We don’t really mean the outfit here. More the way the fit fits. See, it’s one thing to wear nice clothes. It’s another thing entirely for the clothes to look good on you. There are myriad things that go into that, but the way the clothes fit is a big part of it too. The fit of your clothes can have just as big of an impact on the way you look as the clothes themselves.

We unfortunately often judge each other based on how we look. That demands that we look the part, whatever part it is we are playing, to get what we want or to have some success at what we’re doing. Well-fitting clothes are more attractive and flattering to the person wearing them. Granted, if you have the body of a supermodel (male or female), clothes will probably fit you better. You’ll look better in them. You can find more clothes in your size too. For the rest of us mere mortals, we may have to struggle a little more to get clothes that fit us well.

Clothes that fit look better on you. They just do.

Yes, the oversized look is a bit of a thing.

Or the undersized look (is it really?). But that doesn’t mean that it works for everyone. And even the oversized look fits as it should. You can see it in the way the clothes rest on the body. You can see it in the way they sit on shoulders and hips. You can see it in the crease (or lack thereof) of the fabric as the person moves. You can even see it in the way the wearer carries herself, in how she moves.

Finding clothes that fit can be a challenge. We know. But even if clothes don’t fit well right off the rack, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Tailors aren’t hard to find, although finding a competent and reliable one may be harder. A few alterations can make all the difference to an ill-fitting garment. They’re also not expensive to get done in Kenya and are worth the expense. But alterations aren’t possible for every piece of clothing and some might end up ruined through them. It’s better to get something off the rack that fits well.

That may mean taking the time to try on clothing before you buy it. This may not always be possible, with many of us Kenyans being regular customers of the mtumba industry. The more germophobic ones may cringe at trying anything on at a mtumba market. But if you can, try on whatever it is you’re interested in buying. You definitely shouldn’t be trying out everything (unless you have a fetish for being a walking disease-carrier) so use your discretion.

A possible advantage of trying clothes on is that you’ll get to know what fits you better.

Brands have sizing charts that often are not the same across the board.

It’s the same for the countries that make those clothes. The units or nomenclature used can be completely different or the same with different measurements. A t-shirt sized “Small”” in Europe may not be the same as one with the same size from the US. Our bodies change too. Sometimes we gain or lose weight and get bigger or smaller. You’d much rather wear something in your new size than try squeezing into or floating in your previous clothes just so you can feel better about yourself.

Another thing is that we may actually have our sizes or measurements wrong. This has happened to me before, so I share in your embarrassment. I might be used to buying and wearing jeans with a 34-inch waist, when a 36-inch waist actually fits me better. I may not figure that out if I don’t try on jeans in different sizes when I’m out shopping. So it might help to try on different sizes slightly larger or smaller than the size you think is your own, even if it might be a slight blow to your ego. It might be the motivation you need to hit the gym.

Even besides how clothes look when they fit well, they say something about you as a person. In general, clothes can say a lot about you without you having to say anything at all. The way the clothes fit can help fill in some gaps. Well-fitting clothes say you take yourself and how you look seriously. Yes we’re told not to take ourselves too seriously, but maybe we should in some cases. If you look like you take yourself seriously, it should be safe to assume that you take other things, such as a job, seriously too (#securethebag). One might also assume that you know what you’re doing and are good at it (even if you don’t and aren’t). I mean, if your clothes can fit you that well, then you must have an eye for detail and precision.

Clothes don’t have to be expensive or made by luxury brands to fit well.

Even simple, thrifted clothes can make you look like you should be in a magazine if they fit well. Take fit seriously, as seriously as you take the clothes themselves and maybe even more. It might just tell us how seriously we should take you.