I want pants! (or trousers, for the BritDopers)

I have a pants deficit in my wardrobe.
I want to buy pants. Sounds simple! Go to store, procure pants. When come back, bring pants.
No can do.
I am a woman living in the northern hemisphere where it is currently mid-summer.
The only options for me are:
Capri pants

Capri pants, though they may sound like pants, are not pants. They do not come down to my ankles. They are false pants. They anger me in their shortness.

I work in a laboratory. All footwear has to fit the OSHA standard of having closed heels (no mules, slides, open toes, etc.; must also be leather). Shoes that meet the standard look stupid with capri pants. Not to mention the fact that having half of one’s bare shin hanging out sort of negates the whole personal protective equipment angle. I’ve yet to see capri pants outright banned in the labs, and they don’t ban skirts. I can count on one hand the people who wear skirts in the lab, though, and I think the only reason they haven’t banned them is they don’t want to open up a can of discrimination worms.

I found one lonely pair of pants at Target last week. (I was desperate - my local mall is devoid of pants) The rise was so low that I exposed an unprofessional amount (read any) of undergarment in the back.

Pants fit is so particular that I don’t want to resort to mail order. I just want stores to stock some basic pants for those of us who have to continue to earn a living through the summer months and whose remaining pants are bearing the marks of way too many washings.

(I have perhaps been reading too many children’s books)


1.) Buy men’s pants for now; fix later

2.) Buy Pants Through Internet. Iffy fitting, but surely an option

3.) Buy panys at consignmment boutique.

4.) Salvation Army/Goodwill/ Whatever

5.) Make your own, or hire someone to.

Not great options, but there are options. You can always wear Skorts. MilliCal lives in hers.

How dressy do the pants have to be? You can go the casual route and buy from Land’s End or you can go a bit dressier and buy from Victoria’s Secret. Both have on line stores.

The upside of your plight is that fall clothes will be released soon. The shelves will be chock full o’ pants.

  1. Buy skirts or dresses.

IMHO as a straight male, women look far nicer in skirts.

More info then:
We’re business casual - think Dockers (Where have all the Dockers gone? Lone time passing…) and loafers. Skirts are out - women do NOT look nicer in skirts when they are wearing steel toed shoes.
I am shrinking and hover between a size 6 and an 8. I’ve done the buy-pants-online-and-return-them game when I was pregnant. It put me off buying pants online. Shirts I’ll do, but not pants. Stupid women’s pants never list waist/inseem like men’s. They do this just to spite us. In one brand I’m a six, another an 8, one pair is too long in regular length, another is too short in “short” length, and the pair I bought last month started out too long, shrunk to a good length, and then continued to shrink and fade. I threw them out this morning. I’m wearing blue jeans.

I am a rare person who is theoretically capable of sewing my own pants. The only fabric store near me is JoAnn’s. Pants made of polar fleece and/or calico quilting fabric don’t fall under business casual. Plus I’m terrible at setting the zipper. I think they’d look pretty hokey.

What’s wrong with a store offering basic, normal, clothing?
This lament inspired by the recent shopping experience thread. It has been formatted to fit my lack of pants.

I agree, but I have no idea how anyone can work in a lab in a skirt. Seems like a recipe for trouble. Where I am, all the women who wear something other than pants in the lab are also all from overseas (mostly India and Sri Lanka.)

I know you’re not thrilled about buying online/through a catalog, but Lands’ End is great. They usually (maybe always) list the inseam, and they will hem most of their pants for you for free, if you specify inseam length.

I feel your pain, though – I’m kind of a big girl, but short-waisted, so I need petites in large sizes, or I end up with the crotch of the pants around my knees. Neither comfortable nor attractive. Pregnancy has actually made clothes shopping easier, and I’m kinda sad that it’s not going to last!

Land’s End will let you select the inseam you want. They don’t adjust waist sizes, but IIRC, they do have a lot of information about how their sizes correspond to particular measurements.

Eh, I’m confused. It’s mid-summer. I’d be shocked if the stores didn’t have the Fall lineup on the shelves already. You should be able to buy any kind of fall clothes you could possibly want (as well as quite possibly Christmas cards and tinsel). Now if you wanted to buy a swimsuit, you’d probably be SOL.

