Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Pants Problem

Men don't know how easy they have it. Really they don't. One day, early in the relationship, I had to pick up some pants for the boy. He gave me two numbers to look for, and that was that. "How do you know they're gonna fit?" Apparently they just always do. If you're a boy, and you know your two magic numbers, the pants will always fit.

This is so far opposite from my life that I literally couldn't comprehend it. They always fit? Any pants, anywhere, with these two numbers?

The boy laughed at me. But seriously!

I hate shopping for pants. It is the bane of my existence. It's even worse than swimsuit shopping. No lie, ladies. I mean, I'm sure it would be easier if I were, um, a little more on the slender side. And perhaps a little on the taller side. But as it is, I'm a little bottom heavy, with most of my excess weight centered on my ass and thighs. This basically means that even though women only have one number to remember, that number does not necessarily mean that the pants will fit me. In fact, nine times out of ten my size won't fit me, neither will the next size up, or the next size down. All I get out of shopping for pants is a big fat load of frustration.

You wouldn't like me when I'm frustrated. Or maybe you would. I'm funny. Unless I'm frustrated with you, of course. Then I'm frightening.

Anyway. The deal is that my ass/thigh combo seems to require a size that is too large for my waist. Which results in pants that fit semi-comfortably but have HUGE amounts of excess fabric at the waist. (Yes, they can be altered, and yes, this is what I generally tend to do. Find pants that fit mostly okay and pay an additional $20 to have them fit correctly.)

Oh and "low rise?" That was made for people with no junk in their trunk. Or maybe with just a smaller trunk. But apparently everyone on earth has a smaller trunk because low rise seems to be all that's being sold these days. (And don't get me STARTED on skinny jeans. Women are supposed to have curves.) I mean, unless I want to buy grandmother jeans that sit up on my natural waist, which I have done on occasion out of desperation, it seems I have no options. (no offense to any grandmothers reading. Your jeans fit you beautifully.)

But I will never, ever, EVER, buy pants with pleats. (ARE YOU READING THIS MOTHER?) I don't care if "pleated pants fit our figure better" or "they look so flattering" (LIE!) There has GOT to be a better solution than pleats. End of story.

So when I ruined my last pair of khakis by washing them with a pink t-shirt (for the second time) I was in a pickle. Wear ruined khakis? Wear dresses to work every day? Can I plead "wardrobe malfunction" and just wear pajama bottoms to work?

I decided that online shopping would be less painful than actual fitting rooms that are A) in public B) not in my house and not with my mirror and C) not with my clothes so that I can try different tops to see if the pants are actually acceptable. I reasoned that sending pants back was easier than leaving the mall in tears.

And so my search began. I googled every combination of "petite" "Khaki" "wide-leg" "flare" and "pants" that you can think of. Until I remembered this catalog I had received in the mail last winter. The catalog that I had perused and loved and then immediately pitched because the prices were not prices that could be accepted on a full-time-working-student budget. The catalog from Athleta.

Cue glorious background music.

I love their stuff. So I visited online. And found pants that I loved. Pants that I loved that cost more than I was willing to spend on pants. Pants that, I reasoned, there was no drawback in ordering because they probably wouldn't fit anyway and then at least I would KNOW. Specifically, these pants. Seriously? What's the harm? Pants never ever fit me.

OMG, they fit like they were MADE FOR ME. No kidding. It's like the worst practical joke ever. They fit 100 percent. No complaints. Not one. Well, except for the price. Did you see the price? Did you see that I could probably eat lunch for sixteen days at that price?

So, see, my normal behavior would be to buy a pair in every color because, pshaw, they FIT and that never happens. But, um.....expensive.

So basically there's this war going on. They fit! They're expensive! They fit! They're expensive! It's quite the conundrum. And basically, I should have seen it coming. Because, at this point in my life, I've probably tried on all the cheap pants in the world - of course expensive pants are the only option left. The person who hates shopping must now spend more money than she is willing to buy name brand. Oh the irony. Woe is me. Woe woe woe.

And I would feel worse, but they're so pretty. Have I mentioned that? So pretty, in fact, that I would sell myself on the street to get the money to pay for them. They look so good on me that I would actually wear them to sell myself on the street... but you just don't see many prostitutes in khakis these days. I'm not sure why. Maybe I need to work that angle.

My cousin mentioned that I should buy a pair in brown and a pair in black so that I'm completely covered. I was TOTALLY going to follow her advise until I realized that navy blue is on sale.

What the hell shoes do I wear with navy blue pants?

(Navy blue pants that will look FANTASTIC on me, btw.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to see exactly how long I'll have to go without eating once I order more pants. (Pants that FIT!!!)

(Author's note - this is my 300th post and it's about clothing. Worse, it's about shopping. A topic that I abhor. But if I wait for a more auspicious topic to come along, you would miss all the mundane trivialities of my life which is what you really tune in for, right? So just have a glass of wine tonight in celebration of my 300th post and pretend that it was about something important and life-altering.)


JennyG said...

Love, Love, LOVE the pants!!! I'm right there with you. It's a cruel joke that I too have to buy 'petite' pants due tolength but there's nothing 'petite' about my trunk. If boys get 2 numbers, we should get 4 or 5. Thighs and trunk of my caliber definitely require their own specifications. Low rise should really be renamed to DoYouWannaSeeMyCrack?? I'm just getting started... :) In terms of your internal war - don't you have a half-birthday coming up??? This seems like a perfectly good half-birthday present. And your Mom likes clothes...especially clothes that make her Emily happy - voila!!

The Carrels said... the pants. and I need them in black and brown and maybe even navy. def. buy the navy now. i'm a huge fan of buying what you love and especially if the fit is perfect. if you buy a few pair of expensive pants that fit well you'll probably end up ahead in the long run because you won't buy cheap pants that you have to replace so often.


zlionsfan said...

Almost everything that is cheap is cheap for a reason. I have found that quality clothes are more than worth it: you really do save in the long run.

Be cautious, though. I'd definitely focus on the colors that are on sale. Wait if you can to buy more (but not too long: it works better if you can distribute wear over more pairs).

Jaclyn said...

The pants will be worth the price if you love them. Plus, hopefully the price denotes higher quality and a longer life. This is generally the case (when you're not buying crap from a teenage store anyway!)

Candace said...

Um...I have found that only buying clothing that fits and looks good is the way to go. Even if it is expensive. I would rather only have 2 pairs of jeans if both of them fit well and I like them.

On a different note my favorite store has recently decided to have their pants in two sizes. One is more like your traditional size and then a color. The color notes the shape of your hips. This goes from wide to straight. This has helped me significantly find pants that fit the best. Not always perfect but better than ever before.

Go for it. Have less clothes that you love!

Farmerspice said...

I love Jill's answer and agree completely. I've been having the same exact dilemma in my house. However, I cannot ever find the pants that have the right amount of length and such. So....while you have the shorter stack dilemma I have the need length dilemma and I love it when the store says, you can only order the tall sizes online. Really? Great. Why would I purchase it all online and then have to send it all back b/c it won't fit.

but do buy.the.pants.