I need pants that fit, please.
December 6, 2010 5:03 PM   Subscribe

I need some help finding women's pants/jeans that fit me.

I cannot find any pants that fit me anywhere. First, I'm short, and petite pants still go way past my feet. Second, either the pants are too small or they fall down to my hips. I think it is because I need pants that will make it above my hips and then my waist doesn't support that extra room. That's one theory, but I don't what the solution is.

Here are my measurements: I am 5'2" and have a 28" waist & 38" hips. If it matters, I weight about 127 pounds.

I'm getting to the point that I'm considering wearing suspenders under my shirts so I can keep my pants up. That seems embarrassing to me, but I don't know what else to do.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I think that you need to find a good tailor who can help to take in off-the-rack clothes to fit you. The standard advice is to buy clothes that fit the biggest part of you, and then have them taken in to fit the smaller parts. Jeans and pants can be hemmed and waists can be taken in. I think that's going to be the easiest way to get clothes that fit you like a dream.
posted by decathecting at 5:05 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would look for "curvy fit" pants, and you might still need to take the waists in a bit. A good tailor can do it, or you can learn to do it yourself the professional way, or you can just learn to do waist darts.

Also, belts! That's what they're for. Right now, I know that the trends are for not-very-effective belts--either the weird thin belts, or the hip-slung belts--but using belts does help keep pants up, so maybe you can find some more useful belts with a little searching?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:15 PM on December 6, 2010

My waist/hip ratio is not unlike yours, and I'm shorter by 2 inches. Some Diesel jeans cuts fit very well (the now-discontinued Bebel cut in particular can be bought on Ebay), as well as Gap "curvy" trousers in ankle length for dress pants – I always get tons of compliments on those. For casual pants, I like Dickies Girl stretchy pants. They're ridiculously cheap, have no gaps in the waist, and easy to hem if you don't like them bunched up at the ankles.
posted by halogen at 5:16 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I forgot to add that belts do nothing. My pants still fall down.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 5:17 PM on December 6, 2010

I'm built much like you, and I've found Lucky brand Sweet N Low jeans fit me rather well. I figured this out by using My True Fit and then buying the recommended pair on eBay. I still have to hem them, but that's a pretty quick fix.
posted by runningwithscissors at 5:18 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Levi's has a new line of jeans for different curves of women. You should probably look at the bold curve section with the shortest inseam (30). Also a tailor would be able to take in jeans at the waist with ease.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:19 PM on December 6, 2010

I know this sounds crazy, but have you asked salespeople for help? In my experience, if you go to a store that features multiples styles and cuts of jeans, and you ask for help, you'll have a better chance at finding stuff that fits.

J. Jill and Ann Taylor LOFT both stock petite jeans in their stores. I am 5'2.5 and I can definitely find ones that are the right length at both stores. And it sounds like what you're looking for are "curvy" cuts -- those are the ones that have room in the hips but are smaller in the waist, thus supporting the curvy shape it appears you have.

The Gap may be another solution; the one near my home doesn't stock petites but you may find differently. Also, Coldwater Canyon, if you have one near you. (The store as a whole tends to be too frumpy for me, but they stock petite jeans that are fine and have a variety of different cuts.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:19 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Low-rise pants that are meant to sit on the hips, not at the waist, are an easier fit for women with waist/hip ratios like yours and mine. If it's at my waist, all I can do is wear a belt that looks ridiculous because the pants are all bunchy at the waist then.

Get the pants hemmed. Or learn to hem, it's not hard. Or ask a friend to hem them in exchange for baked goods or something. I have to have ALL my pants hemmed ... even my maternity pants! Or else I have to wear super-stylish giant cuffs. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2010

You need jeans with a contoured waistband. The new style of Gap jeans is good for this -- check out the Always Skinny or Real Straight styles, both of which are offered in petite I think. I've also had good luck with Joe's Jeans and AG jeans, on the higher end of things. Your waist:hip ratio isn't crazy out of the ordinary, so you should be able to find something acceptable pretty easily.
posted by telegraph at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2010

I'm about two inches taller than you are, and have similar proportions.

I do best when I suck it up and shop at what I tend to think of as "grownup lady stores". Gap Curvy Fit sometimes does the trick, but I'll always have better luck at an Ann Taylor, a J. Jill, a (sigh) Talbots.

You may find you have less trouble finding appropriate-length petite sized pants if they actually fit you properly around the waist and hips rather than slipping down, but in any case the hem length is the easiest thing to fix.
posted by padraigin at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2010

You might try the Fashion Bug Right Fit line--"by the numbers," their Right Fit "curvy" (blue) line in a 4P should be close (28" W, 39" H, 29" inseam), although the styles are fairly basic.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2010

I have a similarly small waist:hip ratio and I've found the only thing that works for me is very low-cut, hip-hugging jeans. And unfortunately the ones that fit me best are an expensive brand, David Kahn (found at Nordstrom). Focus on how they fit your waist and hips, then have the legs hemmed (better retailers, like Nordstrom, will do this for you).

