All gone a bit pear-shaped
October 12, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

How does a pear-shaped person look good in men's trousers?

Note: I myself am not a man. I am a genderqueer female and have worn men's clothing for almost all of my adult life. That isn't going to change. I only intermittently pay attention to my appearance and whether I actually look good in clothes; part of this is because of the stress of buying and wearing men's garments and the fact that I haven't often been advised about clothes or even complimented on my appearance other than by people who were trying to get me to change the way I do my gender. Whatever. Water under the bridge.

I am making a renewed effort to look at least reasonably OK in clothes. However, my figure is very pear-shaped, with a very defined waist and then HIPS. Like, about 80% of my body fat is situated between my hipbones and my knees. I am aware that some of the clothing I own makes me look like a sack of potatoes.

I'm never sure about what to do to remedy this. Sometimes I have bought the square-legged type of trouser, which draw attention away from my arse but at the expense of making me appear to be a weird chimera formed by grafting a skinny person's torso onto the legs of an elephant.

At other times I have gone for the ones that taper more, but I'm worried that if you aren't terribly skinny these end up looking both kind of feminine and also sort of like a snake that has swallowed an elephant whole.

I've been thinking: presumably, given the range of body types, this is not a problem that is exclusive to female-bodied people. How do guys deal with it? All the fancy menswear blogs advise you to get things altered at a tailor, but I can't do this because the tailor is likely to start turning it all into the dreaded Girl Clothes. There must be other solutions, right?
posted by Acheman to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (39 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I would rethink the 'no tailor' notion. You're going to have a problem, mostly because men don't have hips (generally speaking) and therefore clothes are not made to suit hips. But you're in luck! You live in London, and not rural Kentucky. Surely there are some queer boards in your city where you can ask for a good genderqueer or queer-friendly tailor. Maybe a wonderful MeFite Londoner here even has a suggestion.

Second idea is to seek out women's pants in men's styles. There are plenty 'mens-wear' inspired women's pants. Maybe something a bit drapier?

Good luck!
posted by greta simone at 9:10 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

You need an amazing style consultant slash tailor who gets your whole gender deal. If you live in an urban area, maybe look into people coming out of local fashion design programs. Someone young. Maybe someone queer? Not sure how you'd narrow down specifically queer tailors, but that's what you want. A lot of cutting edge young garment folk play with gendered aesthetics and are going to see your needs as an interesting challenge and not a problem that needs to be whacked back down into the proper box.

Maybe you could test the waters by sending them photos of Janelle Monae? If they are good, they will be all "ROCK! She looks so cool! Let's go shopping for tweed and bowties!" If they are bad, you will know immediately without them directly insulting you.

That said, no idea how much all this will cost. Your neighborhood tailor is usually pretty affordable for things like hemming and changing buttons, but you're probably looking at more complicated garment reconstruction.
posted by Sara C. at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2012

Can you maybe explain what sort of silhouette you are going for? Do you want the trousers to appear to fit you as they would a well-proportioned man? Would you be willing to wear trousers that are marketed towards women, but the end effect on you, would be you look like a well proportioned man? As greta simone says, there are women's pants that are "menswear" styled but cut to accommodate hips. Men often carry most of their weight in bellies rather than hips.
posted by bluefly at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have purchased men's pants and I have found that you have to fit the pants to your thighs. Flat front works best and then have the waist slightly darted at the waist under the belt loops. It's hard to get accustomed to wearing pants with the waist on your hips, but I find that it is where you have to wear it. I wonder if you would find the slacks that have the hidden waist adjusters to fit better. Don't wear tapered legs. These pants I have found to be less gender specific looking but accommodates your body type better than a pair of men's slacks. It has a little give so if the thighs are a little tighter, it won't be uncomfortable, but you will look less frumpy. My aunt wears all men's clothing and she ends up wearing jeans mostly. It's hard when you want to look professional or go to a formal event in jeans. I hope my ideas help!
posted by Yellow at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2012

Response by poster: Second idea is to seek out women's pants in men's styles.

I want to be clear that this option is not acceptable to me. It makes me feel super stressed-out to wear women's trousers. Just the way I am.
posted by Acheman at 9:16 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Given the range of body types, there are very, very few men who are as pear shaped as you are. Women tend to be much more pear shaped than men on average, and being a very pear shaped woman, there are even fewer men out there with a body type anything like your own.

