Jean Genius

Disgruntled consumer is getting an outing today because I’ve been shopping. Or rather, back on my never-ending quest for a pair of trousers that fit. This is a quest that has been in progress since about 1998 when the international conspiracy of fashion designers met in a secret bunker outside Milan and, bored with setting hemlines and choosing the new black, declared that women had changed shape. From now on, all women, whatever their size, were to be freakishly tall, have thighs no bigger in diameter than their knees, no calves to speak of, and hips and a waist that were approximately the same dimensions. I’ve seen people shaped that way, it’s true, but they’re mostly sixty-year-old men. Any designer caught creating trousers not following these guidelines was expelled from the inner circle and forced to design polyester uniforms for catering staff. Oh, and belt loops were banned. Along with pockets.

Or at least that’s what I think happened. The alternative is that clothes designers secretly despise us and want those of us with slim waists to hate our thighs and those with skinny thighs to be forced to wear trousers that either gaped at the back like a convention of builders or were slung so low the crotch was round their knees. I don’t think I’m a particularly odd shape. I’ve been wearing the same size levis since I was 19 and they still seem to fit fine. But other trousers? I’ve had a pair of Helmut Lang cords that date from before the secret edict and they’re so old they are no longer actually corduroy in places. All other pairs of trousers I own are merely allowed in the house on suffrance and the minute I find a source of non-jean trousers that don’t look as though they were designed with Mr. Potato Head in mind, they’re history.

Tell me it’s not just me… Or tell me where the secret bunker of properly fitting trousers can be found…


16 responses to “Jean Genius

  1. it’s not just you. This seems to be a universal complaint. My trick: find a pair that fit and buy four pairs…. (although bear in mind, I did this once and it turned out I was sufferign menstrual bloat at the time and they soon went from ‘fitting nicely’ to ‘show and tell underwear’ so caution is advised.

    I find that certain shops just seem to cater to certain shapes. There are shops I am guaranteed a miserable time in the changing rooms and others where I might find the one pair of trousers in the known universe that doesn;t make me look utterly ridiculous. But it’s a long search.

  2. Gap jeans helped me out … if that helps you out?

  3. My body shape is one which designers have determined does not dseserve to have clothes designed for it. On the other hand, given my body-shape I would have thought it in the public’s best interest that I be covered up. Go figure.

  4. cookie – That’s probably the answer (but first catch your trousers). So far Muji seems to be closest.

    Lilo – jeans are okay – I do have a friend who swears by Gap for men but I’ve never had the nerve to try on men’s trousers.

    Moobs – er … sweatpants?

  5. I’ve tried men’s and women’s trousers and I can say for sure that men’s fit better. But then I am a man. Still, worth a shot.

  6. I cant get stuff to fit either… so i wear a sack with holes cut in it for my arms.

    and then sometimes I wear an ill firtting tube uniform too.

    Best of, I like summer, ‘cos then i can get away with wearing just a smile.

  7. So Menace has tried cross dressing and TubeDude’s a naturist … would never have believed it of either of you guys …

    (Spam captcha says ‘shame’)

  8. Etam (if it still exists) and Dorothy Perkins. But not the “fashionable” trousers. Only the bog standard black officey ones that come in four different lengths (never the one you need…).

    They’re the only places that cater for my thin but pear shaped short-arsedness.

  9. Ha. Try it when you’re pregnant.

  10. Sarah – I’m pretty sure Etam’s defunct although I’m prepared to be corrected. Probably purged for selling trousers that fit

    Babymother – frankly it did strike me that the one group of people the trousers might fit were pregnant women, but I wouldn’t know …

  11. Hmm. Maybe you’re right. Maternity trousers don’t stay up so maybe secret-bunker-plotted trousers would, and no hideous stretch panel either…

  12. It’s most definitely not you. I love the fact how I am a normal height, but the trouser length “normal” would still require me to wear 5inch stilettos at least to not have the damn hems scrape over the floor. As for the rest? Well, I am not big but I have hips, so I either have the choice of a fantastic cleavage at the back which I could never hope to create at the front, or have trousers that fit in the waist yet appear to crush all the life out of me when sitting down in them… Fabulous. Surely they’re all designed by men with figures of 12 year old boys or similar?

  13. Well if the comments here are anything to go by it’s more than just the two of us… do you think that will make any difference?

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