I too suggest giving Lands’ End another look. They give waist measurements and measuring instructions for all their sizes; they have regular, petite and plus sizes; they hem for free (and even suggest adding a half-inch when buying all-cotton pants, to allow for shrinkage); they offer extra help online, including some Virtual Model thing you can set up with your own measurements, I think (never tried it myself); and if the pants still don’t fit, they enclose a prepaid return label to simplify sending them back.

LL Bean also offers a lot of sizing information, excellent quality and easy returns; some of their shipping bags are marked where to cut them open so they can easily be resealed for returning. (You’re not the only one with mail-order fitting problems!) They lose points to Lands’ End by not doing custom hemming.

I can sympathize abundantly with pants-buying problems; I have particular preferences most women apparently don’t have (usable pockets, belt loops that accommodate belts over one-half inch wide) and in addition have legs that are petite in length but regular in girth. Being able to order regular pants with a short inseam is a blessing.

Might I suggest you do as my mom does. One (1) of her obsessions on rummage sales results in a much better wardrob than general. Includinging for me. I can’t find any decent pants in morst stores…wrong cut, ridiculously expensive. But I’m currenntly wearing beautiful velvet pants you could pair with a Ramones tee shirt, or a beaded jacket. Or whatever in between. Lotta a good stuff out there. Remember, American’s will get rid of lovely things.

I’m bemused at the logistics of trying on pants at a rummage sale. Not to mention the sheer odds against finding the right size. Imagine driving around thinking “Yep, I’ve passed by fifty yard sales today, but finally, there’s a guy who looks about my size.”

(Actually, the rummage sale idea wouldn’t work for guys at all, because they don’t throw out pants until they’ve passed through the stages of dress/casual/chores/used for painting/used as rags for cleaning hubcaps.)

Add me to the chorus of “try Lands End or L. L. Bean”. I’m choosy about my pants fitting me, and either of these guys do a good job. They’re very accurate about their fit, and they have a big selection of classic, non-fad styles.

I have a pair of L. L. Bean’s “Perfect Fit Boot-cut Pants” in every color they make. I think I wear them four times a week - they wear like iron, they’re comfy, and even though they’re stretch pants they don’t look like old lady gear.

Pepper Mill, by the way, just bought a few pairs of pants a couple of weeks ago. They were jeans, I admit, but I think they had other pants. Are you sure you tried all the stores?

I don’t know what stores you tried, but usually the nicer department stores will have all the normal styles (including real pants and FALSE pants!)

“Fuck you, lady. We stole these fair and square. Ook, ook, ook.”

-The Monkeys
“We’re just too busy singing to put anybody down.”

-The Monkees

Hm. Well, I got two messages today in my mailbox. Maybe they’ll make more sense to you.

Macy’s (or whatever it’s called in your mid size US market) has a department called Charter Club. They have the only classic trousers in the chain.

If you have a full-size Sears available, the Lands end chinos are in the store.

Talbots also has classic trousers half the time. If you go in the store and try things on, you will know what size you run for mail order purposes. I never understand women’s sizing. I have 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 pants in my current closet which all fit.

I just want a hip length jacket without any goofy or unnecessary stitching in a moderate to high quality fabric.

Mom: (by paraphrase) You don’t try them on. You develop an eye. If it’s not quite right you give them away to skinnier/fatter/more mentaly ill folks. But it’s all good

I don’t know about guys, in our family we eat the heads off at concepction. Just tradition.


Right then. Land’s End it is, because I’m tired of travelling all over God’s green earth to look at racks of capri “pants”.

When I am queen of the universe I am going to make a store. It will only have basic clothing - normal, ankle covering pants. Button down solid color blouses. Basic hip-length jackets. Blue jeans with no ornamentation. These items will be carried year round no matter what the season. Fabrics will be typical cotton and cotton blends. Nothing will be dry clean only. I will call it, “Normal Clothes R Us”. All women’s pants will have waist and inseam sizes. Blouses will have neck size and sleeve length. A wide range of sizes will be in stock, not just XS and XXL. These stores will be more abundant than Starbucks, because the queen of the universe does not like to travel far in search of basic clothing.

Those who want polyester ruffled sequined peasant tops in neon paisley print can go to the mall. Shoppers seeking jeans covered in rhinestones can go to the mall. Those who wish for their leg coverings to stop mid knee with a draw-string and have pockets on the side of the thigh large enough for a cell phone, a wallet, and a latte can go to the mall.

Vote Solfy for Queen of the Universe!

Hm. When are the primaries for that election?