Make my jeans last longer!
April 27, 2005 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Like a lot of women, the top portion of my inner thighs rub together when I walk. (No, i do not normally discuss this in public.) As a result, the inner thighs of the pants I wear most often get worn out way faster than the rest of the garment. I'm tired of replacing pants so often, or of not being able to wear my favourites anymore. Are there any products/methods out there to prevent this wear from happening so quickly?

So many women have this problem - please tell me that capitalism or benevolent ingenuity has worked effectively to provide a solution to this. (My black linen pants depend on it.)

Oh, and don't tell me to lose weight; its/that's not the issue.
posted by Kololo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Lined pants will last longer even though the lining is on the inside. I am not sure how much it will help with this kind of wear, but I would guess it would be noticeable. Loose fitting pants might also last longer as the rubbing would not always be in the same location. One more thought, you might try applying Scotchguard. It should lubricate the threads to some degree to decrease friction and wearing of the fabric. I haven't tried this; I am just theorizing.
posted by caddis at 6:53 AM on April 27, 2005

I'll back up caddis' point about lining. I find that wearing boxers reduces this inner thigh pant wear. I'm not sure if you can even buy that style of women's underwear anymore though an previous girlfriend use to like wearing men's boxers.

A well done internal patch on a pair of jeans is practically unnoticeable. I find it easiest to apply if I catch it just as the material is thin enough to see thru but before an actual perforation is visible.
posted by Mitheral at 7:30 AM on April 27, 2005

I know a girl who scotchgards the crotch of her pants for this very reason. It makes sense in theory, but I have never tried it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:55 AM on April 27, 2005

I have two kinds of problems with inner thigh wear - seams that wear out and fabric that thins out. Wearing lined pants helps immensely with both. Patches also help. Don't wait until your pants wear out, apply them now. Inside patches will help with the seams breaking and be less noticeable. Outside patches have to be very carefully shaped to be unnoticeable but do a much better job of dealing with fabric thinning, in my experience.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:57 AM on April 27, 2005

I have a Y chromosome, but I used to have the same problem back in the days when I had to wear suits, and my wool pants would always wear out in the thighs. When I bought them, I'd ask for the crotch to be lined, and they put some sort of (presumably fake) silk in that area, and that reduces the friction, so the pilling and wearing happened much less quickly, saving me a lot of money.

I am not so much an expert on women's underwear, but for me, a pair of silk boxers had a very similar effect and would also help with keeping down on the trouser erosion.
posted by anapestic at 7:57 AM on April 27, 2005

Even when I was skinny as a toothpick I had this problem. I find that cottons and linens pill/thin less and just put up with more friction in general. These aren't always practical for work clothes, though, so I try to stick with blends or go with lined trousers and simple skirts at work. There are skirts out there that are *way* more comfortable than pants, anyway.
posted by whatnot at 8:01 AM on April 27, 2005

What are your solutions for the skin on skin chafing that occurs when you wear skirts? The main reason for wearing a skirt (IMHO) is to keep cooler, so adding an additional layer (like some kind of shorts) kinda defeats the purpose.
posted by MsVader at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2005

Stockings, or moisturizer and talcum powder. I have similar problems with pants wearing away, but I rarely have chafing problems with skirts.
posted by occhiblu at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2005

Skirtwise, spandex shorts and/or boxer briefs (not just for men anymore!) could solve the problem. Depending on your comfort standards and the fabrics involved, that may not work for pants.

If you can wear plus sizes, most purveyors of plus size underwear also carry longer, nylon and cotton versions of boxer briefs -- with and without the "shapewear" element. Sort of like a removable lining.
posted by gnomeloaf at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2005

Girdles (or their modern-day "bodyslimmer" equivalent) fix this problem, but they sure do suck. I don't mind the pressure on my thighs--it actually feels comfy there--but the tightness around my tummy drives me crazy.

