life: super powers not included

Let’s Talk About Pants

Red pantssource

Thanks for your garden recommendations yesterday. You’ve convinced me to go for the strawberries. Of course now I wish they popped up in, like, two days.

Patience is not my greatest virtue. Or even one of my virtues, really.

So you know how annoying it is to shop for pants? In one store you’re a 2 but in H&M you’re a 22.* Or you might be a 4 in one style but a 6 in another.

I read an article in the New York Times about this new machine that helps narrow down the choices. It’s called MyBestFit, a booth that scans your body using low-frequency radio waves and then prints a list of places where you should shop—including which styles will fit you and in which size.

(So, Banana Republic Martin Fit 4, Banana Republic Jones Fit, 6.)

The company only works with a select group of stores, but I image that’ll change when every woman on earth who hates pants shopping starts scanning herself.

Sort pantssource
Too-short pants makes her angsty.

What I can’t tell is whether the machine takes length into question. Before you all yell at me like, “YES! I always have to hem my pants!” I’d like to say that hemming pants is a lot easier than adding fabric.

My problem was that they were never long enough if I planned to wear shoes. Of course, that’s not a problem now, seeing as I can’t wear shoes. But that’s not the point. The point is, it sucks when you’re trying on a pair of pants and they stop above the ankle. A seamstress can’t really help there. So you have two options:

1. Don’t wear pants.
2. Buy them in a size larger.

About that second one… You may not know this (unless you’re tall), but length gets longer with size. So a size 2 has very short legs. A size 16 has a lot of length. It can be a problem for tall size 2s. That’s the reason I wore pants a size too big during high school. I’d wear a belt, but it’d do that annoying thing where the pants fold into a hump.

(Note: Not cool. Also, not really attractive.)

Model
source

Anyhow. The Times article also had a crazy statistic I wanted to share with you:

“A woman with a 32-inch bust would have worn a Size 14 in Sears’s 1937 catalog. By 1967, she would have worn an 8, Ms. Zulli found.”

I’m really hoping that most people in the ’30s wore larger sizes. Because I’m pretty sure you’d have to be 12 to fit into their version of a size 6.

FINALLY!! It would, of course, be easier to just to size all pants like they do for men. (After years of failing at jean searching, I gave up and went designer, which follows men’s sizing.) Instead of jumping into a fitting booth, each pair of pants would have a width and inseam.

No brainer. I’m not sure why women’s pants are sized differently, unless The Powers That Be think changing their sizes nonstop (and creating pants like 000000) builds our self-esteem—and lead$ to lot$ of $ale$.

What do you think? Would you use one of these booths? Or do you see another solution? And what’s the most annoying thing about pants shopping for you?

*Is it just me or does anyone else go up five sizes in that store?

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35 comments

1 Amy B @ Second City Randomness { 04.28.11 at 7:07 am }

Jean shopping SUCKS. I thought it’d get easier as I started to develop a little curve (seriously- just a little), but no. My hips got bigger and my thighs are still pretty small. So whatever fits around my waist/hips/top just seems to hang off the back of my legs. Meh.

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2 gio { 04.28.11 at 7:39 am }

i am so happy i am a boy.

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3 Carly { 04.28.11 at 9:30 am }

I’m tall as well, so length is a tricky one for me. I also have a big hips, but my legs are not reflective of this. Pants shopping always leaves me frustrated in tears.
I don’t know if it’s a Canadian only store, but Dynamite has low quality pants (they max out at about a year), however they fit tall people perfectly! I totally stock up and just toss them when they’re done.

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Tracey Reply:

Hmm, I’ve never heard of Dynamite. I’ll have to look it up and see if it’s in the U.S. Thanks!

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4 Maren { 04.28.11 at 10:09 am }

Yes, I feel large in that store, too, but I blame it on European sizing…it’s just straight-up confusing. I haven’t decided if I would use one of those… I am 5′10” though and I either wear a 2 (26) or a 4 (27). I usually shop by waist-inseam, so I can get my pants long enough for me. In middle school, I was a 25″ waist and a 35″ inseam. Talk about awkward.

