Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pants, and the fitting thereof

I have two pairs of pants in two different sizes from a mail-order catalog waiting for me to send/take them back because neither pair fit. They were too small. I have pants in both sizes in my closet that fit nicely--one pair has no elastic in the waist, no stretch in the fabric, buttons and zips up the front, and fits very comfortably. The two pair that have to go back have both stretch and elastic, but the buttons won't fasten. They're made by different manufacturers, which is why--even though they're supposedly the same size, they're not.

I cannot be the only person who finds this a huge pain. It's not an issue just for large-size women like me. Even women who wear size 6 have problems because the Lee Jeans size 6 is not the same as the ... oh, Ann Klein size 6. (If Ann Klein makes jeans.) There needs to be some kind of standard--something with a waist/hip/length measurement maybe, like in men's pants. Women's pants would need that extra hip measurement, because there isn't a consistent waist-to-hip ratio. Some of us have larger backsides than others. But there ought to be some way to be able to order a pair of pants--or pull them off the rack/shelf in the store--and have a reasonable expectation that they will go around said backside.

I've dealt with the "high-water pants" all my life--it's incredibly hard for me to find pants that are long enough, especially since I'm not quite tall enough for the "tall sizes" but too tall for "average." I was really hoping these jeans would fit because they were a whole inch longer than the other pants in the catalog--all of which were for "average" height. But they didn't, and now they have to go back.

I do understand the vanity issue, that women like to say they wear a size 6--when they only wear a size 6 in, oh, Ralph Lauren clothes, and a size 8 or 10 in some other manufacturer's clothing. But it's still a pain. And since I was a size 12 from the time I hit my full height of 5'8" or so, I can tell you truthfully that size 12 is NOT fat--especially if you're on the tall side. (We will not discuss what size I am now--but I will never see 12 again...) All I'm asking for is a little consistency.

Why is it so impossible for the clothing industry to come up with a consistent, across-the-board sizing? Anybody out there have a clue?

2 comments:

Catie said...

Because there's no regulation of it and somewhere along the line designers decided that women didn't want to buy pants with their actual waist measurements on them, because God Forbid they should admit to a 40 inch waist. Forty years ago sizes used to be more consistent, but then designers realized women would also /pay/ more to wear a size six, and so sizes started shrinking in accordance to the price point. I, too, wish to hell there was consistent sizing from brand to brand. *sigh*

Evangeline said...

Vanity sizing! That's why no size is the same in different places. I recall hearing that a few years ago, Express moved their sizes up (the numbers, not the actual clothing) because of complaints from size 14/16 customers that the stores never carried their sizes. So, size 6 became a size 8, size 10 a size 12, and so on.