Pants! (Both kinds)
October 5, 2014 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Fellow fat ladies of MeFi, where do you buy your work trousers and your comfortable, breathable underwear?

While there are so many things to hate about Lane Bryant, their black trousers (first the Lafayettes, then the red triangle ones) used to fit me perfectly and lasted forever. Now they've made the move to ponte/cotton, which is a piling, chub-rubbing nightmare for me. So: where can I find business casual trousers in black or dark grey, and that poly-rayon-spandex mix that is wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, and nearly indestructable? I'm a pretty perfect 18 in Lane Bryant's sizing, so a similar cut would help, too. Ideally not more than $100, though the $60-$75 range would be better.

And while we're at it, I'm looking for soft, breathable, natural fiber underwear in a basic high-leg brief. The LB ones are a little too granny cut for me. Soma brand undies were recommended here and I love the feel, but have found them flimsy. Anything similar but sturdier out there?

I'm in the U.S. and am happy to order online; I'm not close to any high-end malls. (Also: I'm not looking for recommendations for dresses/skirts at this time, thanks).
posted by TwoStride to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've heard good things about Marks & Spencer's underwear. Haven't tried them myself, but they're on my to-try list.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:54 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

My go to online clothing stores are and and I've recently starting ordering from Ulla Popken. I don't recommend the cotton underwear from Making it big--the elastic doesn't last long at all. I like Junionia for underwear. MIB's pants tend to work better for pear-shaped gals (hippy with a waist) rather than apples like me. Juno actually makes specific pants for apples and pears. Ulla Popken's stuff tends to be just scaled up normal clothes and so their pants work better for an apple as well. I like their stretch-knit drawstring pants. The material is thinner and looks somewhat dressy. At Juno I like their center seam super jersey pant the weight is good and they are breathable and comfortable.
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2014

Best answer: It's microfiber and so may fail your criteria, but I wear nothing but Hanes Body Creations Microfiber, Hi-Cut. They're seamless, and if you can find them in a store (I make a once-yearly trip to WalMart and buy every package they have out in my size, but I haven't looked in like Kohls/Macys/Pennys/etc) you can pick from the colors available in the 3packs. I tend to get the black/peach solid/print mix every time I order from Amazon, but that might be coincidence. I don't actually care. They will last a couple of years and then the cotton crotch starts to disintegrate. I once put a hole in a pair snagging them in a zipper but they are otherwise indestructible.

At an 18, I wear their size 10 but a 9 might fit if you are not especially hippy.

I'm having the same trouble with trousers. I still like the fabrics Avenue has, but they have gotten so weird with their cuts that I don't even make much effort to try anything on.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:19 AM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

I like Macy's for basic black trousers. I think their store brand is Charter Club.
posted by elmay at 11:29 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here are some brands that I have found at the thrift stores that have fit well. However I haven't bought any in the stores because I'm not in the mood to buy $50 pants when I can get them at Goodwill, etc. for $4: Chicos 3.5 size. Coldwater Creek(but they're out of business now but stuff remains at thrift stores) Talbots 18W, and Bandolino 18. I like heavier fabrics and tend toward black denim and these have come through for me. As for draws, I just pick up stuff at TJMaxx and Marshall's until I find some I like. Found some Hue brand in a bikini style size 8 that I love. Don't know who carries them originally but they're nice cotton and a good fit. I like Exofficio in bikini xl for wash and wear travel draws. Happy Shopping!!
posted by PJMoore at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For the underwear: good old Hanes cotton hi-cut bikinis --- they may not be the sexiest things out there, but they're sure comfortable. For the pants: well, I'm a fat/petite, and I find that L.L. Bean suits me; they're one of the few places that make fat petite pants with a shorter rise (the measurement from the crotch to the waist), so their stuff doesn't have waistbands up by my armpits.

And have you tried for undies?
posted by easily confused at 11:35 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hane's all cotton hi cuts with the "new softer" waistband are pretty comfortable. The Target that I frequent only has them in a 3 pack of pastels w/ a lavender grey waistband.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 11:36 AM on October 5, 2014

For luxury try a pair of Ice breaker wool undies. A Lane Bryant size 18 is a bit above their XL sizing, but I fit into their Medium undies even though my hips are bigger than what their size chart says.

Yes, they are expensive but they are the nicest undies I have ever worn. You can find good deals on them sometimes on and
posted by vespabelle at 11:51 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you looked into bamboo fabric for your pants? It is fantastic stuff. I purchased mine at Diane Kennedy, which is both Canadian and out of your price range, but see if you can find an American alternative. It is indestructible, launders well, comfy, and lasts forever.
posted by crazycanuck at 1:04 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't wear high-cuts, but Hanes bikinis are my go-to, so I'd highly recommend looking into the brand. Target usually has a great selection. As for pants in our size range, yeah, Macy's is pretty good. That's where I've been going; I've especially had luck with the Style & Co. and INC lines there. I also shop thrift stores, and I've found pants from Kohl's, Talbots, and Chico's often work out well.
posted by limeonaire at 1:51 PM on October 5, 2014

Is there an Avenue near you? Their basic work pants might work. Torrid also has some decent basic things, including pants, if you can look past the trendy, trashy stuff (which I personally love). As far as underwear, I'll nth the Hanes options in the above suggestions. They're well made, very comfortable, and last forever!
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 2:26 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wear Jockey cotton undies. My waist and hips are about the same size, so I get men's pants( which have proper pockets!).
posted by brujita at 3:42 PM on October 5, 2014

I'm an Australia 18 (which I think is a US 14-16) and I have bought Marks and Spencer undies when on holiday in the UK. They are very good quality and comfortable. I've bought bamboo as well as cotton ones and they're all good. M&S ship internationally.
posted by andraste at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also an 18, also swear by Hanes. I've recently discovered their new Constant Comfort X-Temp hipsters and I just love them. I can wear either a size 8 or a size 9. You can find them at Target.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:30 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As far as work trousers, Kohl's has always been my go-to source. I like Lee trousers, but their store brands are good too.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:43 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Jockey Elance French Cut undies should be what you're looking for. I also don't wear hi-cut (prefer the briefs) but once accidentally bought the French Cut and they do have a nice high leg.
posted by Bretley at 8:59 AM on October 6, 2014

Best answer: I've been getting all of my work pants from ASOS lately. Proceed directly to the Woman > Curve & Plus Size section.
posted by koucha at 11:34 AM on October 6, 2014

I'm thirding Macy's for pants.

Seconding Jockey Elance for the undies.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:32 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

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