I wouldn't say "fitted" there.
OK, here's what the essential difference is to me. When there is an action -- when something is actually being done -- then it is "fitted". When there is no action, then it is "fit". In the sentence "the helmet fit him", the helmet isn't doing anything. That it fits somebody is a characteristic, not an action. But if you're fitting new propellers on a plane, you're carrying out an action. It's a different sense of the word.
Does this help?
"Just since the mid-20th century, AmE has witnessed a shift in the past tense and past participle from fitted to fit. Traditionally, fit would have been considered incorrect, but it began appearing in journalism and even scholarly writing as early as the 1950s. David S. Berkeley, "The Past Tense of 'Fit,'" 30 Am. Speech 311 (1955)."
Modern American Usage. By Garner.
Interesting. I've put this question to native AE speakers over the last few days and they cannot agree on how "fit" and "fitted" is used. Odd.
It doesn't surprise me that they disagree, because when to use which isn't set in stone. Merriam-Webster doesn't even address the issue at all; it simply says that the past tense can be either "fit" or "fitted", without specifying which definitions may use which forms. I still think my rule of thumb is a good one, though.
What particular aspects did they disagree on?
<It doesn't surprise me that they disagree, because when to use which isn't set in stone. >
But there must have been a reason for speakers to begin (in the 50's) to use "fit". Why did they need to change after centuries from "fitted" to "fit"?
<What particular aspects did they disagree on? >
They all gave different descriptions of use.
Again, AE speakers, which would you use below, fit or fitted?
"She would not have done that normally because she was a lady and would not have been so aggressive. " The first stretch fabric, of course, was skin. It fit/fitted fairly well, withstood wear and tear (scuff marks, lipstick traces, even wine stains vanished in a jiffy), but wrinkled like crazy: a knee bend, for example, caused the stuff to stretch 45%."
"His tight, enameled technique could make any vision, no matter how outrageous, seem persuasively real. It fitted/fit the central claim of surrealism that dreams were superior facts, the incarnation of desire and possibility. But it needed a system of images, and that is what Dali found through what he called his " critical-paranoiac " method..."
"Cairo made a plaster cast of its piece and shipped it to New York. When Bothmer placed the Rochester bust on Ny-user-ra's legs, it fit/fitted exactly. The completed statue is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum and the Pharaoh looks a lot more pharaonic in one piece than in two. "
"Tigrett raised about $30 million in private cash, and in 1993 opened the first House of Blues in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it fitted/fit in quite nicely with all the other chain outlets, such as the Gap and the Limited, that have begun to crowd historic Harvard Square."
I would use "fit" in all those cases.
<I would use "fit" in all those cases. >
Are you a native speaker of American English?
Could I ask your age?
I also would use "fit" in all the cases given. All of them fit (heh) my criterion that there is no action taking place.
I'd also use "fit" in all these cases you gave.
I'd normally use "fitted" only in the sense of equipping something (and usually with "out".
Examples: In addition, the barn was later fitted out with 91 fully automated milking stations.
They fitted out locomotives 314-315 with experimental Worthington type C (exhaust steam condensation) feedwater heaters.
<I'd normally use "fitted" only in the sense of equipping something (and usually with "out".>
So you wouldn't have use for the phrasal verb "fitted in", right?