The Most Stylish Guys You Know Are Getting Everything Tailored (Even T-shirts)
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The Most Stylish Guys You Know Are Getting Everything Tailored (Even T-shirts)

Think tailoring is just for suits? Hardly: Getting casual items tweaked to fit perfectly might be the ultimate style hack.

Fri, Jul 7, 2023 9:00amGrey Clock 3 min

SOMETIMES WHEN Evan Glick, who’s cursed with a “fairly short torso,” tries on T-shirts in stores, “it just looks like I’m wearing a summer dress.” But if you spotted the 32-year-old Brooklyn data engineer in the street, you’d never mistake his top for a frock. Last summer, he began taking his tees and shorts to get tailored at his local wash and fold, for $15 a pop. Now everything fits snugly. “I don’t have to be disappointed with a too-big shirt,” he said.

A tailored T-shirt? Many men reserve tailoring for pricey, special-occasion suits. But in-the-know guys are turning to local, low-key tailors—with no hint of stuffy Savile Row—to tweak casual items from jeans to swim trunks. The move neatly solves an oft-ignored problem: Most off-the-rack clothes fit guys imperfectly. Men can easily look disheveled in too-long jeans or toothpick-armed in polos with gaping sleeves.

It’s Not Just for the Rich

For less money and effort than you’d think, a smarter-looking wardrobe awaits. Getting casual items tailored is “like a cheat code,” said Jermaine Crawford, 30, a Los Angeles actor who has all his jeans nipped at the waist because he finds belts bothersome.

But even men less hostile to belts are seeking help. Over the past two years, Yamil Vaca, founder of Manhattan’s Flatiron Tailor Shop, has noticed more guys bringing in casual items. Most commonly submitted for surgery: tees that billow, jeans that puddle on the floor and running shirts that run too roomy. Men with ill-fitting pajama sets also want his services. Vaca’s prices start at around $20 for abbreviating a pair of pants, and often just one, 5-minute fitting is required. Usually the tweaked item can be picked up in 24 hours if needed (the industry standard is about 3-7 days).

Less? Yep. More? Sure.

In many cases, said Vaca, guys with newly rigorous workout regimens want more-fitted clothes to better flaunt their physiques. But a good tailor can magically make items bigger too. A client of New York personal stylist Turner Allen recently lamented the too-short sleeves on a chore jacket. So a clever tailor stole fabric from its back to lengthen them. Allen doubts most men “would know you could do that, but it made all the difference.”

One particularly egregious issue any good tailor can easily fix? Overly roomy shirt sleeves that make men’s arms look spindly. L.A. style consultant Andrew Weitz said he’s always having clients’ sleeves narrowed. Recently, one guy’s knit polo with short but cavernous sleeves got the treatment and suddenly he looked like he’d been eating his spinach. “Now it hugs his biceps and gives him that [defined] arm shape,” said Weitz.

Weitz also finds swim shorts often disappoint off-the-rack. “A lot of guys feel they’re a little too long,” he said, so they’ll get an inch or so snipped off. Flashing more thigh gives the illusion of longer, leaner legs, he said. Swim shorts should hit at about mid-quad, he added.

L.A. stylist Ugo Mozie seeks out tailoring to alter garments more dramatically. He once tasked his tailor with transforming a women’s trench-coat dress into a men’s jacket. For less statuesque clients, he has shirts, T-shirts and tank tops all hewed to right below the waist. That length works on shorter guys, said Mozie—it suggests “a longer frame.”

How to Ease In Gradually

Whether you’re after a startling chop or a subtle tweak, you’ll need a trustworthy tailor. Beyond checking reviews, experts suggest first testing a new tailor with an easy alteration, like hemming some pants. “If you’re happy with that, you can take a shirt to be slimmed, and then a blazer to be altered,” said Allen. “Start small and go from there.” Snip by snip, let the style upgrade begin.

They Got What Tailored?

Insiders report on some of the unlikely items that men have been getting tweaked

1. Sportswear

Billowing running tops and Lycra cycling tights in need of extra tightening are a common sight at Manhattan’s Flatiron Tailor Shop, said Vaca.

2. Swimwear

Lots of guys find swim trunks a little too long off-the-rack, said Weitz. He’ll ask a tailor to slice about an inch off. Result: Guys’ legs look longer (and they can sun their thighs).

3. Casual slacks

Mozie’s hot tip to achieve a louche pant cut? Buy a wide-leg pair in a slightly too-big size and get the waist and upper thigh taken in. This, he said, achieves the ideal relaxed shape.

4. Pajamas

Vaca has been seeing more sleepwear drift into his shop—especially pajama sets that men want either lengthened or trimmed. “I guess guys want to feel stylish right before they go to bed.”

5. Workwear

Allen recently had the sleeves of a chore jacket lengthened for a long-limbed client whose wrists were awkwardly sticking out.

6. Knitwear

When a knit polo or a sweater is too voluminous, Weitz will have a tailor “take in the body.” Even if it’s meant to be an oversize design, too many guys end up swimming in their sweaters, he said. It shouldn’t wear you, he added.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

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Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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