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Tracey Reply:

I feel ya. I was a 34″ inseam (I’m only 5′7″ but I have long legs) and until Abercrombie & Fitch started selling jeans by inseam there were no other places to find something in my size with a 34″ leg. I was also very awkward…

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5 Kelly { 04.28.11 at 10:46 am }

I hate how confusing it is. I mean can’t we just have a standard? And really the 00 size is just ridiculous. I mean goodlord…

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Tracey Reply:

I know, right? Like, if I’m a 2 but there’s a 00, 0, and 1 I kind of know that makes my jeans a 4.

Also, as if women weren’t striving for a low number already, now we have to try on a 2 and think, “Man, I wish I were a 00.”

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6 Clarissa { 04.28.11 at 10:50 am }

I would use it- but it depends on what all the measuremenst are. My waist is 24 but my quads would suggest otherwise. I know, poor me, small waist. But pants shopping is tough when my legs are bigger than my tummy! Leo wants me to get a pair of skinny jeans (you know where the cuff basically IS above the ankle) because he likes the way they look. Well if my calves looks like chicken’s calves that might work. Although I heard J Brands has great skinny jeans….I am putting off that shopping task and hoping he forgets. Bottom line is: I’d like a pair of pants i dont have to wear a belt with!

Oh, and one more thing! Acupuncturist is putting me on a raw foods diet. PLEASE HELP! This is worse than vegan or gluten-free…and I’m destined to fail…

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Tracey Reply:

Skinny jeans = self-esteem crushers

You’re not destined to fail! It’s super restrictive, but Gena at http://www.choosingraw.com makes it look really good. I’m trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and also trying to do more than eat salad at every meal. She at least adds variety to each meal.

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7 Christine @ Merf In Progress { 04.28.11 at 11:25 am }

All this about being a size 2 makes me long for my 20’s again.

My problem with shopping for pants is that I am classic hourglass. To get pants that fit my hips, the waist is huge. And I have crazy skinny calves, so I haven’t been able to find a pair of skinny jeans that fit, because to fit my calves, then they are too small for my hips.

Pants suck.

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Tracey Reply:

Ugh, I hear you on the calves issue. Mine are like chicken legs. So are my father’s. It made finding boots (back when I wore them) almost impossible.

It does seem like skinny jeans are cut almost straight down with no room for any curves. :(

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8 Genny { 04.28.11 at 11:37 am }

I hate pants, too! At 5′11″ size 2/4, I often wear dresses rather than jeans or pants. I will say that I like Joe’s Jeans (”Visionaire”) b/c they fit nicely around the butt without all the sagging (zero hips, here). However, they are not long enough to wear with heels…or in your case, open-toed icepack-ed shoes :)

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Tracey Reply:

I know what you mean about the sagging. I have a hard time with that, too. I love Citizen’s of Humanity or 7 For All Mankind jeans. Of course, they’re not long enough for heels.

I’m not sure where you live, but when I lived in Philly and wore heels a lot, I went to a store that sold a lot of extra-long jeans. That is, everyone in there had to get them hemmed because they were at their longest. Which worked out for me since they were perfect for heels without alterations. If you’re in that area, check out http://charliesjeans.net.

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9 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food { 04.28.11 at 11:40 am }

To be honest I just stopped caring what size I am! I always grad 2 or 3 sizes and try them on. Of course it’s impossible to buy pants online! sigh :P

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Tracey Reply:

Yeah, I don’t even bother buying them online. It never works out.

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10 Heather C { 04.28.11 at 2:01 pm }

H&M always makes me feel large. Being that I am 6 feet tall and a size 6, pants shopping is a nightmare. Most stores nowadays make a tall for their regular stuff but not the trendier stuff. I was thrilled when the whole upscale jeans cut to wear with stilletos style came in because I can buy like 7’s or Joe’s off the rack and have them long enough. The absolute worst though was 11 years ago when I was pregnant and the retail world hadn’t caught onto longs for pregnant women. Every pair of pants I had were floods so not only did I feel large and pregnant but I also felt like a total goober too.

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Tracey Reply:

I love 7’s too. I’m imagining a 6-foot tall pregnant woman in short pants. He he.

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11 charlotte { 04.28.11 at 2:20 pm }

I would totally use one of these booths!!! I have exactly ZERO jeans that fit me despite the fact that I own like 10 pairs. Pants shopping is the bane of my existence and one of the main reasons i wear so many skirts and dresses (plus, my skirts and dresses are SUPER cute). I live by the Mall of America – here’s hoping they’re next on the list to get one of these!!

