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The perfect fit with Mitchell Belk​

Four fits, one wardrobe, unlimited options.​​ Stylist and long-time COS collaborator Mitchell Belk shares his invaluable tips on how to choose – and style – the ultimate fit for you.

 

Mitchell Belk.  (Image: Jan Lehner).

 

‘Finding the right fit is key to the success of an outfit. Fit is about understanding your own body shape.’

‘Finding the right fit is key to the success of an outfit’ says Mitchell Belk (he/him). And, as a renowned stylist and the Fashion Director at independent menswear publication Port, he should know. It's this idea which inspired the creation of the COS fit project. Over the course of the season, the in-house design team have been working to create and perfect four new fits – styled here by Belk – across the brand’s menswear collection. ‘Whether it’s slim, regular, relaxed or oversized, fit is about understanding your own body shape,’ says the stylist. ‘It doesn’t matter how impeccable your style is, if your clothes don’t fit correctly, they won’t look or feel good on.’

Read on for Mitchell’s expert tips on how to find the perfect fit for you…

 

Jeans by COS.

 

 

Shirt by COS.

 

 

ON HIS INSPIRATION
‘A sense of elegance inspires me. You see photos of men from the 1930s and 1940s in all their workwear, suits – even sportswear – and they just seem so elegant. In a way, it doesn’t matter what item of clothing I’m working with, I always try and inject an elegant element. It’s really about the overall mood and attitude, but the way the clothing falls or hangs can definitely help.’

ON FINDING YOUR FIT
‘Finding the right fit is key to the success of an outfit. Fit is about understanding your own body shape. You can wear the most expensive outfit, but if it doesn’t fit correctly then you may as well have saved your money. It doesn’t mean that stockier guys can never wear a slim silhouette, or skinny guys can never wear oversized, but ultimately, it’s about understanding what ‘slim’ or ‘oversized’ means for you.’

‘Knowing your body shape is the number one most important element. If you are a stocky guy then wearing skinny jeans might not work, but a regular pair of jeans may give the impression of a slim appearance overall. And, likewise, a regular-fit top may work as an oversized-top on a very slim guy.’

ON STYLING THE DIFFERENT FITS
‘If you’re going for a meeting and want to look sharp, choose more tailored, fitted pieces that make you feel more confident, organised and professional. When on holiday, you want to let go and relax, then looser fitting, softer fabric items, will allow you to get into that headspace quicker.’

‘There is no real set rule on what should go with what. If the emphasis on a particular item is what you want, then you should always pair it with something of the opposite fit. If you want to exaggerate the entire look then stick to one fit overall.’

 

T-shirt by COS.

 

 

Trousers by COS.

 

 

SLIM
‘Slim fit looks good when paired with other slim items, but I like using lots of light layering too. If I have slim trousers on, then a nice, fitted T-shirt and shirt jacket can look elegant.’

REGULAR
‘Regular fit tends to be the safest approach. Most guys will go to this fit as the default. As a stylist, this is the fit where I try and manipulate the silhouette by rolling cuffs or pushing up sleeves to make it come alive a little more.’

RELAXED
‘Relaxed needs to feel slouchy but not overwhelming, so this is where I like to work with the drape of an item. I tend to give a half-tuck to tops or let the trousers break and pool over the shoe. The key is to keep it relaxed but have the outfit fit in areas so that you can still see your shape.’

OVERSIZED
‘Oversized is the most confident look. It can certainly be a statement and the wearer tends to want volume. It can be fun to layer looks up with lots of oversized pieces to create even more exaggeration. But if that’s a step too far I would counteract an oversized item with something slimmer to provide balance.’

‘Putting on an outfit should be determined by how you feel that day and what element of your persona you want to communicate.’

ON FINDING THE RIGHT LENGTH
‘High rise and low rise are the new 1930s flood length and 1990s baggy. High-rise trousers tend to work best if you want to break the illusion of height. It cuts through the leg adding an extra element of an exposed ankle or statement sock. They also look good with a higher cut shoe or trainer. Low rise trousers are great at making the wearer appear taller and exaggerating the length of the leg. Low rise also emphasises a relaxed aesthetic and I always think a heavier, broader shoe works best with these.’

ON THE PIECES EVERY PERSON SHOULD OWN
‘Every man should own a classic shirt, T-shirt, suit, and jeans in a well fitted tailored silhouette. When I say tailored, I mean a fit that just skims your body shape: something that is neither too tight nor too baggy. Once you have these staples then I think there is no reason to not play around. Fashion should be fun at the end of the day. It’s about awakening different characters within your personality.’

ON EVERYDAY STYLING
‘Give your clothes shape. It’s very easy to just throw on an outfit and let it hang off your frame, but a little tuck here, or roll of the sleeve or trouser cuff can instantly transform the way it sits. It no longer hangs but has been manipulated to drape or catch on part of your body in ways that elevate the overall silhouette.’

‘It’s all about trial and error. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and try things on. Don’t get too hung up on sizes, or different shapes that you aren’t used to. Try it and don’t take clothes too seriously. You may surprise yourself how much you like something you would never have previously picked up.’

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