As I advised you last week — while trying on a garment you have to check out front, back, and sides. But there are other details to look at carefully, and they are.
For a set-in sleeve, the shoulder seam should be on your natural shoulder line. If it is farther out, you may look like an American football player; if it is too far in, you will appear to have grown out of the garment
They must lie flat. If they buckle or bulge over the bust, it is a sign that the garment is too small.
These must not pull where the sleeve is set into the jacket, and no horizontal pleats or dimples on the arm. A question I am asked often is: ‘How long should a jacket sleeve be?’ To find the right length for you, measure from the tip of your thumb 5 inches up. That is where the sleeve should end. Your shirt or blouse should extend 1/2″ to 3/4″ beyond it.
Vertical wrinkles mean that a garment is too large. Horizontal wrinkles show that it is. too tight. This rule applies especially to trousers. Horizontal pleats in the crotch area show that the trousers are too snug.
I will discuss correct proportions and proper styles for various figure types in later chapters. However, there are a few more important points to remember about fit:
1. Fitness and fit go together. What I mean is the better the shape of your body, the tighter the clothes you can wear.
2. A heavier person will look slimmer in slightly loose clothes.
3. To test how good a fit is, see how a garment moves with you: sit down in it, bend in it, and walk in it. A good fit should be rather smooth in all positions.
4. Consider whether you want to wear a garment under or over something else. A coat, obviously, has to be roomy enough to fit over a jacket. A sweater to be worn under a shirt or another sweater must not be too bulky.
5. Decide what shoes you will wear with the garment. Its length can of course be changed, but it is better to find the right length without having to bother with alterations.
And this brings us to the question of alterations. To have a perfect fit, alterations are often necessary. (I hardly ever buy anything that I don’t adjust somewhere; this should not be necessary for someone who is 5 feet 8 inches and wears a size 10, but it often is if I want something just right.) Alterations should be considered mainly for the following: to shorten a garment, to lengthen skirts, trousers, or sleeves; or to take in the waist (when this is done, the most you can take in without damaging the style is 1 1/2″). When shortening a jacket, skirt, or trousers, have the new hem pinned completely first and then try the garment on again to see if it is the correct length and to check the proportions. For example, if you have a jacket shortened, be sure the pockets are not too close to the edge of the jacket.
Unless you are a very good seamstress, have alterations done by an expert. (Most Dry Cleaners have someone to do it) This is especially true of hems, for one that is badly done can spoil a garment. (A 3″ hem looks very ugly.) When letting out a hem or sleeves, make sure that the fabric will not keep crease marks from the earlier length. Velvet, synthetic knits, satin, silk, and sometimes even cotton tend to do this. With wool and gabardine, however, the marks are easily removed with pressing. If the alteration comes close to remaking the garment, I do recommend against it, as it will affect the style and never look right.
But a small alteration, the ones mentioned above, can make the dress you fell in love with just right for you. So don’t dismiss the idea of having a garment altered.
Now that we have spoken about the outer garments next week we will look underneath – Lingerie and its Appeal.
Wishing you a sunny Sunday, and reminding you that
A Smile Changes everything!