35.

I'm pretty sure for about ~$10 you can have them shorten the sleeves before they ship them out. Still a good price when on sale.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms View Post

I'm pretty sure for about ~$10 you can have them shorten the sleeves before they ship them out. Still a good price when on sale.

But it's not just the sleeves that are the problem ($13 to shorten). I either get the collar size that fits me (15.5") and a chest/waist that's too big, or a collar that doesn't fit me (15") with a body that fits.

So, to get a collar that fits I'm talking about:
$35 for the shirt
+$13 to have them adjust to sleeves
+$20 for a local tailor to take in the chest/waist
= $68

At that point I might as well just go MTM and get exactly what I want. The only time I can sort of cheat is if it's a shirt that I'll never wear a tie with (like an OCBD shirt) and I can just size down to a 15". Then total cost is just $48 which isn't too bad.
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