“I love to shop for pants!”…said NO ONE ever! Seriously, I ask my clients what their hardest item to shop for, and I haven’t actually counted, but I’d guess over 80% answer “pants.” And even if it’s your second or third hardest on your shopping list, you probaby still don’t love shopping for pants.
Let’s face it…pants need to fit in lots of places: the hips, the seat, the rise, the waist, the legs and the length. Sheesh! I can’t think of another garment that has so my fit points.
It’s a wonder we don’t all stick to skirts and dresses. Come to think of it, I do have some friends who rarely wear pants.
Well, my friends, finding pants really doesn’t have to be as hard as many women make it.
As a Denver wardrobe consultant, I’ve helped a lot of women find great fitting pants easily over the past 13+ years.
Here are 5 ways to make buying pants a breeze!
(Use them all together and you’ll be a pant shopping ninja!)
Know your body shape and its variations
You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Even if you don’t feel like you’re a master at dressing for your body type, you’re probably familiar with your body in general.
A good rule of thumb is to fit the largest part of your body first and start there. I’ll use myself as an example. My waist is hardest to fit. On size charts, it’s not as small as the usual waist measurement that fits my hips.
More often, women’s waists are much smaller than their hips. Your goal is to find pants that first fit your hips and go from there. (Hint: these pants are often labeled “curvy.”)
Which leads me to my next point…
Enlist a salesperson
Find a store with helpful sales associates, and ASK FOR HELP. Salespeople at service-oriented stores are trained on the various fits of their pants. Share your struggles and body type (see above) with your new friend, and she’ll be able to suggest styles to try and which ones to steer clear of.
Next, be willing to show your salesperson how the pants are fitting. If the first round of trousers isn’t quite right, she’ll be able to suggest additional styles that just might be perfect, saving you from trying every pant in the store!
Try stores you might not normally patronize
A few stores with a wide variety of pant styles and good service include: Nordstrom, White House Black Market, Ann Taylor, and J. Crew, just to name a few. (Ooh, didn’t really mean to rhyme, but I like it!) Avoid stores that focus on price over service!
Treat alterations as your friend
You’ve probably read this before on my blog, but alterations are perfectly normal and to get a perfect fit, many times it requires alterations.
Let’s say you find a gorgeous pair of 3-season weight, wool pants that make your butt look absolutely amazing. BUT the waist is too big. Do you pass on the pants? Heck no! If they fit like a dream everywhere else but the waist, it’s a very easy alteration.
I know women who refuse to alter their clothes or settle on a less than stellar fit, but I know that’s not you. By considering tailoring, you open up a whole new world of possibilities for your bottom half!
Buy multiple colors once you find a style
When you find a pair of pants that’s comfy and fits like a dream (or will after a small alteration,) by all means buy the pants in multiple colors!
I mean you’ve already gone to plenty of trouble to find said P.P.’s (perfect pants.) Why wouldn’t you want more than one pair? Makes life easier, no?
(Of course, if only one pair of P.P.’s is in your budget, be sure to keep the tag and note the name of the style and store, so you can find them again.)
Follow these tips and I promise you’ll cut your pants shopping time waaaay back!
Before You Go…
At Last, a complete resource with all the stores with sizes and proportions to fit your unique shape!
No matter what your body type, in this guide, you'll find more shops and sites than you ever knew existed... that cater to just your size, height and shape!
2 comments on “5 Ways to Make Finding Pants a Breeze”
I’m very short-waisted with tiny hips and no waist (I’m built like a teenage boy with big boobs)! I even have to roll the waist over on small leggings! Every design seems to be high waisted These days and alterations is not and option because the pants have to be nearly remade to shorten the rise. Ideas?
Najia, how do you feel about skirts? There are some cute casual knit skirts on the market. If you’re looking for professional work pants, consider having a couple of pairs custom made. If you choose a classic style (not skinny) you’ll look like a million bucks and have them for years.