Women's clothing is cut for the range of women's body types. Some clothing lines are cut for a women with straighter figures (e.g. J. Crew), some are cut for women with curvier or more pear shaped figures (e.g. Joe's Honey jeans).

I don't know much about genderqueer issues so I am trying really hard to not be reductive about this, but the way you've defined the terms of this situation, you've pretty much set yourself up for failure. Women are often pear shaped, men are rarely pear shaped. You are pear shaped. Women's clothing and the tailoring styles that are typically associated with women's clothing are designed to fit and flatter pear shapes; men's are not. I'm not saying there isn't a middle ground, but it sounds like you're going to reject out of hand any tailoring that flatters your body shape because it will also be characteristic of women's clothing.
posted by telegraph at 9:24 AM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you, I don't want a lecture on my gender choices, just an answer to my original question.
posted by Acheman at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]

Okay, since women's trousers are out, try These. And maybe These. The elastic will make it easier to fit better up by the waist and it has a fuller leg. Land's End has a forever return with no questions asked policy so buy all four types of comfort waist and try them all on. Return the ones you don't like!
posted by Yellow at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2012

OK, well I'll just delete everything I wrote. Generally, you're going to need men's pants that aren't the normal proportions for men, and this is going to involve a tailor or specialty store. Men deal with it because they either get things tailored, don't care, or things look basically okay on them because men's clothing is a lot more forgiving for their body type. Men's clothing is designed for the male body -- generally straight-boned through the hips, with the variation being height and weight. They wear belts to keep things up, and let's be honest, there are plenty of men that don't look great in what they wear (too short, too tight around the belly but baggy elsewhere, too saggy but getting held up with that trusty belt) -- they just seem to have less variations in their problems. Whereas women tend to have a much larger variation in proportions and body type.

The biggest problem you have here, with female bone structure and proportions, is that men's pants are cut pretty straight up and down, and women's pants are cut to accommodate the wider hip area. What would probably look best on you, to achieve a non-feminine pants look, is a straight-legged pant with a wider hip area. You may be able to achieve this with judicious alterations to a men's pant -- and it might be worth it for you to learn how to tailor pants, as it will save a lot of money (unless that's not a concern). If you get something that fits around the hip/thigh area, the rest of it can be taken in to achieve a straight-legged look. You said you've gone with a more tapered leg -- this might work, as long as it doesn't taper too much. You want something that tapers until the knee, and is straight down after that kind of.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Personally, I think women with large hips look tremendously sexy in wide/square-legged men's trousers. A bit of what's hot about seeing someone in clothing is imagining them *not* in clothing. Not giving the game away is half the fun. I wouldn't worry too much about looking "like a sack of potatoes" - I know several genderqueer women who wear this type of trousers with button-up shirts and - again, personally - I think the look is very flattering. And actually, thinking about what I think looks good on men with a more pearish-shape (of course they exist!), I also prefer the same, so I think it's a genderneutral look, if anything.
posted by pammeke at 9:30 AM on October 12, 2012

Maybe also look at pants that sit lower on the waist/hips? I am a woman who wears women's clothes but I have a somewhat manly hip-to-waist ratio - this is admittedly the opposite style problem to yours. But basically if you fit to the hips instead of to the waist, you don't need to worry so much about the hip-to-waist ratio in general.
posted by mskyle at 9:33 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

There are some clothing companies that make men's suits specifically tailored for butch women. These guys are one that I've heard recommended before, and some of their suits are quite clearly masculine in style rather than tomboyish or Annie-Hall-type quirky-lady-with-a-necktie or whatever. But I don't know if that's more formal (or just more pricey) than you want.