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Tracey Reply:

I know it’s in King of Prussia right now, but I’d think they’d expand to the huge ones first, right?

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12 Ché @ Knight at the Restaurant { 04.28.11 at 2:28 pm }

Oh my God. H&M gives me serious self-esteem issues with their sizing.

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Tracey Reply:

Glad I’m not the only one!

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13 Kaley [Y Mucho Más] { 04.28.11 at 2:50 pm }

In Spain, I swear they don’t make pants for people my size (5′11″), 150 lbs. I have long legs and I don’t think longs exist here. Thus, I’ve taken to buying jeggings or the equivalent. And do not be fooled, they look like real pants! In fact, I kinda look chic, if I do say so myself. Don’t worry, though, I dowdy it up with my square (meaning nerdy) shoes and shirts from aerie. Ha!

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Tracey Reply:

I’m glad I don’t live in Europe. They’re too put-together all the time; my self-esteem would take a major hit. :)

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14 Sagan { 04.28.11 at 3:35 pm }

Very cool! I would absolutely try it.

One problem with hemming pants is that if you have to hem them a lot (which I do), the width of the leg and all that changes. So that can be a problem for skinny jeans and the like.

However you’re right that it’s easier to hem… or buy cropped pants! On more than one occasion I’ve bought pants that are supposed to end at a normal person’s calf, but which are the perfect full-length for my short legs. Too funny.

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Tracey Reply:

Ha ha. I think my mom’s done that, too.

And I never thought about the multiple hemming issue, but can see how that would happen.

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15 creativecripple { 04.28.11 at 3:49 pm }

I abhore buying pants. Being in a wheelchair, its impossible to buy pants that cover my butt while sitting all day, and don’t slide down, without resorting to.. ahem… MOM JEANS. I’m 27. Eeep.
So basically, I own one pair of jeans right now. That don’t fit. Most of the time, I wear skirts. I look ever so much more feminine than I actually am.

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Tracey Reply:

That must be seriously hard since pretty much all jeans are hip-huggers.

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16 Michelle { 04.28.11 at 10:53 pm }

To be honest – I hate pants. I’ve hated pants FOREVER. They never fit right. They’re never long enough. They are a pain in my ASS.

I’ve had success at Gap – they fit tall skinny people with no butt, but when I was in high school I had to wear men’s jeans and thank GOD I didn’t have to wear dress pants.

Like you said – I really don’t understand why ALL women’s pants can be label like mens. Waist and inseam. It makes it so much easier! Women are not stupid. We can see 2 numbers on a pants label and figure out what size we are!

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Tracey Reply:

I used to like Gap jeans until three pairs in a matter of months all ripped at my knee. It was a while ago, so maybe I should try again…

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17 Nicole, RD { 04.29.11 at 9:17 am }

I just don’t buy new pants because it’s such a PITA. Well, that’s not really true, but I HAAAAAAATE shopping for pants. Being on the flip side, I have to buy petites or get everything hemmed. And petites…well, you add a size. So if you’re an 8, you’re now a 10. Just because you’re short. Does that not seem cruel and unusual?!?!!?

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Tracey Reply:

That’s really weird that you add a size in petites. Is it because they need to factor in the waist size of gnomes?

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18 Katie @ peacebeme { 04.30.11 at 11:16 am }

The most annoying pants issue for me is exactly what you described. Not being able to find long enough ones in small sizes!

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19 Where To Buy Clothes (Especially Pants!) When You’re Tall. Plus, a Trick to Fix Short Inseams and Jacket Sleeves | Leslie Quander Wooldridge { 05.05.11 at 10:01 pm }

[...] by an awesome post from Tracey at notsuperhuman.com that mentioned the horrors of pants shopping—I’m posting [...]

20 Leslie { 05.05.11 at 10:25 pm }

Oh my gosh–pants shopping can be a serious headache for people (like me) with long legs. And I’m a small size, too, which really does make it even harder.

Anyway, I loved this post SO much that I blogged about my favorite places to buy tall clothes. These sites and brands have really saved me–now I can find shirt sleeves that are actually long enough (shocking!) and pants. Please visit me and check it out: http://bit.ly/l8Au0i. I gave you a shout!

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