If you like tight-fitting clothes, favor those that offer extra stretch combined with a lightweight feel. Stretch garments flatter a range of sizes outside of heights, giving you a stylish look while feeling comfortable. The stretchy fabric “allows you to move without restriction,” fitness influencer Chasi Jernigan tells The Strategist. Most stretch fabrics have a proportion of elastic fibers woven into the yarns for stretch. This elastic element is also known as Lycra, spandex or elastane which are different names used for the same material. Types of fabrics that stretch to great length include stretch cotton poplin, spandex jersey, neoprene rubber, and stretch lace. Embroidered mesh, lace, polyester, chiffon, shimmering satin, cotton, and silk are some of the types of fabrics that don’t stretch.

Aside from comfort, clothes made from stretchy fabrics are known for their durability, Olivers points out. And durability is what helps your clothes resist all kinds of elements, like stains, weight gain, and wear and tear. If your clothes have limited stretch, you can stretch them manually. One way to do this is to soak your clothes in cold water for 24 hours and, when soaked, hang them outside for a few days. When your clothes are dry, they should be about one size larger. If not, repeat the soaking and air drying process.

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