You have all had a chance to hear my gripes and moans and ARGHs over trying to find jeans that fit (particularly the epic trip to find a week’s worth of discontinued Levi’s 529s). Well, I often have the same problem with dress pants. I just haven’t had the need or opportunity to worry about it in a while. But all these trips to court for this project at work have necessitated I pull out something other than my standard grad student chic wardrobe of jeans and a funky t-shirt (I know, I’m such a grown up), and I’ve discovered something. Um, apparently I was quite a bit bigger the last time I had to wear dress pants. Because all of them have the crotch hanging halfway to my knees since they no longer sit at my waist. I have exactly 1 pair of dress pants that fits as intended. Ironically, they were $2 at the thrift store.
So yesterday I was on a mission to find a few new pair of dress pants. Pants shopping is usually a traumatic task for me. Not as bad as shoes (which I also did yesterday), but still, exhausting. Given that there were a zillion sales going on, there were people EVERYWHERE and lines OUT THE DOORS of all the dressing rooms. I think I acquired a few new bruises from all the racks jammed cheek by jowl on the floor. But somewhere in the midst of all the chaos in Belk, I found them. Next to all the classic fit pants, there were CURVY FIT. Pants designed for women who actually have hips and a butt and a tiny waist. The angels might have sung. I don’t know, I was too dumbstruck to be certain. Because, seriously, for years, clothing manufacturers have acted like women are boards, and if you buy pants big enough to accommodate your derierre, the line of them just went straight up from the ass instead of nipping back in, meaning everybody’s running around in ill-fitting pants because I don’t know any woman who is shaped that way.
Naturally, I could only find one pair in my size (8 petite, which was a massive morale booster) in the Rafaella curvy fit. So then it was on to J.C. Penney, where I was even more fortunate to find MORE curvy fit pants, this time by Worthington (also 8 petite). I ended up coming home with 3 pair total, in black, khaki, and gray. There was much celebrating.
I also wound up finding (after going to 6 different stores) a pair of truly fugly black flats that I THINK I can stand in all day at this wedding we’re shooting today without being wholly maimed. Seriously, dress shoes are such a horrific experience for me. They just don’t come wide enough. That whole pointy toe crap they insist on for women’s shoes makes no sense to me. My foot is not a slice of pizza. It gets wider as you go toward the toes, not narrower. And my foot is a full inch wider than most available shoes (at least without special ordering everything, which I didn’t have time for this time). Which is why I am SO FREAKING GRATEFUL that I have a job where I can wear LOAFERS or whatever comfy shoes (usually cowboy boots) all the time.
You know what kills me? There are WAAAAY more curvy women in this world than skinny-mini’s. So why the heck is it so hard to find good pants, especially jeans. Same goes with bras. They make 987 different padded kinds, and about 5 for women who, you know, actually need them.
Congrats on winning the pants war!
I think it is because designers are more concerned with how clothes look not on a real body. Their drawings are not the same scale as a live human. Do until they start focusing on the people instead of the clothes we are mostly screwed.
I have to echo what Stacy said. I can’t tell you how tired I am of having to buy at least a size larger than what my waist actually needs just to fit my bikers thighs and bottom. And, to be honest, a belt can only do so much to compensate for all the extra material around my waist. Shows like What Not to Wear all talk about taking them to a seamstress to have them hemmed, but that often costs more than the pants themselves! I’m so thankful someone somewhere got the memo and started making jeans for those of us with curves 🙂
Wow, pants for curvy women! What a concept. LOL. I’m so glad you found those. I don’t get the pointy toe shoe thing either. When I buy heels, I almost always buy them with cut out toes, otherwise my toes are crowded. I don’t know what clothes and shoes manufacturers are thinking. I even had to stop wearing Nikes and switch to New Balance because they were starting to get too narrow in the toe area. Now I’m wearing Tone-Ups. What’s the brand of those running shoes you bought?