My other thought is, there are quite a few online communities for FTM guys, and a lot of them discuss clothing pretty extensively. Now, a lot of that advice will be specifically aimed at guys worried about passing — and it sounds like that's not your primary concern, maybe not even something you're interested in at all. But still, that's the first place I'd look for advice if I were trying to make big hips and men's trousers look good together, just because these are gonna be guys who have given that question an awful lot of thought.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Actually, I should probably just ask rather than assuming. Could you say a bit more about what sort of gender presentation you're going for? I hope this isn't too personal a question, and feel free to ignore it if it is, but — would the ideal be "strangers often address me as sir"? Or "I look pretty much gender-neutral"? Or "I look very clearly like a butch woman"? Or "I look like a drag king"? Or, hell, "I look like Dianne Keaton in Annie Hall"?
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think the suggestion to wear men's pants very low on your hips might work. I'm shaped somewhat like you, and while I'm not genderqueer, I did want a pair of men's pants to wear once, just because I was on an aesthetic kick that involved men's pants and an undershirt and a hat. I found them at the Gap, and while they weren't meant to be hip-huggers on a man, I wore them that way and they looked pretty hot.
posted by millipede at 9:55 AM on October 12, 2012

Pear-shaped people usually look better in straight cut trousers than slim. I would stick to the generally straight cut trousers. If you are worried about looking better/more-put-together, maybe you could try proper trousers (instead of jeans - not sure what you're wearing now) -- my quite-hippy for a cis-male SO did very well with cheap polyester trousers from Marks & Spencers (10 pound/pair a few years ago) that still look nice enough for the office. Marks & Spencers is great for men's clothing, and it's much cheaper than their women's selection. Being somewhat hip & bottom-heavy and also fond of men's trousers, I buy them to fit nicely over my thighs and hips and use a belt to cinch in the waist.

In terms of flattering your figure: you may want to think about colour and what other items you are wearing as well. I'm bottom heavy, and so I always wear darker colours on the bottom than on the top. Also, you can use clothing that emphasizes/increases your shoulder-size to off-set your hips. Braces do this very well for cis-men, but they may emphasize your breasts more than you like. Square-shouldered jackets might also look nice. Waistcoats look very good on men and women; a light-coloured one paired with dark trousers may give the illusion of a bigger top and smaller bottom.

Also shoes: big, wide shoes can make a wide leg look narrower.
posted by jb at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

One possibility to explore is having trousers custom made to fit you, thereby avoiding the gendered clothing issue altogether. You could choose your own menswear fabric, tell them how you'd like them to look (low waist vs high waist, full leg vs more tapered leg) and get exactly what you want. I'm sure it would be a pricy option the first time around, but once they had your pattern and measurements down pat, it might be surprisingly affordable.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]

Another point for Marks and Spencers: no one blinks an eye when I shop in the men's section, and I usually present as feminine. There's something to be said for cheap and with very little service other than a checkout.
posted by jb at 10:08 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

It seems to me that the rocks you're steering between are (1) a nipped waist and/or hourglass shape if you go too tight or tailored, and (2) weird bagginess if the pants are too big or don't sit right on your hips.

I think you're probably going to do best with...
- straight-leg or wide-leg pants (avoid tapered pants like the plague! These accentuate the hourglass!),
- tailored so that the waist fits and the hem is correct (seriously, these are simple tasks and it would be very hard for a tailor to use these to make the pants look more girly),
- PLUS masculine shirts/vests/sweaters/jackets/etc. that cover or draw attention away from your waist and hips, creating a more straight up & down line.

In other words, don't give the waist-obscuring job to your pants; let your shirts do that part of the work. The problem with trying to mask your waist/hip area with your pants is that it's bound to make the crotch area look baggy, or leave weird extra fabric hanging below your butt, or do other bad things. Fit your pants to your waist -- whether that's your natural waist or a little lower -- and then wear shirts that mask your waist/hip area. For instance: button-down with waistcoat, suit jacket.

Definitely look at butch fashions for shopping help and ideas; even if you don't identify as a butch woman, you're dealing with issues that many butch women deal with. And check out bespoke suiting for genderqueers/women! I always drool over Duchess (here's an article from Duchess about bespoke suiting), and Saint Harridan looks great, too. Pants are so particular -- I always think it's better to have one expensive pair of pants that fits perfectly than to have twenty pants, none of which fit right. Good pants make you feel good; crap pants are the worst kind of uncomfortable.
posted by ourobouros at 10:21 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

All the fancy menswear blogs advise you to get things altered at a tailor, but I can't do this because the tailor is likely to start turning it all into the dreaded Girl Clothes.

