I want some jean shorts.
July 10, 2019 10:57 AM   Subscribe

I haven't had a pair of jean shorts in years because I can't find a pair that fits. I'm looking for brand suggestions from people with similar fit issues. My issues inside.

I always have the same problem: A massive gap in the waistband at the back. It's bad enough that the shorts are literally unwearable - I could often carry a 2-liter of soda in the gap, no problem. A belt just makes the fabric bunch up uncomfortably and in an unsightly way, since there's so much extra fabric at the waist. I can spend hours in a mall, trying on dozens of different pairs of pants, and find none that fit. Not an exaggeration.

I'm looking for suggestions for brands/cuts/stores to try. I'm not looking for:

* Suggestions to get them altered. I know that might be inevitable, but ideally I'd find some that fit off the rack or where the alteration would be less drastic and I'd feel more comfortable doing it myself.

* Suggestions to try a different size. No size works. If they fit my butt and thighs, they gap at the back. That's the rule.

* Suggestions for online stores where I have to pay for return shipping. When 99/100 pairs of pants don't fit, I'm not willing to pay return shipping on pants that don't fit.

* Suggestions to try a different rise. Higher rises tend to be less bad, but they're still bad enough to be unwearable.

I'm looking for standard sizes, rather than petite or plus sized.

So, any suggestions?
posted by Kutsuwamushi to Shopping (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What brand/style of jeans do you like? I often find I can buy shorts that are similar to my jeans. I like Loft curvy skinny jeans and have worn their curvy shorts.
posted by radioamy at 11:24 AM on July 10

there are many places on the internet that will take your exact measurements and make you jeans, i just googled 'custom fit jeans'. perhaps you can contact one of them and see if they do jean shorts/have the option on their site?
posted by koroshiya at 11:32 AM on July 10

I can't believe I forgot to put that in. I'm not too picky at this point. I suppose my style skews more towards H&M than L.L. Bean, but basic jeans and shorts can be pretty stylistically neutral... I don't like low rise, and I'm looking for shorts rather than bermudas, but I don't want anyone to hold back a suggestion. :)

(I have the same problem finding jeans. There is one store I know of where I can semi-reliably find jeans that fit, and they are almost always a smaller brand I've never heard of. And expensive. Also this store is a 9-hour drive away from where I live now, and I can only shop there when I'm visiting family. aaaaaaaaaaah)

Those bermuda shorts aren't exactly what I'm looking for, but they're nice and I'm considering them.

I'll also consider doing custom fit jeans if someone has a recommendation for a particular site.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:36 AM on July 10

I know you said no plus sized but I have a similar problem and am plus sized and find the Torrid brand shorts/jeans work for me, mainly because they have a lot of stretch in them so I can get them tight enough (not 100% but pretty good) on my waist and they stretch out over my butt and thighs. Torrid do go down to their size 0 which is supposed to be the same as an L or a US 12/14 if you're in that size range it might be worth a shot. Good luck with your hunt.
posted by wwax at 11:37 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Try NYDJ. I have this problem too and it’s somewhat better with NYDJ. I think you can do free returns from Nordstrom and I’ve gotten them from Nordstrom Rack before too.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 11:47 AM on July 10

Some Levis stores perform alterations on the spot. Find a pair of jeans you like and have them custom altered.
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 12:47 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]

I also have this problem and successfully shop at Levi's. All my jean shorts are just old pairs of jeans that I cut off when the knees ripped, so I don't have any jean specific suggestions...
posted by amaire at 1:03 PM on July 10

Don't laugh, but do you have a Forever 21 near you? Caveat, I'm plus sized, but I have gotten really lucky with them this summer for jean shorts that accommodate my large thighs, junk in the trunk, and smaller waist. Since you're in straight sizes, you can go in store and things on, and they're running sales all the time. I have a bit of a gap at my back when I'm sitting (like, hand sized), but none when standing, which is a minor miracle.
posted by joycehealy at 1:51 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Make Your Own Jeans. (Not literally - they make them for you.)
posted by essexjan at 1:54 PM on July 10

American Eagle Outfitters have great stretchy shorts for curvy women. Every other brand of shorts I've tried has been a horrible fit (perhaps not with as big of a waistband gap as you describe) but bad enough that I couldn't wear their shorts. I now own about 5 pairs of AE shorts that are super cute and fit great!
posted by Everydayville at 2:11 PM on July 10

Target has some very comfy jean shorts that I love. If they gap in the back, maybe you have a seamstress friend who can add a few darts. They are my go-to shorts on a daily basis during the summer months.
posted by OkTwigs at 2:39 PM on July 10

If you're not picky about quality, a friend with this problem has found that Fashion Nova jeans are her holy grail. A lot of their shorts are essentially lingerie, even the jeans shorts, but with some digging you can find more pragmatic styles.
posted by babelfish at 4:46 PM on July 10

I have the same fit problems as you. I recently tried on a pair of Madewell shorts that fit everything you're looking for. They're high-rise and a lot smaller in the waist than the thigh. They were still a little short for me, so I sent them back - free return shipping, I think - but I was impressed with the curvy fit.
posted by equipoise at 11:01 AM on July 11

I have a small waist and junk in the trunk. Boden shorts fit me well, and they have three lengths to choose from.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 11:28 AM on July 11

Thank you for your suggestions! I've saved this thread for next year, since it's past the season so a lot of sizes are sold out.

But I'm reporting that I bought a pair of Madewell "curvy" fit shorts and they fit great with minimal gapping. They're pretty short, indeed, but I can roll the hem down to a length that's comfortable for me. I'm so happy! I'll look at them for jeans next time I need a replacement, too.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:00 PM on July 18

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