Where do all the short guys shop for pants online?
January 30, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Are you a guy who wears a 30-inch inseam in jeans, etc.? Share all your fashion secrets with me - specifically about clothes for the bottom half of your body.

More specifically: After a year of searching, I've yet to find a good go-to men's clothing designer/brand/retailer that offers a variety of pants with a 30-inch inseam, and many web sites don't list the inseam length under the sizing options (just waist, shirt or suit sizes). If we're going to have to tailor them for length, we'd like to spend less than $100/pair since another $25-30 is probably going to be spent making them fit correctly. Either way, I'd just like to know what we're looking at before we buy things.

So, what clothing designers/retailers create clothes for your bottom half that don't need to be tailored? And which ones are worth spending extra money on to get tailored for length that can be purchased online?

Suggestions for brick-and-mortar stores in the D/FW area would be great, too. We've already tried on virtually everything that's sold at Macy's, Nordstrom, Express Men and Kohl's; Gap and Levi's are okay, but they have inconsistent fit/sizing even amongst the same "fit styles," if that makes sense (and we're looking for options other than a basic pair of jeans). Thanks!
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I actually just got a pair of jeans at makeyourownjeans.com via a tip from AskMe and I'm pleased with the fit. I have some sort of weird proportions so finding jeans that are both comfortable and not-ugly is damned tricky for me and I'm happy to drop the $70 (which includes shipping) to get a pair that are perfect. (Next up is a bigger order with a couple different styles/washes and some of their linen pants for summer, now that I know that my measurements are good.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:31 AM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Eddie Bauer has an outlet in Hillsboro, I believe.
I have a 30" inseam (which sometimes looks odd on a 250+ lb guy in the just-shy-of-6-foot height range). Their jeans come in a variety of styles and have done me well over the last decade or so.
They went through a stage where a stitch point on a few of their belt loops would fail, but that seems to be fixed.
If they looked like buffoon-wear, my wife would not allow me to wear them. So there's that.
posted by Seamus at 11:34 AM on January 30, 2012

I am 6-foot with a 30-inch inseam and 38-inch waist, and I feel your pain.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:42 AM on January 30, 2012

I will put my vote in for denim/pants that DO cost $100-200/pair, and that will generally come in a '34" inseam' i.e. made-for-hemming. You can find these brands on sale for <>
Furthermore, a good original hem-preserving tailor's work should only be $10-15. I pay that in SF. If it matters, I'm about 5'10", 160lb, wear a 30-31 waist, and just have short legs. :)
posted by kcm at 11:42 AM on January 30, 2012

I am a short, fat man with no sense of fashion or aesthetics, so I wear these and hold them up with suspenders. Go ahead, tell me how awful I am.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:42 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not a guy, but I wear 30-inch inseam men's trousers. I generally buy online, and have gotten pants from Banana Republic, the Gap, zappos, LL Bean, and...at least one other place I'm not thinking of at the moment, and they all list both waist and inseam.

The problem for me comes in trying to figure out what difference is between straight cut vs slim vs skinny vs relaxed vs etc., because every brand seems to have a slightly different definition of what all those things mean.
posted by rtha at 11:43 AM on January 30, 2012

Not sure where you got the $25-$30 price for hemming a pair of pants (forgive me if you've gone down this route and it's an established price) but I get my clothes altered often and usually pay more like $5-$15 to hem a pair depending on fabric and lining. I wouldn't let the price you quoted above be your only deterrent to easily accessible pants, because I bet hemming will actually cost much less than you projected.
posted by Katine at 11:43 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm 5'7", 148lbs, wearing 31 waist and 30 inseam. Uniqlo, The Gap, and Calvin Klein have all been good to me. Calvin Klein suits fit especially well on me.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:56 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

If we're going to have to tailor them for length, we'd like to spend less than $100/pair since another $25-30 is probably going to be spent making them fit correctly.

Hemming generally costs only $10-15, anyway.

Really, I would just accept that you will have to have your pants and jeans hemmed rather than limit your options to whichever clothes designers offer options with a 30" inseam. Having your pants hemmed is the most standard, most common alteration, and it can we done well by just about every corner dry cleaner.
posted by deanc at 12:06 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

You may consider Lands End clothes hopelessly dowdy, but they have very fine-grained inseam sizing, down to the quarter-inch (which leaves me scratching my head ... how does one know one is 30.25 inch inseam versus 30.5?) and their clothes are good quality.

