General, Life


12.12.04 | 4 Comments

I have a major beef with the clothing industry. I have been looking for a simple pair of gray pants for much too long, considering the land o’ plenty that is this country. Here’s what I want: any shade of gray trouser in a good quality fabric and classic cut THAT FITS. I’ll be the first to admit that I shop sales and wish not to spend too much on clothes. But now the issue is not that I can’t find a pant in my price range – I can’t find a pant for me at all.

Those who know me can attest to this: I am by no means conceited. But I am smaller than the average American woman (who is 5’4″, 164.3 pounds, and overweight, with a BMI of 28.2), which is probably why I have a hard time finding pants in my size. Pants in womens or even misses sections of stores are much too long, and in petites I find a wide variety of large-waisted, tapered ankle, short pants. Did I mention that I’m 24 years old? I should probably have left the juniors department behind by now, but looking forward isn’t pretty: puffy knitted cardigans, pleat-front pants, and “nice blouses.”

Where are the classy pants I seek? Not the ones that show crack or the ones that prop up breasts. Somewhere in between. I have even tried stores specifically for my age group, but I found the same problems. Yes, there are pants out there in nice fabrics, pants with good cuts, but either they are not in the same pair of pants or not in my size. I could, in theory, buy a pair that fits and have the length altered, but while pants may be designed in my size, they are absolutely not available in the stores.

And I’m not underweight, nor am I the skinniest out there. What do those women do? The past few years have seen an interesting phenomenon in the clothing industry, for women and for men. What used to be a size 4 is now a 2 or a 0. So the size 14 woman who is now a size 10 is ecstatic and buys the pants in every color. I have no problem with this sort of deception; consult my “skinny mirror,” a door mirror leaned against the wall in such a way that it gives the illusion of tall slimness. But clothing companies shouldn’t stop making the smaller sizes just because our country is getting fatter. It doesn’t help that I live in the fourth fattest city.

If I had my way, Americans would get down to a reasonable size, but I’m not holding my breath. Short of becoming a seamstress and creating my own custom clothing, does anyone have a suggestion where a 24 year old woman with a normal BMI can get a good pair of pants?

This may be a shallow first post, but after earning a philosophy degree and beating cancer, I think I’m allowed.


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