I don't know if this is necessarily true -- you can tell the tailor that you don't want a feminine cut (especially one that mainly does men's suits). A tailor can take in the waist of the pants a little bit and hem the bottom, and if you wear the pants below your natural waist that can take care of the bigger hips while still making you look proportional.

Also, men with athletic builds often have a similar problem. They have smaller waists while having bigger thighs. Bonobos are supposed to be good for this body type. Diesel makes a fit of men's jeans called Carrot which is exactly what you would suppose it to be -- a little looser on top, but not extremely skinny on the bottom. There are also pants for men with hidden elastic waists like Yellow linked to which could work.

I hope you find some pants that work, OP!
posted by bluefly at 10:24 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree that you shouldn't worry about the tailor making your suit too femme. As a matter of fact, I once went to a cheapo tailor to get a suit, wanting something flattering that I could wear to interviews, and when I carelessly requested "a suit in a man's cut, but fitted to me," I got literally that- it wasn't nipped at the waist, the sleeves were wide, the pants were straight and loose in the leg- it was a straight-up men's suit, just roomier in the chest and hips. I had to ask them to alter it, because that wasn't what I wanted, but it sounds like precisely what you're looking for.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:18 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't know about the state of thrift stores or secondhand shops where you live, but you could try buying mens' trousers that fit your hips, and then either taken those to be fitted (here we often have laundries that will do basic alterations) or learn to take in the waist yourself. I agree that trousers that fit lower on the hips will help as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2012

Response by poster: Could you say a bit more about what sort of gender presentation you're going for? I hope this isn't too personal a question

It's OK, it's not really too personal, it's just a bit difficult for me to answer. Strangers have addressed me as 'sir' for, like, ever now, although I think of myself as more gender-neutral. I'm pretty clearly not very butch, except in the dandyish soft-as-kittens kind of a way. In shops I am uncomfortable and anxious in both male and female changing rooms but am pretty much able to enter both with impunity, although in the male ones I am careful not to speak and in the female ones I am careful to speak as soon as possible, before the assistant has a chance to size me up. Appearancewise I suppose I'm shooting for somewhere between masculine and androgynous? I used to stomp around in big shoes and colourless shapeless clothing but as I have got more confident and comfortable around the fact that more often than not I pass for male, I have started to dress more sharply and imaginatively.

I do have an awesome pair of trousers from Zara Men. They're grey but there's a stripe of fabric a shade darker just below the waistband. In fact, what prompted this question was that I was thinking that they were clearly constructed to minimise the wearer's hips/behind, so clearly this is not an issue unknown to the male half of the population.

Thanks to the people who are taking me at my word and answering accordingly. This question has been a bit more upsetting than I had hoped it would be, but I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't let people make me feel miserable and embarrassed about the way I am. I don't always succeed at this, but I do my damnedest.
posted by Acheman at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you already have a pair of pants that meet your needs, I would suggest either having a seamstress create copies in different fabrics, or bringing them to a tailor as a model of how you would like your other pants altered.
posted by telegraph at 11:26 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Oh hey, that Butch Clothing Company that nebulawind linked to is actually based in London. You should totally check it out! No way they'd judge your chosen presentation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest that you employ a seamstress/seamster/tailor for custom garments or take up sewing yourself.

You want someone who can make his/her own patterns. Now you don't have Men's clothes or Women's clothes, you have Acheman clothes.

Lots of Drag Queens are good with needles or know people who are, and if you know any, you might want to ask around for referrals.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:03 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Butch Clothing Company looks good, but spendy. 900 pounds??? Yikes.

Worth it though, their things are gorgeous.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:07 PM on October 12, 2012

As a pear-shaped person I can tell you that you DEFINITELY do not want pants that taper at the bottom!

You want men's trousers, you just need ones that follow the same rules a woman wanting to minimize her hips in women's clothing would follow. Those are: wide legs, darker hues, minimal details attracting the eye to the hip area.

That means flat-front, straight-leg men's pants that fit generously, so they lie flat across your hips without bunching up at all (you may need to go up in sizing), and probably a medium "break". Men are usually instructed not to go for more than that, as it looks "sloppy" in business, but more drape can be flattering for a pear-shaped body. However, it can make shorter figures look too squarish. Good rule of thumb: if you are taller than average, go for more break.

