Really big thighs
May 21, 2012 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: I have a 31 in inseam, 31 inch waist, 41 inch hips, and 24 in thighs (all circumferences). At what brick-and-mortar stores in Chicago can I buy nondescript men's slacks? In the past (fashionistas avert your eyes) I've mostly bought pleated pants several sizes too large and just belted them in. If possible I'd like to avoid that this time around.
posted by newtux to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like your friend needs to go made-to-measure, which means the pants' pattern will be altered to fit his body. This is cheaper than bespoke, where a pattern is drawn up just for the customer, but still more expensive than off-the-rack, which seems to be giving your friend a problem.

Brooks Brothers doest MTM, but they can be expensive. They're the only brick-and-mortar place I know of that'll do this.

There are plenty of places online that'll make MTM pants, though, Modern Tailor being one of the better places. They aren't as expensive as Brooks Brothers, either. The only downside to doing this online is that you have to measure yourself absolutely correctly, since they'll be made to these measurements. If you're a bit off in the measurements it might take a couple pairs of pants to dial in the correct fit. But MTM is definitely the way to go in cases like these. Lots of good advice about this kind of stuff on StyleForum and Ask Andy About Clothes.

Also this is a good reference on how pants should fit.
posted by skilar at 10:37 AM on May 21, 2012

I agree that made-to-measure is most likely the way to go, and depending on where you get it done it won't have to be all that more expensive than buying pants in a regular store. Any suit store will be able to tailor a pair of pants to fit you well. I would shop around at various locations to get a feel for the price, and don't be afraid to outright tell the staff that you don't want to spend an arm and leg on your wardrobe. I have many pairs of tailored slacks that are about the same (or less) as to what I would pay in a upscale department store.
posted by Nightman at 10:52 AM on May 21, 2012

I have no idea what is the usual distribution of men's clothing sizes. What is the range served by off-the-rack clothing and how abnormal are these measurements?
posted by d. z. wang at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2012

@d. z. wang: The inseam and waist are very normal. The smallest waist measurement offered by most brands is 28 and goes up into the 40s. Inseam usually is no shorter than 30 and is usually offered in 2" increments up to 34".

So it's the thighs that are a bit big here. I consider my thighs large and they're 21" around. My waist measures about the same as the OP's friend. Many times I find that pants that fit my waist are skin-tight in the thighs, so I can only imagine what it'd be like if my thighs were three inches bigger. Then again, I favor slim pants.

If the friend isn't against taking pants to a tailor, he can always try to find pants in with a fuller cut that fit in the waist and have them tapered. I'd be interested in seeing a photo of the way his pants fit to offer better advice. How tight in the thighs are pants that fit his waist? Can't even put them on? Skin tight, but can put them on? Or just a bit tighter than he'd like? The link I posted to Put This On is an excellent guide to how pants should fit.
posted by skilar at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2012

M2M can be expensive. Before you resort to that, why not take your oversized pants to the tailor and have them taken in?
posted by wutangclan at 12:32 PM on May 21, 2012

Before you resort to that, why not take your oversized pants to the tailor and have them taken in?

Bing bing bing.

The trick is buying stuff that isn't short in any dimension and then altering it to fit the dimensions that are far too long/wide. So, take those pants you're belting in to a tailor and have them cut the waist in.
posted by eriko at 8:05 PM on May 21, 2012

skilar, I'm the friend. I had a pair of pants that were skin-tight around the thighs once, and the waistband was a bit loose. Not so much that the pants would have fallen down, just enough that I would have had plumber's crack without a belt.

Unfortunately, I can't show you any photographs of myself in pants that fit my waist because I don't currently own any. I can photograph myself in cycling shorts, which might give you an idea of the shape of my legs. Would that help?

By the way, I've scheduled an appointment with a personal stylist at Nordstrom. We'll see what he has to say.
posted by d. z. wang at 12:06 AM on May 22, 2012

Not sure that seeing you in cycling shorts would help. Giving this kind of advice can be really difficult to do over the internet, so it's good that you're seeing someone at Nordstrom. I hope you're able to find something that fits.
posted by skilar at 10:46 AM on May 23, 2012

Apparently the two magic features are pleats and darts. If I start with pleated pants that are three inches too large at the waist, I'll have enough room around the thighs, and the tailor can install two darts to bring the waist back in. Thanks!
posted by d. z. wang at 2:55 AM on May 24, 2012

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