I like their "Legacy Chinos."
posted by jayder at 12:18 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Really, I would just accept that you will have to have your pants and jeans hemmed rather than limit your options

Seconding this. I know someone with a 27" inseam, he gets everything hemmed (including pajama pants, once). He pays around $12 a pair, I think.
posted by cabingirl at 12:20 PM on January 30, 2012

Is there a Uniqlo in your area? They do free tailoring, not to mention their Japanese denim is good and cheap.
posted by cazoo at 12:20 PM on January 30, 2012

Have you tried The Jockey Club? I don't know how their online business is, but their brick and mortar business has been long established.

FWIW, my father used to own a small regional chain of short men's clothing stores, so I know something about this market from helping him over summer breaks and such. He's since retired, so I can speak about this without having any dog in this race.

If you are a shorter man (which is generally considered to be 5' 8" and under), what you really want are pants that not only have a shorter inseam, but also have a shorter rise. This is why just having regular pants shortened isn't the best solution. A shorter inseam on regular rise pants are going to look odd on a shorter person -- less odd if you are 5'8", but the shorter you actually are, the more important it is to find actual short rise pants for a proper fit.

I would try searching for "short rise pants" and combing through those results until you find what you want. Best of luck!
posted by mosk at 12:42 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've had a few pants altered for $7-$12, but the one time I had jeans done they looked horrible. Not there is a way to replicate the "worn in" look after alterations.

My dream, however, is that someday I will have the connections and capitol to fix this problem once and for all, by opening my offsize clothing store. I will call it "37-29".
posted by Big_B at 12:55 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding mosk. A 30" inseam doesn't mean you are short; I have a 30" inseam and I'm 6'1''. I can just get pants hemmed. (I have kind of a long torso, though, so shirts are sometimes a problem for me.)

If you are short, though, the issue is going to be the rise. Just having your pants hemmed will still result in them looking odd.
posted by spaltavian at 1:02 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I may be the lone dissenter here... I wear a 30" inseam (I'm around 5'10"), and have never had a problem finding 30" length pants. LL Bean, Old Navy, any department store brand, suits and pants from Men's Wearhouse \ Joseph A. Banks, etc. For jeans - I go with Levi's from almost any retailer, or Old Navy.

Is it a width to length ratio issue you're running into rather than just the length?
posted by machinecraig at 1:28 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Docker D3s have been my go-to pants since I admitted to myself that I am a 30" inseam and not a 32".
posted by Sternmeyer at 1:47 PM on January 30, 2012

I may be the lone dissenter here... I wear a 30" inseam (I'm around 5'10"), and have never had a problem finding 30" length pants.

Neither have I, actually. 32" seems a little more common, but 30" has never been hard for me to find. I guess the OP's experiences differ.
posted by spaltavian at 1:55 PM on January 30, 2012

I like Lucky jeans, though I have had to get them hemmed. I look more at how pants fit at the hips/waist/crotch, knowing that I may have to cut them down.
posted by jander03 at 2:16 PM on January 30, 2012

Indochino is a crazy-well-priced website for fully-bespoke suits, shirts, pants and blazers. I buy all my suits, shirts and dress pants there. It's all custom-made based on your exact measurements and will cost the same as buying at the store. There is really no comparison after you've worn clothes made exactly for your body.

The measurements for Indochino aren't just inseam and waist: it's inseam, waist, knees, thighs, crotch, rise, and body shape (and that's just for the pants).

There is no tailoring required, so you can write out that expense. If for some reason the clothes don't measure up when you get them, they credit you back up to $75 in tailoring fees. I can't recommend them highly enough.
posted by firstcity_thirdcoast at 2:39 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thirding mosk that if you are under 5'7", you will not be happy if you simply get your pants hemmed.

You want to look for a fit that's described as "low rise" or "sits below the waist". I have had the most luck with J. Crew for khakis and such for my boyfriend (the urban slim fit) and Lucky Jeans (heritage slim or original boot fit) for jeans. We've had the same experience as you with the Gap - the fit is simply inconsistent from style to style, or even pair to pair.

