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Making clothes fit and look new

How to dress when you’re between sizes

How to dress when you’re between sizes

Photographed: Jigsaw blazer (£250); Jigsaw zip-through jacket (£150)Whistles t-shirts (£30 each); Debenhams stretch chinos (£30); Oliver Sweeney belt (£69)


If your body sits between regular clothing sizes, wardrobe building can be difficult. It’s expensive to take every purchase to a tailor and not everything can be altered. “Being in-between sizes can be frustrating at times,” says Thread stylist Millie Rich. “Many people order both sizes to trial the fit, then find that neither is perfect. It doesn’t help that brands wildly differ in their definition of a ‘medium’ or a ‘large’. Sometimes nothing feels quite right.” But you don’t need to put up with unflattering fits. These tips will make even the not-quite-right look perfectly put-together.

Lose the padding

“When opting for blazers, go unstructured,” says Millie. “This will allow any odd pulls around the shoulders or waist to vanish.” With less lining to restrict your movement, the fabric glides over your body, rather than tugs and catches. So even if it’s not quite right, no one can tell.

Layer up

If a new coat doesn’t fit like a glove, there’s no need to return it just yet. “A midlayer can act as a buffer for in-between sizes,” says Millie. “If your top layer is somewhat larger, a cardigan or jacket can act as a bulking agent below.”

Know the limits of a belt

A belt can seem like the obvious fix for any ill-fitting trousers, but there’s a limit to what they can do. “If your trousers are a couple of inches too big, then a belt will nip them right in,” says Millie. “But if they’re far too big, this will distort your overall shape.” If you can fit a closed fist in your waistband while you’re wearing the trousers, you need to retire them and size down.

Find chinos with stretch

Stretch fabric is no longer just for gym kit. Modern clothing often has a little bit of elastane mixed in with more common fabrics like cotton. “Chinos with stretch allow ease of movement and added comfort,” says Millie. “Plus, they cater to in-between sizes if your thighs or calves are a little larger.”

Upgrade your t-shirts

“Invest in your t-shirts: thick premium jersey will last longer,” says Millie. What’s more, they complement between-sizes frames, too. “Thin, cheap options can be figure hugging and see-through, whereas good quality alternatives skim the body, because the fabric’s heavier and so holds its shape better.”