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Tapered Fit vs Slim Fit: The Difference + What’s Best for You

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Shopping for the right clothes sometimes can be a real hassle. You’re blasted with terms describing different fitting styles. Tapered fit and slim fit are some of the common terms you will meet in the clothes shops. In this article, we will explore the two fitting styles. From telling them apart, determining the best for you, frequently asked questions, and more.

Tapered pants are narrow at the ankle and are wider at the waist, while slim-fit narrows at the waist and hip area and wears snuggly around the ankle. Slim fit shirts proportionally, and align well with your body without appearing to narrow down the waist. In contrast, tapered fit shirts have wider tops and slimmer waists. 

Of course, the above definition doesn’t give the whole picture, and there is more to it than the short version we’ve described above. Therefore, it is not possible to understand the two style fits without diving deeper. Let’s now explore their varied features, characteristics, and how they interact with a wide range of figures.

Tapered Fit Explained

This style can be used to describe the shapes of a wide range of garments. A few examples include tapered shirts, jeans, T-shirts, jackets, and dresses. In general, any garment classified as tapered has a wider top section and gradually slims down towards its base section. 

To give an illustration, its appearance is an inverted triangle shape, where the hip is wider and progressively narrows down the legs. The same is correct for shirts or t-shirts; a wider chest area that truncates towards the waist.

Tapered fit jeans.

This term is sometimes used to refer to tailored style, which may not be correct considering not all tailored clothes have the tapering shape at their end. The real meaning of tailored cuts is the traditional classic style, which naturally, has a wider or looser style than the slim-fit design.

Remarkably, this style is much more recent compared to the others that are much older. This is especially so among the womenfolk, attributable to the moral belief systems of an earlier era. 

Even many of the current, the snuggly-fitting men’s dressing methods are also 1980s innovations. But since then, it has caused an explosive demand for these types of clothes, as evidenced by their now huge fan base. 

Who is Tapered fit best for?

Overall, tapered is a versatile style, as such, it suits different body shapes. But, as a rule of thumb, a tapered shirt will look good on you if you have a larger top section and a slimmer waist. In addition, tapered pants are looser around the hips section which is terrific for people with large hips and derriere.

Determining whether it aligns with you is not difficult if you check out key indicators. Carefully analyzing them will help you in finding out if the tapered style will look well on you. Some of them include clothing type, tastes, and preferences among others. 

For example, if you’ve recently been hitting the gym, and you’ve bulked up your chest muscles, and shoulders, a tapered shirt will surely accentuate your look. However, you might want to opt for another style if you have a wide middle part of your torso. 

The shirt will not only be tighter and make you uncomfortable but awkward as well. The point is, to be clear in your mind about what you feel best matches your body. Be realistic with yourself. 

Or perhaps, you might love the tapered fit, but sadly your figure doesn’t match your passion. You do not have to force yourself into this particular style, as there are others that can suit you. If you’re plus size, you might want to try classic or any other more flexible cut.

Tapered can make you look graceful, whether you’re thin or have thick legs. As the pant tapers off from the hips towards your ankles, it creates a fantastic look that is a favorite of most people. 

But even then, it is important to consider the shape of your upper part of the torso, as well. Generally, if your upper section appears well with a tapered shirt, chances are that it will look awesome on the lower section as well. (Amazon paid link)

What is a Slim Fit?

In general, a slim fit is a proportional one and does not slim around the ankle or the waist. Slim-fit pants are more snuggly around the waist and the hips but straight towards the ankle. Considering the shirts, the shoulders and the chest are snug-fit and end with a straight cut towards the waist.

Perhaps, one of the areas the slim fit is more prominent in the fashion industry is in the manufacture of jeans. Slim fit jeans are a common feature on the streets worldwide. The jeans are made to snuggly fit. 

Slim fit jeans.

In other words, they are neither as tight as the skinny, nor loose as the classic jeans. They allow more space between the fabric and the skin.

Here’s what to do if your belt starts riding up.

Who is Slim Fit Best For?

Slim fit shirts are best for people with fairly uniform bodies. For example, proportional shoulders and midsection. Unproportional body shapes such as a broader chest, shoulders, and narrower midsection, alternative fitting styles might be a better option. 

Slim fit is a versatile style, and that is why it’s a favorite style among many people. Even when used to make chinos, jeans, or dress pants this style brings out the best appearance in these clothes. 

Find the jean cut that best compliments your body style.

But overall, slim-fit pants look wonderful on slender-bodies as they perfectly highlight their body figure. However, if you’ve thick thighs you might want a classic style, as they do not look great in these kinds of clothes.

Not surprisingly, the current trend is in favor of a slim fit than others. But, of course, besides the fashion trends, it also depends on the body shapes and individual tastes. But generally, snuggly fitting pants, T-shirts, and shirts look more appealing compared to other styles. 

Uniqlo Supima T Shirt for Men Review - Best Value T-Shirt for Men?
Here is my favorite slim t-shirt.

