You know that one prized pair of pants that fits you just right? Well, stocking your wardrobe with similarly flattering items is not as tough as it may seem. While the perfect pants, dress and blazer may seem elusive, it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for in the dressing room. We talked to the experts and learned what to zero in on—and when to head to the tailor to let them work their magic.
“Generally, the rule of thumb is that you should be able to put two fingers inside the waistband to have a little wiggle room,” explains Christine O’Donnell, boutique manager at Madame Paulette, a custom alteration and couture cleaning company in New York City. Since most women aren’t the exact same size each day—”sometimes you’re bloated,” she says, for example—it’s important that your trousers won’t suddenly become too tight.
Also keep in mind:
- If there’s puckering or wrinkling in the front panel, the pants are too tight. And if there’s billowing and fabric that doesn’t lie flat—often when you sit down—the pants are too big.
- Don’t worry if the pockets look funny. “No matter how well-designed the pants are and how well