If you haven't been wearing very low-cut jeans/pants before, you'll also need new panties (unless you want your panties showing). I found that the Victoria's Secret ultra low-rise hipsters work well with low-cut jeans.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:53 PM on December 6, 2010

nthing that you look for curvy fits and pants that have a higher rise. I have a similar waist to hip ratio, and when pants fit in the thighs I can usually stick a grapefruit into the waist at the back. Pants that I have found that fit are wide waistband Editor pants from Express and the Julie curvy fit from Ann Taylor Loft. The only really well fitting jeans I've found so far are a pair from Banana Republic, but the fabric isn't holding up to washing very well.
Other options that I haven't tried yet include the Honey fit from Joe's Jeans, various curvy fit pants and jeans from Ann Taylor (warning, xmas music), AG Angel jeans and cords, and Carhartt jeans (I don't know if the original which eliminates gapping at the back or the curvy fit would be more appropriate for you). I'm sure there are other options, but those are the ones that have worked best for me and/or look the most promising.
posted by Logic Sheep at 5:58 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I am very similarly shaped and totally understand your frustration. And actually, I just bought a great pair of jeans this weekend from Express -- their 'Eva' fit is a curvy fit (and it comes in a short length, which was good for me with low heels -- I'm 5 feet). I couldn't believe how well they fit. There was plenty of room (though not too much) for the entirety of my butt and the waist was snug but not uncomfortable, and not too low (most curvy women can't wear very low-cut jeans because frankly there's not enough fabric to cover the ass). Plus they weren't too baggy in the knee (I hate that). It's so hard for me to find pants that after I bought them I had a big goofy grin on my face. I must have looked crazy.

The Gap curvy ones are pretty good but the quality of the denim feels a little cheap and they tend to get really baggy after a short period of time. The Express ones might end up doing that too for all I know. God I hope not.

I've looked into a couple of the expensive brands like Little in the Middle (eek) and the hello!skinnyjeans (ditto) but haven't purchased. I would love to hear people's thoughts on those though, if anyone has tried. There's another line called PZI which are also designed for us curvier types. I think all of these brands come in petite lengths.

Another expensive curvier fit is the Joe's Jeans Honey, which I own but have discontinued use because they cut off circulation to my lady bits (if you want to get personal about it). Seriously, they weren't too tight anywhere else but there, and it's really not a pleasant way to spend the day. YMMV -- as in, maybe they won't be tight there. I figure it wouldn't be pleasant for you either, ha.

Anyway, good luck and let us know if you find something good!

On preview: for some short curvy people -- myself included -- hemming doesn't work great with jeans. Jeans that aren't specifically cut for short people often have very baggy knees for us. You might be able to get that fixed too but now we're talking a lot more money than just a hem. I think it's better to work a little harder to find a petite jean.
posted by imalaowai at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2010

Have you tried American Eagle petites? I always had trouble finding jeans that fit right, and then I read somewhere (here?) that theirs are cut to wear with sneakers and not high heels. I am 5'7 but I have a bizarrely long torso coupled with way disproportionate legs. I take a regular inseam from AE (which I could never do anywhere else), and they also offer a short size which might work well for you. Nominally it's 30", but I don't believe it as they say the regular is 32" and there's no way I have a 32" inseam. Maybe 29" or 30".

The rises are very low, but they fit at a sweet spot on my body so they don't ride up or down. I usually just wear a long tank top as a bottom layer and tuck it in to prevent skin exposure.

Their denim wears pretty well and is soft and comfortable. Best of all? They're super cheap, probably because the target demographic is teenagers. Normal prices are $30-$50, and you get often get them on sale for much less.

Here's a link to the women's denim page-- you can only buy short sizes online.

I am not in any way affiliated with AE, I just really like their jeans.
posted by charmcityblues at 6:24 PM on December 6, 2010

I've looked at mytruefit, and while its free, it recommends relatively obscure brands that you'll trouble trying on in person. On the other hand, zafu.com costs a small amount of money to use, but it covers brands you'll be able to find in person much more easily.

Also, I've tried taking jeans to tailors/alterations people before, and they've been hesistant to do anything to the waist area, saying that the thick denim is difficult to work with, so they'll have to charge an amount close to the price of the jeans for their work. Though maybe this isn't as much an issue with women's jeans than mens, since I think women's jeans use thinner fabric.
posted by Hither at 6:44 PM on December 6, 2010

My hip waist ratio is similar to yours. I recently found Levis Tilted 504 to fit pretty good. I paid $30 and last I checked amazon had them. They flare out a little at the hips and the waist is tapered in. I know you said belts aren't working but the kind you're using might make a difference. I have one belt that I wear with every single pair on pants I have. It is a thick, hefty leather belt. So I don't get any weird bunching that might happen with a thinner, flimsier belt. Also there is a woman at my job who doesn't like belts and she just takes her pants in at the waist on each side. I didn't even notice until she showed me.
posted by mokeydraws at 7:09 PM on December 6, 2010

I'm into denim (there, I said it) and I've also heard that taking jeans in at the waist is difficult and often gives unsatisfactory results, so honestly I'd rule that out .

What is easy is shortening the length - any competent tailor can do this in very short order.

But I would suggest just turning your jeans up a couple of times at the ankle - I buy my jeans extra-long for just this purpose cause I like the way it looks. If they taper strongly towards the ankle, I think they can also look pretty keen just stacking up the leg a bit.
posted by Ted Maul at 3:10 AM on December 7, 2010

I forgot to add that belts do nothing. My pants still fall down.

You're either using the wrong kind of belt, or not fastening it tightly enough around your waist.

Seriously, it's a matter of physics--if your hips are ten inches larger than your waist, nothing fastened tightly around your waist is going to fall down.

As for the "you can't take jeans in at the waist" business, I understand why tailors don't want to do it--it's time-consuming and they don't want to mess with it--but it's completely doable.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:35 PM on December 7, 2010

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