Clothing Dilemma

One size is a little too small. If I stand with very good posture, the shirt (a t-shirt in this case) looks quite good. But if my posture is not very good, or if I bend over for any reason, or if I am sitting down in anything like a normal fashion, then things get… a little ugly…

(Just a little. But enough to bother.)

Meanwhile, the next size up is just a little too big. It always looks okay, however I’m sitting or standing–but just okay. The too-little size was positively flattering when it looked good. The bigger size is never flattering, just never particularly bad either.

Well, I’m 29 years old and this is almost the first time I’ve ever even thought about this kind of thing when it comes to buying clothes.

What do people do?

We’re talking cheap clothes here, btw.

Do people buy the smaller one and become conscientious about their physical configuration?

Do people buy the larger one, and so settle?

Or what?

I imagine there are some of both kinds of people, and probably other options I haven’t listed.

It’s late and I’m chatting.


What is “ugly”? Does the shirt ride up and show too much tummy, or does it gap and show too much chest?

If you like the shirt, wear it.

I don’t worry overmuch about what I wear. If it fits reasonably well and if the color works for me, and if it’s comfortable, that’s all I care about.

I had the same dilemma and wound up buying the smaller shirt. I hardly ever wear it, because although it looks righteous when I’m just standing there, it’s very uncomfortable if I have to reach for something or raise my arms, and sometimes I look down and realize there’s a button open. I kick myself every time this happens for being too vain to buy the bigger size which looked just fine.

Maybe check out a tailor to alter the bigger shirt to fit more like – but not just like – the smaller shirt. It can be surprisingly cheap.

Fit is everything, so don’t let the size dissuade you from buying something flattering.

I personally prefer to buy the larger size and have it tailored. I can do basic things myself - hemming, moving a side seam on a shirt, etc. The rest I take to a local menswear store and they do things for very cheap ($5 to bring in a waistband, etc)


I didn’t realize it could be that cheap. Hmmmmm!

If I ask them, in a totally clueless fashion, how the shirt should be altered given that my problem with it is such-and-such, will they probably be able to figure out what I want?

If I say “I’d like it to fit like it were just a fraction of a size smaller, but not a whole size, since the size smaller was just a little bit too small,” would they be able to work with that?


Any tailor worth their salt will have you put the shirt on, so they can see where the changes should be made. While you’re wearing it, they’ll talk over the possible changes with you and put pins or basting tape in so you can see and feel what the new fit could be. Same goes for pants or anything else.

Small changes can make a big difference, and can make an inexpensive shirt look like a million damn dollars.