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January 22, 2018

The Key to Looking Stylish Instead of Sloppy

It may just be the end of January, but Spring and Summer fashion are about to hit the market.

And that means we’re about to be bombarded with ads and phrases like: oversized, relaxed-fit, or unstructured. When you hear these terms it’s easy to immediately think of the baggy jeans and sweaters you normally wear around the house, but that’s not how the style works.

There is a specific set of rules to pull off oversized clothing if you want to look stylish instead of frumpy, and it can also help you look taller.

Here’s what you need to know:


Start with the proper definition. Oversized does not mean simply baggy or too big.  Oversized pieces fit you and your shape like normal clothes they just have a little more room and fabric.  These pieces are specifically styled to be bigger, but you should still buy your normal size.  Simply going up a size or two does not create the proportional, loose trend that makes you look thinner; it just makes you look sloppy.


Oversized Pants. The general rule of thumb when it comes to proportion is to pair something loose with something fitted, but this trend goes against that norm.  If you want to pull off oversized pants from previous seasons that’re fine, you just may need to tweak what you pair it with.  For example skip the fitted tops.  Instead opt for a longer top or layer that falls just below your hips.  This elongates your torso, which helps balance the volume of the pants.


The Oversized Sweater. We all have an oversized sweater in our closet that we probably wear with jeans and boots, but next time try pairing it with relaxed fit textured pants.  Whether you choose a bold print or a monochromatic neutral is up to you.  The key with any oversized top is that you want it to be long and wide, not short and wide.  Without the length to balance the width you proportions will look off and you’ll end up looking wider instead of taller.


Oversized Coats. One of my favorite winter topcoats is an oversized charcoal grey double breasted wool one that I wear with just about everything.  Common sense would say not to wear a big coat over a voluminous outfit because you’ll look like a blob, but that’s not necessarily the case.  If you want to pull off an oversized outfit with a big coat you want to make sure the outfit has some structural elements that break up the look like a large collar, cuffs or buttons.

Oversized clothes have been in style for several seasons, and personally I love it.  Whether you choose a monochromatic palette or a colorful one, you can a lot of fun playing with proportions.


I am always curious to hear some of your wardrobe dilemmas and challenges.  Please send your comments and questions to

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