SWF seeks the right trousers.
February 10, 2011 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Trousers for curvy girls going down into "straight sizes". Please hope me cover my curvy butt!

My favorite pants for work are Lane Bryant ("blue" is the style/body type) ones that are rayon/nylon/lycra blend. They wear like iron, are super comfy, easy care, and do well for traveling. Thanks to some lifesytle changes though, my pair of Lane Bryant 14s are getting a bit loose. I can have them taken in, but if my body keeps changing like it has been, I am going to need a new place to buy pants very soon.

Where can I buy pants that will fit my body? I am heaviest in my butt/thighs & have big waist-to-hip ratio (shoutout to Mr. Mix-a-lot). Many stores seem to be cut for slim ladies and/or it's hard to find sizes above a 10 or 12. I think I need anywhere from a 12-18 misses (or maybe some line with 12-16w?) with the right cut. Where should I be looking? I lve in a major US city and I would love $50 or $60 pants but more is OK for the right ones!

It's just been in the last year I have been shopping in non-plus size stores and with my build, the trousers were the "last to go", so to speak, so buying pants in "regular stores" is something I have not done since the early 90's. I was a size 22-24 for a long time so this is a strange new world.

Bonus question: my favorite jeans which simply say "Levi's the Boyfriend Jean" are a size 16 misses. This style is gone from stores near me and I'd love to find a 14 or 14W. Any hope there?
posted by pointystick to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
New York and Company.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:44 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have a similar waist to hip ratio. I find the Gap "perfect" trouser in either boot cut or curvy accounts for that ratio pretty well. They list sizes up to 20, so it might be worth a look.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:48 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

I lost weight and went from Lane Bryant clothes to 'regular stores', and it is difficult! I agree on the Gap trousers. I have several pairs in different patterns of gray and black, and they wear very well and look very nice. I'm pleased with them. (But skip the Gap jeans- they tend to stretch out.)

Don't have your pants taken in! It's probably a waste of money. I tried this. My pants then fit my waist but looked super baggy on my butt. I don't think I wore the tailored ones more than twice before they were put on the donation pile.

Good luck! The 12-14 size range is somehow tougher than being plus size. Now I have endless amounts of shopping to find good jeans, rather than basically just the one store, and pretty yet sturdy lingerie in the middle sizes is really tough to find. I am glad that Lane Bryant carries smaller lingerie styles on their website, though. I can never get too small for their Balconette bra. I love it too much.
posted by aabbbiee at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you have an Express near you, they offer two different fits for their work-type pants. I believe they are called Editor and Correspondent, and Correspondent is the "curvy" type. Aside from the weird status implications in the naming, the pants have historically fit well and worn well. It's been a few years since I bought pants from them, and I hope they haven't deteriorated since then!

As for jeans, try American Eagle. I find their jeans comfortable, fairly durable, and well cut for similar proportions.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:02 AM on February 10, 2011

I came in to say "gap", so, nthing Gap's perfect trousers.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:29 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check out Talbots. I know they are a tad middle aged but their quality is great and the size range of their clothes is impressive. Yes, they are on the expensive side but their pants are awesome and durable. I love all of the jeans I own from them and am looking to get suiting from them as well.
posted by godshomemovies at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2011

I'm in your boat and I'm eagerly looking at all of these answers. I just wanted to add that, if your waist-to-hip ratio is anything like mine, no Gap pants will fit you. It sounds like you are kind of like me, since everything in Lane Bryant is too big for me, but I'm still about a size 14.

This site is kind of expensive but worth it, as far as jeans go. Only pants I ever owned that didn't gap at the waist.
posted by timory at 10:50 AM on February 10, 2011

P.S. I'm almost positive that Express stopped carrying anything above a size 12. They used to be my go-to.
posted by timory at 10:50 AM on February 10, 2011

Try pants with the "Julie" cut from Ann Taylor Loft. They go up to size 18 online (not sure about stores; I know I've seen size 16 in stores).
posted by mogget at 11:05 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

The "dreamer" cut jeans from Old Navy have extra room in the rear. (I can wear them a size smaller than their other styles)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:09 AM on February 10, 2011

Ooh, agreed on Ann Taylor Loft. The Julie cut is their curvy cut. But you have to buy online because I don't think they carry anything bigger than 12 in the stores. I have been pleased with Loft pants, but not their sweaters (they are made of tissue paper).
posted by aabbbiee at 11:23 AM on February 10, 2011

Ah! You're the elusive size 16, which is the same as a plus-size 12. This size is frustratingly difficult to find in brick-and-mortar stores to try on.

I don't think my waist/hip ratio is quite as extreme as yours, but I'll second that New York and Co size 16 and Gap size 14 will probably be in the right range. But trousers from the Gap might not leave enough room in the seat - I tend to have weird pulling at the crotch in most of their cuts. Express 12 will probably be too small for you.

