Real Estate agents and retailers often repeat the old adage that when it comes to choosing a property or a business site the three most important considerations are location, location, and location.
In his famous 2007 speech Tony Blair asserted, ‘Ask me my three main priorities for government and I tell you education, education, and education.It occurs to me that if asked what are the priorities for building a gentleman’s wardrobe I would say fitting, fitting, fitting. It doesn’t quite have the same ring as location, location, location but is just as critical.
Over the last few years I’ve learnt a great deal about building a Gentleman’s Wardrobe. For example, I know far more about shoes now that I did a few years ago; whether it is shoe care, shoe types or shoe trees. The same applies to shirts and fabrics: I can now tell my poplins from my twills, my oxford weaves from my end on end fabrics, my Winchesters from my cut away collars, etc.What I have learnt above all else, however, is just how important fitting is for building a wardrobe. Clothes that fit have the obvious benefit of looking better and being more flattering.
I am well aware that I am becoming a bit of an evangelist for this issue. I have posted about it in a number of posts, for example: How I Found the Perfect Fit and How Can You Tell if Your Suit Is A Perfect Fit?
A shirt that fits well will allow two fingers between the collar and the neck. More than two fingers means it’s too large. Less than two and it’s too tight. The cuffs should sit just above the wrist and if you have large amounts of fabric around the waist you should consider a slim fit shirt.Trousers should fit well around the waist. Too loose and they sag on the hips. Too tight and unsightly bulges result. Similarly the length of the inside leg should be just right. Too long and there is unsightly gathering of fabric around your ankles. Too short and you look like Michael Jackson…. (Even if that is what you were aiming for that is a look best avoided)
However, if you are interested in properly fitting clothing there is good news and bad news.
The bad news is that off the rack clothing is based on templates which are unlikely to match your precise body shape and sizing. Therefore, you are unlikely to find properly fitting clothes off the shelf. Moreover, unless you are very fortunate, you probably don’t have all your clothes tailored by your personal tailor.The good news is that if you expend some energy you can find clothes that fit you really well. Moreover, if you are prepared get those clothes adjusted where necessary, they will fit you nearly as if they had been tailored to your requirements. The even better news is that these minor adjustments are inexpensive.
So forget, brand, forget colours, forget fabrics, forget trends, forget style; If you want to know what is the most important element of Building a Gentleman’s Wardrobe is fitting, fitting and fitting.