Nordstrom's also lists the rise in inches on their website for pants styles. As a general rule, you'll find lower rises on pants targeted to younger men, and you'll probably want something that's no larger than 10", (again, assuming you're shorter overall, and not just short-legged). I'm not sure what other websites would have that level of detail in the product descriptions, but that's the measurement that will tell you whether you'll be happy with your pants once they're hemmed.
posted by psycheslamp at 3:44 PM on January 30, 2012

Response by poster: To all the ppl asking about hemming prices, I was factoring in shipping cost for online buys and additional tailoring beyond length as needed (rise, etc. as mentioned by others); skinny legs are a factor, too.

Good call on the outlet markets at Hillsboro, though! That's definitely a trip we'd make; don't know why I didn't think of that before.

All the tips about low rise and low-waist pant styles are great; any ideas for non-jeans/non-denim fabrics? Specifically: Wool, gabardine, ciotton/poly blends, even cashmere? Alas, Uniqlo is not an option; we did look at the stores in Tokyo while there, and checked the new H&M stores here, but quickly tired of being shoved around and found the quality to be kinda crappy for what you get.

H&M also seems to fall into the "everything is a 34/35 inseam" default category as well.

thanks so far for all the great answers, and I'll keep an eye on this tonight...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:57 PM on January 30, 2012

machinecraig: "I may be the lone dissenter here... I wear a 30" inseam (I'm around 5'10"), and have never had a problem finding 30" length pants. LL Bean, Old Navy, any department store brand, suits and pants from Men's Wearhouse \ Joseph A. Banks, etc. For jeans - I go with Levi's from almost any retailer, or Old Navy."
Well, last time I was in the US the problem was never finding something that said it had a 30 leg on the label. Everything was, however, about half a foot longer in practice. That goes double for Old Navy, whose tape measures apparently come from the same cheap-ass outlets as their jeans.
posted by genghis at 7:09 PM on January 30, 2012

31" waist, 30" inseam here -- All of my jeans are Banana Republic bootcut or American Eagle low rise bootcut. My "dress" pants are Banana Republic Dawson (technically, they're just chinos). BR seems to get a bad rap around MeFi for its quality, but I usually shop at the outlet and I guess I'm easy on my clothes, so my BR stuff is inexpensive and lasts forever. Of course, having pants from mostly one store brings up the point that I can't actually vouch for the accuracy of their 30" inseam; all I can say is that it fits me well. :/
posted by puritycontrol at 7:15 PM on January 30, 2012

In the last year I've bought my husband a few pairs of 30x30 pants at J. Crew. They look great and fit him perfectly off the rack. A lot of their men's pants are a bit too close-fitting preference-wise, but the non-slim-fit pants are generally good. We've found J. Crew to be quite consistent in sizing across different styles in both men's and women's clothing - far moreso than Banana Republic, anyway.

We also have had great luck at TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls finding nice khaki-style pants and denim in his size.
posted by gatorae at 7:53 PM on January 30, 2012

2nding Land's End. I've ordered almost all of my office clothes from them and, as mentioned above you can specify to the 1/4 friggin inch.
posted by fieldtrip at 8:47 PM on January 30, 2012

Sadly, I'm in the 38x30 range, and I've got giant (muscles, really, it's my ass that's fat) thighs. I'm stuck with looser jeans. The ones I've found that I love are Levi's 559 (relaxed, straight leg), Dockers as Sternmayer said, D3 (jeans cut khakis, awesome pants), and Eddie Bauer relaxed fit jeans.

Actual dress pants are a pain in the ass though, and I sympathize. The only nice pants I've it that I like were the ones that came with bespoke suits.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:37 AM on January 31, 2012

Although a bit of a "teen" store, my 29 year old husband has had success with the jeans at Pacific Sunwear. They seem to wear well enough and are fairly inexpensive. They always seem to have his size, a 34x30 in store.
posted by PrettyKnitty at 6:34 AM on January 31, 2012

Which Gap and Levi's styles fit you well? You and I could share the same inseam, but that's only part of the story.

Personally, I find that the Calvin Klein relaxed straight leg jeans fit me perfectly, since apparently all of my muscles are in my legs, what with me being Kickpuncher and all.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:46 AM on January 31, 2012

Oh, also, Men's Wearhouse is a perfectly good place for this sort of thing, and they do hemming onsite. Not too expensive, either.

(Also, for SUPER casual stuff in the summer, I found a long time ago that I liked making my own Huck Finn pants out of too-long corduroys, but you might be more averse to looking like an idiot than I am.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:49 AM on January 31, 2012

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