Stacy, have you ever tried onehanesplace.com for bras? Playtex Secrets is the way to go. I can even find bras to fit my, er, 36DD. LOL
I’m going to have to check those out. I hate it when pants fit through the hips, but I turn and see the giant gap at the back of the waist band. And they are petite too, total score, I’m only 5′ 2″
I’ve been on one heck of a healthy journey since last summer and I currently only have one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants that actually fit
thanks for sharing!!
Pants are difficult (Edith Head managed to dress curvy people, why is it so difficult now?), shoes are worse. They appear to have stopped making narrow shoes in this country (AA heel), and I have to have a sturdy leather lace-up (too many dumb shoes when I was young and dumb), so I have to order. From the Netherlands.
I take a size 10C shoe, and once upon a time I actually had a strong preference for pointy-toed shoes because they tended to be *wider* than the round-toed shoes that were out at the same time. I’m not sure why — it had something to do with how the point was shaped. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
I hate pants shopping so I feel your pain. You really have to psych yourself up for an entire day of searching to find the right pair.
wholeheartedly agree with you on all of this pants pain … and the shoes thing?? don’t even get me started! 😉 yes, the whole fashion designer world is off on some other planet I have to believe. Same dealio with never enough (functional) pockets in clothing, either. but at least I’ve got that one covered. 🙂 please see me if you ever need some of those.
I have been on a mission to find comfortable pants and shoes. Today I must have tried on 20 pairs of pants at Nordstrom (5 brands) and left totally discouraged. I will look into the Worthington line. The best fit I have found so far was an old style of Cookie Johnson jeans (Love Boyfriend and Praise Relaxed jeans) that I found on sale; these styles are no longer available and the company now features skinny fit or legging styles that I’m not comfortable wearing. I did go into Chicos and tried on some of their pant styles; the cut is better than most but I wasn’t entirely happy with the “slimming” fabric that was predominantly featured. Why is this such a difficult task I don’t understand.
I know what you mean,I cannot fit the pants in most stores. I have hips and a butt. ANN Taylor has a curvy line that fits well
I know how you feel when it comes to finding pants for women with curves. It is such a frustrating task for me as well. I am very curvy; I have very thick thighs and a very small waist line. I just wish that more designers would design clothes to fit women with this body type because there are a lot of us out here. Another women and I just so happen to have this conversation in the store while I was shopping, she was having the same problem. However, I can totally agree with you on the brand that can be found at Belk’s Department Stores (Rafaella Curvy Fit); that brand fits wonderfully. No crotch hanging way, way to low and they just compliment the body well. I just recently found out about this particular brand. I promise you that you can’t go wrong with this brand if you are a curvaceous women. Also, the JCPenny’s Worthington Curvy Brand is the only brand of pants that I’ve been wearing for years that work well. I would not have had any dress slacks if this brand wasn’t in existence. Now, after finding the brand from Belk’s, I’m just hoping to find more thats works for me and women like myself.
well I have always been facing the opposite problem. Having Euro body, 5′-10” size 6 bottom and size 8 shoulders, 36” inseam, athletic legs, try to find something under $500 for a pair of pants that don’t make you look like a high school chick or a slut, something that is well tailored, with touch of class, something that a professional woman with Masters degree would wear.
Everything is made for short, stocky, chunky girls with huge hips and skinny calves, so the pants look like a balloon with two narrow pipes attached to it.
Even my favourite preppy brands such as Ralph Lauren, J Crew that are reasonably priced and yet look professional, offer mostly for short-legged (32” inseam or less), heavy-bottomed girls.
I recently bought few pairs of business pants from J Crew and Ann Taylor (at least they were long enough), and all of them had to be taken to alterations to take out those hideous curves on the sides that look like an empty saddle bags attached to the body.
Another problem: everything looks the same as you scroll through pages and pages of products: the same crops, the same skinny non-athletic fit, the same bleak looks, the same touch of ugly 70’s that give me bad after taste a remind my mother’s pictures of the past.
Of course there is an option: Armani and of kind, but I am not inclined to pay over $1000 for the pants just to wear to work, and since I live in SoCal everything outside work means shorts, tank top and flip flops.