How Does Tapered Fit Differ from Slim Fit?

The two may appear similar when you’re not familiar with them. But each has key features and distinct cuts that separate them. Below is a table summary of salient features that can assist in identifying slim-fit clothes from tapered ones.

FeaturesTapered fitSlim-fit
LoosenessRoomier at the hips and the waist.More tight around the hips and entire leg section up to the ankle
TaperingTapering is gradual from below the hips and ends at the ankle.No tapering, rather the pants opening at the ankle is straight cut.
Level of fitnessTighter at the bottom.Loose.
Snuggly-fit around the body
Who is the best fit forVersatile and can be worn on  a wide variety of body figures
Best for wide-hipped individuals
Not fit for a wider range of body types
Best on slender body shapes

Comparing Classic Fit with Other Styles

Also known as the tailored fit, the classic fit is probably the most geographically widespread compared to others. It is more generous, in terms of roominess compared with the other two types

That might explain why its popularity is higher among plus-size individuals looking for a looser style. For example, larger midsections, require a larger measure of fabric to create more comfortable clothes. Moreover, it allows the designing of clothes to align with other specific adjustments; large sitting areas, arms, and thicker thighs among others. 

Overall, the classic is a more versatile style that suits diverse demographics and design preferences. Essentially, whichever style you are shopping for, a slim fit or classic, the key is wearing what matches how you look. Excessively baggy looks or clingy clothing are both unappealing, especially in the modern fashion trends.

How Can You Know the Best-Fitting Style?

The best way to know your best style is to try out the garment. It is only by wearing the clothes you can discover their weak and strong points. On shirts, the most sensitive parts are the chest and shoulders. In the pants, it is the waist, the hips, and the backside.

For the right one, the chest area should not feel stuffy and tight. If it does, probably you might need to keep on shopping until you get something that works well for you. Where to check the fitness of pants, is tightness around the waist and the hips.

Besides the method above, here are a few other tricks you can use to find out what works for you.

Find Out Your Size

Without real measurements it is difficult to nail the precise measurements. So, have the measuring tape on the specific sections you want to find out the specifications. 

Another way is to check out the manufacturers’ sizes on the clothes label. But the problem with this method is that different apparel makers use diversified measurement methods, which can result in discrepancies.

Know Your Wardrobe

At the end of the day, you might want to buy clothes matching what you already have at home. For instance, if you’re buying a slim-fit shirt, having matching slim-fit pants or jeans is a great combination. 

Mismatching the styles make you look sloppy, and is generally considered a fashion gaffe. But ultimately, your dressing style is your choice.

Know Your Body

As you might have realized already, body shape is appearing as key in determining your best fit in every style. Wearing clingy or oversize clothes might not be what you want. In both cases, you’ll appear sloppy and uncomfortable. And that is why knowing yourself will help in picking the best clothes that suit you well. 

The slim fit style is perfect for slender people than the plus-size. The point is, once you know your body it is easy to pinpoint the style that brings out the best of it.

Here’s what to do if your zipper starts falling down. It may also be a sign that your pants are too tight.

Make Comparisons

If you’ve been buying clothes, knowing the style that best matches your body features is easy. You could be shopping for pants, shirts, or T-shirts. What is important is comparing what you are buying with what you already own to help you make your decision-making easy. 

And that is because, since you’ve bought clothes before, your past purchasing experience can inform future purchases. It is based on this that you can know whether what you’re buying currently will work or not.

Brands Have Different Fitting Styles

Although we have discussed varied designs found in the fashion industry, you should keep in mind that these are not clearly streamlined. Different manufacturers might define their fitting methods in another way. It is not uncommon to see one style in one brand having a separate meaning elsewhere. 

For instance, in one brand, slim can be a skinny fit in another brand. Or, you might find significant size differences in clothes of the same style but from brands. Commonly some variations in waist or hips measurements can change by as much as two inches. 

The reason is manufacturers are designing their products with diverse demographic markets in mind. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Slim Fit the Same as Skinny fit?

Slim-fit and skinny are not the same fitting styles. Both have a narrow shape but skinny is much slimmer. More so, the skinny is clingy around the legs while the slim fit is roomier. On the other hand, skinny jeans are manufactured with stretching materials which makes them clingy. 

Is Slim Fit the Same as Classic Fit?

A classic fit is the more traditional, roomier style fit with more wiggle room for the body, especially around the shoulders, legs, hips, and chest. Unlike the slim fit, it is neither snuggly nor clingy, making it a better one for a plus-size body shape. In comparison, the slim fit is designed for slender-body structure.

Which is Better Between Slim Fit and Regular Fit?

Depending on the other factors, a slim fit is a better style than a regular fit. Slim fit snugly hugs your body accentuating your features, and creating an elegant look. But the regular fit can equally look fantastic on medium to plus-size body structures.

Next, you can learn how to keep your pants from riding up.


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