- not being able to find a better fit in an item I’ve been really jonesing for
- fear of a hefty alterations bill
- items from cheap retailers that I don’t care to alter
- the fit is just ever-so-slightly big, so I opt to deal with it rather than pay for alterations
- not to mention, thinking something fits fine, but then realizing it’s not quite up to snuff after a few wears
Whatever your reasons, I’m betting most women have these in their closet, with excuses ranging from the ones I mentioned, to weight fluctuations, sale goggles, and “I’d go broke if I altered everything I bought” (If you’re as petite as I am, this is a real consideration).
Depending on how you style these items, you might be able to get away with wearing them without obviously looking like you’re wearing something that doesn’t fit. Here’s a few tricks I use to help “fake fit” on items that are just a bit off-fitting on me. I’ll start with one of my wardrobe favorites, and a notoriously hard-to-fit item for smaller petites such as myself…shoulders on blazers and jackets.
I love blazers, but my arch nemesis are those darn shoulders! Most blazers are on the verge of fitting, but just a smidgen too broad on me. Altering the shoulder on a blazer can be pricey, and up until recently, I’ve been able to avoid getting it done. I’ve finally come to the conclusion a few of my blazers really just need to have it done (especially since they are now treasured parts of my wardrobe, so I want them as close to perfect as possible), but I wore them for quite some time, big shoulders and all, with this trick:
Ay! Apparently I need a black wall. Sorry the contrast isn’t very good between the wall and the blazer, but the shoulder on this particular Theory jacket is a bit too wide for my frame.
A too-big shoulder looks more in proportion when the sleeves are pushed up. The volume that is created by pushing up the sleeve helps mask what’s going on in the shoulder. Certain blazers I only wear with the sleeves pushed up for this very reason, such as this Theory seersucker blazer. I’m thinking of finally getting the shoulder taken in, but I’ve been wearing it for almost two years now just by pushing up the sleeves.
Sleeve length is another common fit issue for women. If you’re very petite, they can often be too long. If you’re a taller petite, sleeves on petite sized clothing may be too short, even if it fits everywhere else. And if you buy children’s clothing for a smaller fit, sleeves are often too short there as well. If the sleeve is simple and without details, then a simple hemming is the way to go for too-long sleeves. But this may not be a good option if the sleeve is cuffed, buttoned, or otherwise detailed, such as the blazer sleeve below:
Tucking sleeves under that are too long look sloppy up close, and just folding your sleeve so it fits at the wrist is an obvious sign that your sleeves don’t fit. But by rolling your sleeve a few times so it sits at 3/4 length or higher hides both issues of too much, or not enough length. Best of all, rolling your shirt or jacket cuffs looks chic, laid back and intentional.
I find that this helps hide sleeves that are also too wide.
Torso width & arm holes:
This is pretty obvious, but I’ll mention it anyways. If an item is roomy in the torso or too big in the arm holes, wearing it as a layer underneath sweaters, jackets, or vests hides all that perfectly. Just beware of situations where you may need to remove your outer layer, like sitting in the hot sun on your lunch break (It’s nerve racking to be aware that co-workers may be getting peeks of your bra through too-big armholes because you couldn’t stand sweating in the sun any longer. Yipes!).
Here are some fits I’ve faked:
The fit of this Banana Republic silk shirt is very faked