Not too many options…. I guess I will have to buy a pair of bad fitting cropped skinnies or leggins, poorly tailored excuse of blazer in grayish-brownish boring tones, with 3/4 sleeves made of stretchy cheap half cotton half synthetic fabrics, and clunky high heels, all made in China, and start belonging to the surrounding crowd. or maybe one of those under-boob waste line baby doll dresses that make everyone who wears it look 8 months pregnant?
Thanks for sharing. It’s two years on since your post, and the situation for straight-figure-only pants has not improved. I swear that there must be a conspiracy between the designers and clothing manufacturers to adopt a ‘standard’, like the many standards in IT (especially in programming languages) to make software development easier switching platforms. If every pair of pants has exactly only 2 inches’ difference between waist and hip or none at all, what pattern is there to give them a headache to work out.
I actually stumbled on this post in a search for ski pants that fit my voluptuous thighs. If you think the search for jeans is bad, try finding those. Every pair I try is too low cut and too tight in the thighs, which is not only a form issue, but when you’re out in the cold, it’s a function issue too as the insulation doesn’t function properly if your clothes are too tight.
Let me know if you find a pair of Ski pants for ladies like me. I’ve got a butt, however a tiny waist, and ski pants leave this gaping draft.
If looking for jeans, you cannot go wrong with PZIjeans.com. Otherwise check out any store that sells “Columbian Jeans”. You can get an idea how they look at this link: http://www.pfcolombianjeans.com/.
I’m struggling with the same search now, almost four years after your original post. Worthington fit well, some of Dana Buchman pants at Kohl’s fit well, but casual khaki pants — I cannot find a good pair anywhere to fit my pear shape!! And I’m 5’9″ so I need to look for longer pants as well. Here’s what I’ve found:
1. Lee khaki relaxed pants (now called All Day), which fit great, are now made with parachute-like fabric that is incredibly cold (I live in WI!).
2. Eddie Bauer khaki straight leg curvy pants are being discontinued. Curvy trouser pants are still being made. I heard they are great but haven’t tried yet.
3. Land’s End 7 Day khakis fit okay, they have elastic in the back, but they are kind of high-rise. I may just have to deal with that — feels a bit like grandma pants.
Anybody know where to find casual khaki pants for us? I’m looking at wearing grandma pants here people. Not cool. 😉
I have been looking for “curvy” style chinos for YEARS. I found one pair at a thrift store, ONCE, that had long since been discontinued by the brand. I literally wore holes in them. I have never found another pair since, so I feel your pain. They just seem to be out of the question for us pear-shaped ladies. If anyone has a suggestion, I want to hear it!
I am 5’6,” and measure 38-31-41 (at my thighs, but my hips are more like a 38), making clothing shopping the WORST task in the world. After spending all week trying (and failing) to find roomy-butt slacks that didn’t fall off my waist, I stumbled on this post. I consequently went searching for a carrier of Rafaello trousers, went to the Bealls down the street, and BOOM, they just happened to have my curvy 6 in both black and grey. The fit is perfect!!! Slightly tight in the waist, comfortable in the thighs. I think if I lose about 5 pounds (I’ve been sitting a lot lately), they will be the best-fitting pants I’ve ever owned, aside from maybe my Lucky Brand “Little Maggie” jeans, which are such a low rise that I can fit them to my thighs and the still work. They’re only available online, as a “mostly discontinued” line. Nice jeans, but spendy.
I have just found the best pants in the world for my pear-shape. They are expensive ($90 reg. price) but on sale for about $67. They are J.Jill Wearever Smooth-Fit Full-Leg Pants — they make my hips looks nice & the fabric flows off of them. And the best part? The Small Tall (I’m 5’9″ so regular length was too short) fits my waist. Like, it doesn’t fall down. Amazing! I’m sold.
How’s that material? Is it thick suit stuff or slinky?
It is a medium fabric, not suit stuff at all, but not totally slinky (feels like cotton almost). It has weight to it, but really flows whenever you move. Kind of like really really nice yoga pants. Made of Rayon and Lycra I believe.