Then you'll have to decide whether you are okay with either an adjustable waistband and/or a belt scrunching everything up for your waistline (the cheaper option) or paying for alterations (more expensive, but might be worth it). I don't have any tailored clothes myself, as I dress casually and stay at home most often, but I can definitely see the advantages to bespoke clothes (one of which is confidence in the body image you are projecting).

Dockers get a bad rap, but they are insanely popular as well because they are so versatile--they're cut generously and have everything from flat-front to adjustable waistband, pleated styles.

If you want to wear mean's jeans as well, you'll want to opt for the darker wash, bootcut styles.
posted by misha at 2:33 PM on October 12, 2012

Response by poster: I'm pretty good with a needle myself (told you I wasn't butch really). In a pinch I could probably put together a decentish pair of trousers, but I wouldn't know where to start with the cut. Maybe I need to dig out some advanced tailoring books that go into how to deal with difficult body types, hmm.

I definitely don't have £900 to spend on a suit at the moment! Most of my clothes come from Topman or Primark or are cast-offs from my dad, bless him.
posted by Acheman at 2:37 PM on October 12, 2012

Primark and Topman are tough because they're selection for men runs heavy on the "skinny" trousers and jeans.

Some styles that might work for you:

The only two flat-front options I found on Topman.

Ballin Flat Front trousers with split waistbands (so they are easier to alter) Not cheap at $190, but then again not 900 pounds!
posted by misha at 2:58 PM on October 12, 2012

I haven't successfully answered this question for myself, as I like masculine clothes and have the triple-whammy of being very short, fat, and wide downstairs, but the fashion blog Qwear might have some good tips.
posted by whitneyarner at 4:47 PM on October 12, 2012

I can empathize with all of your challenges. My solution has been Uniqlo boyfriend cut chinos (women's). They also have a men's version that looks exactly the same. Uniqlo usually has unisex change rooms and staff who really don't care what you are trying on. Personally I have overcome the challenges you're facing by always taking a friend or partner with me & I have had to accept that due to the structure of my bones, I simply have to wear women's pants 90%of the time to look good. This has of course meant that I have spent hours trawling through shops to find masculine styles within the women's range. When I find a good item, I tend to then buy it in bulk. I hope you have got some useful advice from asking your question here. Best wishes.
posted by MT at 9:59 PM on October 12, 2012

Just a thought from a fellow pear shape: if you need to accommodate a more slender waist but don't want either a tailored waist or bunched fabric under a belt, you might consider suspenders. You can size your pant roomy around the hip and thigh without fear your pants will either fall down or blouse at the waist. I've known butch hourglasses who looked terrific and dapper as hell in a suit cut roomy with suspenders.
posted by gingerest at 11:05 PM on October 12, 2012

Response by poster: My approach so far has been to wear trousers from the hip rather than from the waist - have I been doing it wrong? I think men's trousers worn from the waist are very hard to pull off without looking old-mannish, and having trousers up to the waist really seems to reinforce the effect whereby my bottom resembles a Christmas pudding tied in cloth and ready to boil. 'Younger' brands, besides suiting my personal style more and having jackets in my size, do tend to go for a lower rise which seems to help. Am I on the wrong course here?
posted by Acheman at 2:34 AM on October 13, 2012

Just FYI I don't think people in this thread are intentionally trying to tell you to dress like a girl; they are giving you advice based on their shopping experience, without realising that this doesn't actually lend itself to answering your question.

Okay, so first of all you are not the first XX person who only shops XY clothing, so many helpful people have contemplated this before you. There is a lack of Butch Clothing Company-alikes, and off-the-rack is really hard. The previously mentioned Qwear has an interview with Janelle Hutchinson, who notes: I never buy women’s clothes; they have never fit my body type nor do I feel comfortable in any of their design/cut style. I buy men’s and usually expect to tailor them. She is awesome and looks awesome, but she's not exactly round-bottomed.

DapperQ takes questions and does videos on things like bras for butches and men's shirts for women; if their archives don't ante up you should mail in your question! Autostraddle has this epic jeans buying guide. (I know you are not asking about jeans but the basic advice in there may help.) Marimacho also takes questions and rocks this look (and if you ever need swim trunks...)

