Potato sack style

Maybe I'll gain weight and grow into this.

Maybe I’ll gain weight and grow into this.

Americans have the reputation – at least among Europeans – of being badly dressed. This sweeping statement is certainly not universally true across the entire United States; there are plenty of well-dressed people, especially in the more fashion-forward metropolises like, famously, New York City. But there is definitely more than a kernel of truth to this stereotype.

One thing I’ve noticed since returning to the US is not that Americans are badly dressed as such, but more that they are wearing clothing that is horrendously ill fitting. As in, how did you try that on, look at yourself in the mirror, and think that was okay to buy?

I’ve noticed this with men in particular, and especially white men when they are trying to dress formally for work or other occasions. Nothing looks more amateur and downright un-sexy than an ill fitting suit. European men often wear bespoke (custom made) suits or, if they buy a ready made suit, they will get it tailored so it fits their body smoothly.

The concept of the slender-cut suit seems not to exist among many American men, who buy the off-the-rack suits that leave them looking frumpy with folds of fabric bunched up in all sorts of awkward places (and a belt struggling unsuccessfully to hold it all together). And similarly, what’s up up with American men wearing khaki trousers that are several sizes too large? I saw a guy the other day whose khakis were so baggy, they were literally flapping  in the wind…



Filed under Clothing

4 responses to “Potato sack style

  1. Vienna

    It is actually difficult to find ready to wear clothing for men in North America that is “slim fit”. In fact even slim fit at banana republic is sort of baggy and not all men can afford it.
    We have Top Shop in montreal and Top Men a British import that finally offers non obnoxiously trendy outfits that actually fit men.
    My favourite part is the personal stylist with a private dressing room offering movies, snacks and colouring books for kids.
    Please Note: This is not an official endorsement for Top Shop.

  2. Pingback: Public pajamas | Home Strange Home

  3. Esther

    My american hubby (living in London now for th last 10 years) maintains he never buys anything that ‘fits’ because it’s uncomfortable! Any well fitting suit, says he, is too tight. So he’ll buy trousers that fall down without a belt. But I think growing up in rural TN may have something to do with it, as that was the fashion as he grew up, and he simply learned to think that that was ‘normal’. Sigh.

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