How can a style expert be making so many mistakes?

How can a style expert be making so many mistakes?

Dear reader,

Like all knowledgeable people, we feel we haven’t scratched the surface.

And there’s one area where we regularly feel humbled, it’s choosing the correct size. We already touched on this here.

If this happens to us, there’s a chance it happens to you too. Here’s how we deal with it.

Fashion victim

Back in the late naughties, and early 2010s, when we started building our wardrobe, and working out our adult sizes, we were heavily influenced by the fashion of the time.

This meant Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and Hedi Slimane – the reign of skinny. Not that we were following fashion shows, or wearing designer brands. Not at all. Simply, we are aware how these designers shaped that era, and how everyone dressed. As we realised watching The Devil Wears Prada, whatever one thinks, one cannot escape trends.

For this reason, we bought many clothes in size XS, when we should have stuck to S. It was certainly a reaction to the 1990s, when even the smallest sizes were frustratingly baggy and oversized. We just overcorrected.

Then, in the late 2010s, we started working out to lose that skinny physique, because, as it turns out, women find it unattractive. Quickly, we grew from a size S to a size M. It took us some time to realise that most of our clothes were suddenly two sizes too small!

And frankly, this “two sizes too small” thing seems to be happening to us all the time recently. Shop assistants and the wife make fun of us for this.

The latest example is shirts.

Do you have the same issue with shirt collars?

We had been buying size 14.5” (37) for years. Then, because of workouts, 14.5 became definitely chokingly small.

We opted for size 15, but then we became a father, and this implied standing in awkward positions: squatting, or lying on the floor, running after kids at weddings, and family reunions. No-one really talks about it, but your neck is thicker in these positions, and we regularly felt choked while wearing a tie. Following this, we felt uncomfortable in size 15.

It was at one of those occasions, that we started realising that size 15 was too tight.

So we went and bought a size 15.5. We found that trying on in stores does not give enough feedback. It’s only after a couple of hours that we can make up our mind. Either because we forget about the collar (good thing), or because we’re constantly reminded that we’re being lightly strangled.

In this respect, size 15.5 partly alleviated this problem. In awkward positions, we felt more comfortable, but not amazing. On the other hand, the 15.5 collar is evidently too big when standing still. There’s a clear collar gap.

Not to mention that we suffer from asthma, so being continuously strangled is tiring.

So what should we do?

Embrace the collar gap? Or own two different collar sizes depending on the occasion? Tough call…

We hear you say, why don’t you buy made-to-measure? Well… for two reasons that we will answer another time.

Why does this matter?

Like you probably, we hate buying clothes that don’t get worn. We like having an airy wardrobe. We like seeing clothes move from the rack, being worn, and bringing the value we hoped for when buying them.

Therefore, we’re trying to build a versatile wardrobe, with quality items. Clothes that are well fitting, that will accommodate us putting on a bit of weight, or muscles, or being skinnier. Clothes that we will love wearing until they rip. Clothes made from natural fibres, which are rarely surpassed by synthetic ones, especially in sustainability. Clothes with an elegant and timeless style, that connect us to our ancestors. This is what gives us satisfaction.

Best regards,


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Jamie Larson