The key things are that the pants have to fit across the hips/abdomen, and that they have to fit in the rise so you don't get saggy crotch. This may mean taking up the length enough but leaving a good men's break; personally I think a traditional full break reads as most masculine. After that a leather belt can take you anywhere. Suspenders also fab.

If this all sounds overwhelming, it's basically: buy men's pants that fit in arse and crotch. Have hemmed with a full break. If slightly big at waist, rock loose men's leather belt. If really big at waist, have an inch or two removed from arse of pants and waistband. None of that is really tailoring, and none of that involves darts or other girl stuff that would allow the tailor to kidnap you into the Girl Cabal.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:12 AM on October 13, 2012 [6 favorites]

Last time I was at a tailor with my husband, I made a half-joke about getting a men's tuxedo and suit fitted for myself, and the tailor said without blinking "That isn't a problem. Make an appointment." I don't know that you need to worry TOO much about their making it into women's clothing. I'm more of a "Chinese drinking gourd," but if they say they could do it, I assume they could do it.

And yeah, I do think that wearing trousers at the hips can emphasize the broadness of the hips...hmm...

Good luck!
posted by wintersweet at 5:12 PM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

As a cis-male I don't have too much to add except that if you've found a pant that you like and that works from Zara, GET MORE OF THEM! I know it sounds obvious, but I screw this up all the time, thinking somehow I have to only get one of an item I like, when instead I should seize those rare times that clothing suits me and stock up.mthis is more acute for men as our off-the-rack options in a given season are generally less varied than for those who wear women's clothing.

Also, thanks for being brave in presenting yourself honestly, online and off. It makes things better for all of us.
posted by anildash at 7:27 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you asking where can you inexpensively get tailored menswear for a more typically female
body type? It's going to take a lot of time searching for individual retail and resale/vintage and a modest cash outlay for a bit of tailoring, or just a fair amount of money.

I think folks have listed most of the options... Duchess, St. Harridan's, and so on. I'm a pear-type trans guy, and have had zero problems with sales staff at better off-the-rack - Nordstrom's, Saks 5th Avenue, Barney's in the US; M+S and some other London & Glasgow retailers in the UK. Custom tailors, both in person and online have all been very professional, even just for shortening shirt sleeves. Budget custom tailors from East Asia are also an option. Many older East Indian guys are pearish in shape.

My service experience at chain fashion retail has not been as pleasant as at higher-end shops. Depending on your age, and the look you are creating, YMMV.

Only you know how best to adorn your presentation - do you want to read as queer, or blend in as a slightly unusual guy... Where and why? My look ranges from conventional men's businesswear (though with slightly brighter accessories), to quite outrageously metrosexual, with stops for kilts, depending on the situation.

Develop a good business relationship with a tailor. As long as the chest and skirt length of men's jackets, and rise of men's pants are correct on you, they can affordably fix almost everything else.

Fashion favors the bold!
posted by Dreidl at 9:30 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a man with a 31 in waist, 44 in hip, and 24 in thighs, what I do is buy pants that fit at the thigh and hip and then have them taken in at the waist. Usually this requires pleated-front pants in order to balloon out enough from the waist to accomodate my thighs. It helps to buy pants with a long rise (i.e., worn high on the waist) and hold them up with suspenders instead of a belt. It may be worth noting that I wear almost exclusively slacks and shirts, so I don't know how well this works for, e.g., jeans or cargo pants.

Also, bizarrely enough, I've found that my EMT pants fit really well. I think it's because they come with twelve pockets, so the legs are cut extra generously to accomodate the expansion of those pockets. But if you're okay with a very weekend-warrior kind of look, check out Propper's EMT pants.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:57 PM on October 13, 2012

How tall are you? Taller people can manage a whole variety of silhouettes that would be off limits to anybody else, wide hips or no.

It might be interesting to check out the LN-CC webstore. The clothes are prohibitively expensive, but their photos are a great source of interesting styling with a focus on adventurous silhouettes. Here's their selection of men's pants.
posted by quosimosaur at 11:55 PM on October 15, 2012

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