Please pant me!
April 20, 2017 5:26 AM   Subscribe

It's typically very difficult for me to find pants that fit me well - I have more than once gone into a dressing room with an arm load of pants, tried them all on, and walked out sad and frustrated, with no pants. I finally found one brand/cut that works and have just stuck with it for several years. However, I'm getting a little bored and would like to diversify.

The Express Editor barely boot pant is, so far, the dream pant. It is comfortable, fits well, flatters and slims. It has enough stretch that I can gain or lose a few pounds without buying new pants, but not so much stretch that I feel uncomfortable (I don't like super-stretchy tight-tight pants for work). I would like to get a better idea of what cuts, shapes and brands to look for in pants so that I can be more efficient when I shop.

I'm currently between a size 8 and 10 and have a subtle apple shape (waist and hips are about the same measurement, I believe), long waist and short legs (pants always have to be hemmed).

I have a couple of pairs of the Old Navy Pixie and they look ok but don't feel all that comfortable. In the (distant) past I've stumbled across Ann Taylor and Banana Republic pants that fit well at the time, but those finds were typically in thrift stores and I'm not sure what the cuts were. I've tried some Lands End pants and they were okay but not great for me - I don't recall the cut.

Bonus: I once found a pair of flat-front pants with a sort of gray-khaki fabric, but softer and smoother than the typical khaki. I loved them to bits and don't recall the brand. I have no idea what to call them or how to look for them.
posted by bunderful to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have at times gone into a place like Ann Taylor and just tried on every single pant cut, without luck.

In a perfect world there would be a database where I could just look and see that for women who find that the Express Editor fits them very well, 88% also find that X pant is a good fit.

If the answer is tailoring, some tips on what to do to find a pant that can be tailored to fit would be welcome.
posted by bunderful at 5:37 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

The trick with getting pants tailored is to find a pair that fits the widest part of your body -- generally, it needs to fit you in the thigh/crotch/lower butt. Then you take it to the tailor and have them take it in at the waist.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:58 AM on April 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Try Talbots -- go to a physical store, and you can walk around their THREE sections (petite, women's, misses) and find the pants for you.
posted by ellerhodes at 6:00 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe this pants-fitting guide would be helpful for you (here's another set, and a whole list of additional resources). These are aimed at people who sew their own pants. I'm not suggesting that you do that! However, knowing how to diagnose fit issues might help you narrow down your search for off-the-rack pants that will fit. For instance, if you figure out that you need a shorter crotch length, you can look for pants that have that feature without having to try on every pair in the store. You can also use that information to assess whether it's worth trying to tailor them.

And, if you'd like to know more about why most off-the-rack pants fit terribly (they do), check out these entertaining reads from a garment industry pro: Anatomy of A Camel Toe and Jeans Fit So Lousy These Days. The unsurprising answer: taking shortcuts on fit allows them to save fabric and make the pants cheaper.
posted by ourobouros at 6:17 AM on April 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the answers so far! I'm also hoping that other people who find the Express Editor fits them well will tell me what other pants they like.
posted by bunderful at 6:46 AM on April 20, 2017

I have a similar build, although I haven't tried that exact pair--have you tried men's pants? I find that the hip to waist ratio on men's pants works way better for me.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:54 AM on April 20, 2017

You don't have to sew your own pants, but you can have them custom made.
posted by Melismata at 8:41 AM on April 20, 2017

I've had some luck with SizeCharter, which suggests brands based on your measurements or a brand that fits you well. It's not perfect, but it's a good jumping-off point.
posted by R a c h e l at 9:04 AM on April 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think the Boden Chelsea turn ups (that got autocorrected to turnips!) or Banana Republic Martin fit would work for you. I'm a similar shape and these styles fit me well - however lately they've become more difficult to find (I haven't checked the stock but if you can't find them new there's always second hand?).
posted by hazyjane at 1:49 PM on April 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Same body type but long legged here-- Joe's jeans fit me well. Check Nordstrom rack.
posted by travertina at 10:19 PM on April 21, 2017

With additional googling I found the following resources which might be useful to future readers:

Lifehacker posted a graphic which recommends clothing brands based on body type and BMI. It only recommends 3 brands per category which is a little frustrating, but it's worth a look.

This reddit thread contains multiple posts from women who share their measurements and the brands that fit them particularly well, and a similar thread on corporette
posted by bunderful at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

H&M "Slacks" They're fast fashion, so probably won't hold up to lots of wear but they're $15. I'm 5'4" and they're not ankle pants on me but regular hem even in a low heel.
posted by crush at 12:14 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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