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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in excellent physical shape, but most clothes make me look scrawny. I have particular trouble with shirts.

I'm 6'0" tall and 155 pounds. My chest is 35" and my waist is 30". I buy jackets in size 40R and shirts in 15.5x32-33. They tend to feel loose, but anything smaller is tight in the wrong places. In my casual wardrobe, I have some shirts in size L (which are loose), and some in size M (which look ill-proportioned). The only shirts which fit me well are some specialized running and hiking items.

I know that if I want to improve my appearance, I need to change something, but I'm not sure what. Are there specific brands of shirts I should be looking for? Should I be taking my off-the-rack shirts to a tailor, and if so, what should I ask them to do?

On a related note, I've determined that plain, light-colored shirts look terrible on me. I feel that I look best in dark shirts with a texture or a pattern, even vertical stripes. And even though I'm conservative, I find that loud colors sometimes work on me; for instance, I own a bright orange shirt, and instead of making me look like a clown, it just works -- I can't explain how. I suspect it all has to do with my body type, but I don't know the science behind it. I'm curious to know if there are guidelines for the dressing strategies that work best for my body type.

-TC
 

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Welcome!

Welcome to the forum TC.

I'm also a skinny guy, but fortunately for me, I'm not as tall as you are. I'm 140-145 and 5'9" tall...running and working out has done wonders for my physique, and my look.

I buy 15/32 shirts 37S suits (usually 38S and have it tailored) and 30 waist trousers. Based on your measurements I'd say the shirts you're buying are too large. But if you say the others are too tight in the wrong places, then a tailor is one of your options. A better one is to find a good MTM place to do shirts for you. I've one by me, that does shirts fully bespoke for anywhere up of $130. I have mostly $130 shirts but also have a few in more luxurious fabric that were closer to $300. They are GREAT, and fit me like a glove. The tailor also has made me a bespoke blazer, and I look fwd to a bespoke suit one day (just had a new baby so money is tight). I have however also explored TaT for suits (around $450 for MTOrder with self measurements) and ordered two tweed coats from bookster MTOrder.

Hope this helps, and hope you enjoy the forum!

Rob
 

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We're pretty close in size-you're an inch taller and 9 pounds heavier. Same jacket and waist.

I have trouble finding well-fitting clothes, too. All I can say is look for "tailored" or "slim fit" shirts in your size OTR. Casual shirts are easier-I can usually wear size Small and get away with the (generally) slightly short sleeves. Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, and Dillard's RT&Y are the slim-fit OTR brands I buy until able to afford better.

As far as color, I don't think it has a thing to do with your body type-more hair/complexion. I dislike pink, but I can look OK in the right shade-or used judiciously as an accent.
 

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It sounds like you are wearing clothes that are way to big...if your chest is a 35 and you are wearing a 40, no matter how you tailor it, it won't look right...I would go with less items if I were you and go the MTM route...

Also, I am surprised that you don't like light colored shirts on you...that is what you should be wearing...lighter colors add a bit of bulk where darker colors tend to streamline you...also, stay away from vertical stripes...they will make you look taller and thinner...

In the event you can't go the MTM route, stay away from bulky shoulder pads, look for a longer rise trouser, try to wear a few different colors in an outfit - as opposed to wearing a solid dark suit, try a sport coat, different color trousers and lighter shirt...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to everyone for the quick advice. With your encouragement, I'm going to start researching the tailors in my area. I wouldn't mind paying $130 per shirt, if I get something that fits.

WardrobeGirl, your advice about a sport coat and trousers is dead on. I almost never wear a suit any more -- I mix a sport coat with different color trousers. I don't know why I concluded light colored shirts don't work on me. Maybe it has more to do with my personality than my body shape. Anyway, I'll give them another look.

I'm curious about jacket size. I've worried that 40R is too big for me, but that's what salesmen choose for me when I buy clothes. Maybe I'm getting bad service...

-TC
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Get measured.
That's what I mean. When I go into a clothing store and get measured, they end up fitting me with a 40R.

I think there is something funny going on. Either I've measured myself wrong and my chest size is bigger than 35, or I've been the victim of salesmen who sell me what they have in stock, not what fits me best.

In any case, I plan to be more careful from now on. I'll see a tailor and get some real advice before I buy my next sport coat.

-TC
 

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I have a feeling either the salesperson doesn't know what they are doing or a 40 is the smallest size they have so they try to push it on you...

Good news for you - point to points (shoulders) are starting to come in so what is stylish for your physique is the "in" look! :)
 

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You need to get the overarm measurement (distance around but over your arms) and not just your chest measurement. If you have broad shoulders you might need the 40 coat to fit. My step-son is built like this, broad but very thin and wiry.

Depending on your style, there certainly are designers that will fit OTR, although they may be fashion forward and not a good value for the money. I do own one D&G slim fit dress shirt (I heard that;)) that has the back pleat sewn shut the entire length as well as darts on either side! Needless to say it's really tapered, but works great under a slim sweater vest.

-spence
 

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If you are looking for further advice about the fit of your sport coats I'd suggest posting a picture. Hopefully you'll get the blunt honest truth here about sizing, and it is likely that your jackets are too big. It's better to know now before spending any more money on suiting that's too big.
 

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I find Charles Tyrwhitt to be pretty slim; I'm 6'4 190 and they're pretty trim. On the subject of jackets, as has been said before fit the shoulders and the rest will follow. Most jackets will close easily on a skinny person even if they're less than your "measured" chest since they're cut for ampler-stomached people.
 

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If you already have shirts that are, to put it nicely, cut for the average male, your tailor can take in the sides and arms. I've had this done on several shirts, and the result is much better than OTR, particularly with sportshirts that come in S M L sizing. For me, the sleeves on M sides shirts are almost always too short, but L size is like wearing a tent. I buy large, and have them slimmed down. There are many threads in the forum detailing this procedure.
 
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