It's a little more expensive, but check department stores for Jones New York. It's the only department store line I've found that consistently offers a size 16, and their career separates are a good quality.
posted by twoporedomain at 11:28 AM on February 10, 2011

I can't wear anything at the Gap. But my ass is pretty big and my waist is pretty small.
I have been loving DKNY Slim fit Jeans.
posted by Duffington at 11:43 AM on February 10, 2011

Keep in mind that if you buy pants that fit in the thighs, hips, and crotch, you can get the back waist-gap taken in at a tailor's. Find a tailor who does suits, not a drycleaner. Might run you $20 and the pants will fit SO WELL.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I came here to say Loft too. You can find size 14 in stores I think, but they stock fewer pairs so they sell out faster. I think I have tended to wear the Marisa cut, but you should try a few different styles, my experience is that Loft generally cuts for a curvier body type than other similar stores. I also like Express pants, but their fabric is very thin and (for that reason or others) I liked them better when I was wearing a 10.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:54 AM on February 10, 2011

I wear a lot of Eddie Bauer's Blakely fit in trousers and curvy jeans. And congratulations on your lifestyle changes!
posted by gingerbeer at 11:56 AM on February 10, 2011

I'm not normally a fan of Fashion Bug's clothes, but Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug merged awhile back, and Fashion Bug sells "Right Fit" Jeans in sizes 4 (Misses) all the way up to 30W (Plus). Tall, petite, and average all available. I'm not sure if they'd be the same quality as normal Lane Bryant jeans, since I feel like Fashion Bug's clothes usually aren't, but they are labeled the same, and are probably worth trying.
posted by terilou at 12:25 PM on February 10, 2011

Oops...my comment talks about Jeans only, but Fashion Bug has wear to work pants in Right Fit sizes as well.
posted by terilou at 12:27 PM on February 10, 2011

I have a generous behind (ahem!) relative to my waist and have been wearing a lot of pants from New York and Company as well. As I've lost weight, I've just bought the same pants in 18, 16, 14, and now 12. Same nice fit!

For jeans, I like Jag Jeans a lot, and the Lee "Slender Secret" ones are a bargain. I recommend buying the Lee jeans in whatever size fits very snugly, as they loosen up after about an hour of wear.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:22 PM on February 10, 2011

You sound about like me. Express pants are waaaay too tight in the hip for me and make my thighs look like pinstriped sausages. Also, I believe their size range now ends at 10-12? New York and Company is where I get most of my work-appropriate pants. I've gotten good jeans at Macy's, actually. They have a really inclusive range of sizes and cuts. My all-purpose casual Friday to Saturday night dark rinse jeans came from Macy's. I bought three pairs because pants that fit okay are hard to find. The price is very reasonable as well.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:26 PM on February 10, 2011

It might be a grind, but I'd suggest hitting the thrift store. Not only might you find something awesome, but you can also find a wide variety of brands and sizes, so you can try some of these suggestions on all in the same place, and hopefully find some brands and sizes that work for you.

My local Goodwill almost always has stuff from Gap, Express, Limited, and Banana Republic in my size. Some of them never worn. I don't know what tiny-waisted big-butted broad donated her stuff, but I'm eternally glad she did.
posted by themissy at 3:21 PM on February 10, 2011

We may have similar body shapes, I have a REALLY hard time finding pants that fit. In fact, I almost always wear skirts to work since I can never find work pants that fit me. For casual pants - I have for the past 7 years (and through 3 sizes) bought jeans from Lucky Jeans, the Sweet N Low fit my waist and hips perfectly. I think they go up to a 16 (they use waist sizes, but they're not realistic, my waist size is not nearly as small as the jeans say they are).

I also just bought a pair of work pants from The Limited - they were Lexie fit, which are meant for curvier figures. I had previously bought some pants from Express, but the fabric quality wasn't very good, something to beware of if the dreaded thigh rub is an issue for you (it is for me). The Gap curvy fit used to be perfect, but they changed their pattern and now it's meant for straight not curvy girls. I have not tried the trouser fit, but now I want to!
posted by echo0720 at 3:47 PM on February 10, 2011

Ann Taylor Loft's curvy cut (Julie?) is great
Also Old Navy "Perfect Bootcut"
posted by radioamy at 4:42 PM on February 10, 2011

Response by poster: These are all great suggestions. Thank you; I will be checking these out!
posted by pointystick at 4:39 AM on February 11, 2011

I've also had some luck with Dress Barn pants. Some are kind of dowdy, but I've found others that were great. The salespeople have almost always been helpful and haven't been annoyed when I've tried on 15 pants just to find one my bum fits in...
posted by BlooPen at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2011

GAP Curvy (ankle length) in the sizes coming down from 18 now down to 8 has worked for me.
posted by kch at 6:38 PM on February 12, 2011

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