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Read how you can identify too tight clothes so they won’t ruin your look.


  1. Fit Is Not Equal to “I Still Get into It.”
  2. Signs that Pants or Jeans Are too Tight?
  3. How to Tell that a Shirt, Cardigan, Jacket or Blazer Is too Tight?
  4. What Are the Signs That a Skirt is Too Tight?
  5. Wrapping Up How to Identify too Tight Clothes
  6. Further Reading


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Fit Is Not Equal to “I Still Get into It.”

To be effortlessly stylish requires to identify and replace clothing that no longer fit anymore. However, this task is one of the 17 steps to a successful closet overhaul that is the most challenging. Why? Because even when you kept your weight, things may no longer fit due to menopausal body changes.

Unfortunately, there is no one-fits-all sign. For best judgement have someone take photos from all sites and look for signs like those listed below. If only one applies, it means the piece is a misfit for your changed body.



Signs that Pants or Jeans Are too Tight?

Typically, your pair is too tight when one or more of the following applies:

  • You have to jump to get into them,
  • Its seams look stretched out when you finally got into them,
  • The waistband of a high or medium rise pair folds over,
  • The fabric in the crotch region looks like a Y,
  • You look like wearing leggings,
  • People can tell whether you have an iPhone or some other brand,
  • The panty-line of briefs shows when you wear trousers,
  • Your waistband is riding up,
  • The Y shows when you sit down in your jeans, and
  • You have to balance and dance on one leg to take the pair off.


Note: Pants are too short when your socks show when standing straight.


collage showing 3 examples of how to identify too tight clothes
Left: Example of a cardigan showing X-like wrinkles at the closed buttons, and lentil-shaped gaps over the breast. Both signs indicate that the cardigan does no longer fit correctly. Middle: Non-fitting jeans. The jeans’ seam along the legs is stretched. Right: The shoulder fills part of the sleeve. This cardigan is too small in the shoulders as well.



How to Tell that a Shirt or Blazer Is too Tight?

The most obvious of potential signs for too small blazers, blouses, and shirts are:

  • The area around the button wholes looks like an X when buttoned up,
  • Cardigans or knit jacket show lentil-shaped gaps when closed (see photo),
  • The Second button pops open when the shirt/blouse is too tight in the chest,
  • You can’t pull an inch of fabric when you wear the shirt (sausage alert!),
  • Long sleeves don’t reach to the knuckle,
  • The seams of the cup of the sleeves look like they go towards the neck, rather than being an elongation of the bodice.


What Are the Signs That a Skirt is Too Tight?

The most obvious signs, which not necessarily all occur, are:

  • You sit down, and the skirt rides up,
  • From the side and when you look down you can see you pelvic bone,
  • The skirt has whiskers like a pair of jeans,
  • It rides up when you walk,
  • You keep pulling it down, and
  • Stretched side seams.


Four of many more signs that a skirt doesn't fit
Four of many more signs that a skirt doesn’t fit. Instead of taking care of the fabric to avoid that it shrinks, I accidently washed it.



Wrapping Up How to Identify too Tight Clothes

Too tight clothes are never in style. No matter what expensive designer they are, they fail to let you look your best. When you observe one of the above signs, sell the piece, donate it, get rid of it. You will not feel so great in it anymore as you did a year ago.


Further Reading on DIY

You may also be interested in reading how to revive an old shirt to a skirt or up-cycle old books to look trendy.


Don’t let the right look be a random thing. Wear the right look at the right time. Buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.


Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Lucy Bertoldi

    Great tips-I love the ay you showed and explained for the skirt. Love it.

  2. shelbeeontheedge1

    These are really great tips, Nicole! Although right now most of clothing is all too big! I am much overdue for a closet clean out and overhaul, for sure.


  3. Virginia

    Great tips here. I hadn’t really though about the side not having a straight line meaning it’s too tight but now I’m going to remember it when I try on skirts!


  4. mireilleftm

    great tips! i try not to keep items that don’t fit right anymore but sometimes it is hard to part with them.

  5. Jodie

    Dang…that same thing has happened to me many times. Sometimes I can get them to “grow” a bit by soaking the piece in conditioner and trying to stretch it a little.