The absolute worst thigh-rubbing is when I'm bellydancing in a skirt. When I shake my hips, my thighs sometimes slap against one another loudly. Ick! That's part of why dancing to loud music is important.
posted by equipoise at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2005

As a former Catholic school girl well-experienced with the skirt-boxers combo, I can say it doesn't actually make it that much hotter as long as both are loose.

I wear skirts almost exclusively, and now it takes two or three years for my jeans to wear out--it would take even longer if I didn't ride my bike in them. Though it seems like a "buy a Mac!" answer, wearing skirts seems to me so much easier. They don't wear out as fast. They weather weight fluctuations better (you can wear the waist high or low, depending). And you look better dressed with equal or less effort. (I'm upping my laziness quotient by getting into dresses now: only one piece to consider!)
posted by dame at 9:48 AM on April 27, 2005

3M stopped selling Scotchguard a few years ago because it contains bioaccumulative chemicals that may have toxic effects. Everyone in the country already has the stuff in their bloodstreams, but I guess they figure more isn't a good thing. There may be indications of reproductive harm, so you probably don't want to be spraying this stuff near your private parts, even if you do still have some on the pantry shelf.
posted by alms at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2005

Best answer: Scotchguard website (it is still for sale). I think it was re-formulated. In any event, I do not believe that it is absorbed through the skin and that the main concern was with inhalation and uses in food containers. If wearing clothing which is treated in this fashion makes you nervous, and it probably shouldn't, then you will want to read labels carefully as a lot of clothing gets treated during manufacturing with Scotchguard or equivalent chemicals. I still don't know whether it will work, but it should as it is similar to Teflon, a very slippery substance.
posted by caddis at 11:21 AM on April 27, 2005

I don't know about the pants, but for skirts these and these look interesting (though not cheap).
posted by mirileh at 11:57 AM on April 27, 2005

Best answer: I figured I'd let some answers pass before voicing my wacky thoughts.. I never had a problem with this (I also dress like a bum, and duct tape would do me fine), but I can understand the situation.

Reducing friction between your leg and the pant fabric is going to therby reduce the friction between the contacting fabrics, but it seems the most direct route would be to reduce the friction at the trouble spot.

Powdered graphite was my first thought - it's used in a variety of applications, from pinewood derby wheels to locks. It's greyish, and can produce a slightly shiny finish, so it would stand out on a lot of materials.

but.. I figured (I'm not an engineer) that there must be other solid/dry lubricants, and lo, there are.

Mentioned on that page is Molybdenum Disulfide which is available as an aerosol. But one more search shows that "PTFE" is the technical term for Teflon, which is also available as a aerosol - "chemically inert, non-oily, fast-drying... odorless, stainless coating that is more slippery than silicone, graphite or oil" Individual cans.

If you try it, a report in MetaTalk or the appropriate forum would be interesting.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2005

When I was much younger I wore a costume for a job that required a skirt, and also required working outside on some really hot days. Even though my thighs were not enormous or anything, I would still get prickly heat.

Good old mom to the rescue! She insisted that a thing called a "culotte slip" existed and a quick trip to JC Penny proved her right. (Some manufacturers call them pettipants.) They are just like regular slips but are split with a seam up each leg, so they can be worn under pants, culottes, or skirts. They come in the same varieties (lengths, colors) as regular slips, but it's worth trying them on to make sure you get one that fits (the crotch hits at the right place, to put it bluntly).

I quit that job an awfully long time ago, but I've kept one or two of these slips, particularly short ones to wear under short skirts. They do make going to the restroom a bit more complicated (they have to be pulled down instead of up with the skirt).

Here's one from Miles Kimball.
posted by whitearrow at 3:49 PM on April 27, 2005

OT - skin on skin chafing issues can be solved with lube, vaseline, second skin, talcum powder, tape, or patting the skin dry often. (sources: runner's world, personal experience)
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:36 AM on April 28, 2005

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