At some point over the past few years, Instagram changed. Whereas once our feeds were flooded with everything from runny egg brunch pics to photos of the Eiffel Tower, suddenly, every account you follow—at least, every account even tangentially interested in fashion and streetwear—was awash of outfit pictures. Poorly lit and often awkwardly angled, these pictures came to define the hypebeast era, and ultimately, a general increase in fashion conscious males. Although it’s difficult to track exactly how the trend took off, sometime between the advent of Instagram and the rise of the MaleFashionAdvice subreddit, men began to upload daily outfits and share on body shots (as opposed to outfit grids or individual pieces), hoping peers would reward them for their style—or judge them for lack thereof. Referred to as “fit pics”, these ubiquitous images became menswear’s defacto cultural currency, whose value was judged not only off of actual style or merit, but on engagement and, ultimately, clout. Today, it is how fashion-obsessed individuals communicate, for better or worse.

The “fit pic” itself is simultaneously the most embarrassing, shameless and crucial element of our current menswear moment. From the Supreme-obsessed middle schooler to Lil Uzi Vert, the fit pic has invaded every facet of our culture, to the point that often when individuals make a purchase, how they can flex on the feed is a factor. At this point, in order to build a loyal following, the fit pic is essentially required. Unfortunately, the majority of fit pics found on the internet—and trust as when we say this as we have an entire account devoted to fit pics—are not very good. That’s where we come in.

Whether you have already amassed a following or are simply stumped why your extreme sneaker close ups never hit triple digit likes, below we break down the fit pic rules to live by. While there is not one right way to take a picture, there are plenty of wrong ways, and avoiding the regular pitfalls is crucial. As ridiculous as it may sound, this is how to take a fit pic.

Tags: street-style, grailed-guides, how-to, fit-pics, instagram