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Monday, April 23, 2012

Hey! Nice Pants!


The relationship I’ve had with pants has been a long and sometimes ill-fitting one.

It’s not that I don’t like them – some of my favorite pieces of apparel have been pants! –but in a world where a size 10 is sometimes larger than a size 14, one develops trust issues.

And this is why I tried on over 10,000 pairs of pants on Sunday.

Ten thousand pairs.

The memory of those poorly lit rooms weighs heavily on me.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that somewhere along the line the American Pants Manufacturers (in cooperation with the United Federation of Trousers) decided that while pants may be asked to successfully cover you from, say, hip to ankle, these haters of women, curves, and, yes, democracy, by golly, have decreed that they can assure coverage only when you are standing up.

Wait, what? You want to sit down? Sitting down is for chumps and you’ll do it but it will cost you the dropping of the pants’ waistline and the exposure of either a.) your underwear, or b.) your butt crack.

Both of which may lead to a guest appearance on The People of Wal-Mart.


In the fruit bowl of life, I am, physically, what one would refer to as a “pear”. I’m a little wider on the bottom than I am up top, am small around the middle, and mix well with nuts of various types.

So Sunday I braced myself for humiliation and set off in search of coverage.

When I go to try on pants, what I get a lot of, these days, is a waistband far too wide for me. I call these pants “grapefruit smugglers”, as there is plenty of room at the back for transporting your larger fruits, storing wallets, or protecting tea-cup variety dogs from larger dogs.

After several dozen pairs of pants – and listening to the women further down the dressing room aisle laugh themselves hysterical over the swimsuit/swimsuit cover-ups they needed for an upcoming cruise – I finally found what I was looking.

A single pair of pants that fit properly.

I searched in vain for another pair just like them and was denied.

Still, I have my one pair; and like my mom says, oh, no one’s looking at your pants. Change the shirts up, throw in a jacket or a scarf and no one’s the wiser.
There’s nothing like starting the workweek with a new pair of pants: I feel fashionable, I feel sleek, and I feel productive.

This week’s going to be awesome.

57 comments:

R. Jacob said...

In case you are in need of one, I am a wonderful wardrobe assistant able to with amazing dexterity hold down laughter, cover up a grin, all while handing you the next dreadful choice on your list to try on!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Did you remember to do the "sit down" test before you plunked down your hard earned money? The "bend over" test? The "reach up high" test? All very important steps in choosing a pair of pants.

Andrea SunnyDays said...

I'm going to have to put hot glue on my eyes to erase that image. I find something about seeing a thong so disturbing.

Vicus Scurra said...

I yearn for you tragically.

Simply Suthern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply Suthern said...

I am hoping they bring back the higher waisted jean and slacks soon. I've seen way more than I ever needed to see.

mary i said...

I feel your pain as I too am a "pear". I knew that there was a plot in pants land for women!! Thank you for the picture, made me feel ever so much better :)

Chantel said...

Victory indeed, a pair of well-fit pants. This week is your oyster! (pun intented, my sweet Pearl)

CarrieBoo said...

I'm thinking of returning to animal skins. Only animals that get eaten, of course. Like cows and chickens, and maybe even fish. Either that, or harem pants.

Camille said...

Are you sure that wasn't hysterical crying you heard coming from the swimsuit/cover-up corner? Sometimes it's hard to tell - dressing rooms can echo so...not to mention ruin ones day.

skoots1mom said...

gonna send my girlfriend over to read this...she and I often comment on 'pant' shopping and totally ignore swimsuit shopping now, hahahah
:)

Leenie said...

What is it with stores that only carry One of that ONE thing you want to buy? Who's in charge of marketing?

Laurel's Quill said...

Way ta go, Pearl. There's only one thing worse...no wait, two things...than trying to find some great jeans: Trying on swimming suits and bras. Nothing will humble you faster.

Joyful Things said...

I am not a pear but have the unfortunate muffin top. Not attractive no matter how the pants fit. My doctor says exercise. Bastard!

bill lisleman said...

Yes you certainly have mix of nuts in you and it makes for great reading. You don't need to answer this but does the large number of pants requiring examination give any indication of the number of swimsuits you'll need to queue up?

ellen abbott said...

shopping for pants, and most specifically for blue jeans, is my most hated activity. I am average height (5'4"), short waisted, thick waisted and hate to have pants at waist level (always too tight, see thick waisted). I want my pants at or just above my hips, not an inch above my pubic hair. There doesn't seem to be much choice between waist and pubes. I want decent back pockets. I want them to be the right length and by that I mean, I do not want to have to wear 4" spike heels to have my pants the right length. Is that asking too much?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Worth their weight in gold, those pants that fit!

Eva Gallant said...

I hate shopping for pants, and I fear I may soon be pantless.

Joshua said...

Whale tail and skinny jeans are a deadly combination. Gives me heart palpitations.

fishducky said...

I was never a "pear"--I used to be an "apple". Now I'm wondering--do they make pants for a "watermelon"?

Joanne said...

It seems there will never be the perfect pair. I thought I'd found them, located the exact same pair on line in order to have two perfect pairs of pants. Wrong. Totally idential except for country of manufacture. Apparently sewing machine seams are deeper in Bangladesh than the Philipines. It probably is different from machine to machine in the same factory. It's a conspiracy....

SherilinR said...

pants shopping is the pits. i'm glad you found a pair to adequately cover your rump so you won't be flashing your thong around the workplace when you bend down next to the copy machine.

Shelly said...

I would rather slit my tongue on a razor blade and pour rubbing alcohol on it than shop for pants. Longer legs here make it look like I am readying for a flood if I can't find the tall sizes. Ugh.

Susan in the Boonies said...

My pair shape is getting riper, if you know what I mean.

Not necessarily juicier...but definitely softer...more plump.

I was despairing in my closet this very morning over a lack of pants that I love.

I think you got mine.

MimiTabby said...

congratulations on the pants. I go to second hand stores most the time to find pants to fit. I know they won't shrink and if they look crappy, I only spent 8 bucks instead of 80


Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

Craver Vii said...

You see... that's why I prefer wearing a kilt.

Mel said...

Pearl, I feel your pain! Pants shopping is my second least favorite activity behind bathing suit shopping. Nobody makes my size, and my size is impossible to find in the ever shifting variable sized in the stores. I can be plus or minus three sizes, depending on who made them, nothing fits comfortably, they're all too long, etc, etc.
You found one pair, that's not a bad day's work. I'd wear the heck out of them.
Thanks for sharing your shopping woes, it's nice to have some company in our misery.

David Macaulay said...

sounds like a fun day out. NOT

Just Me said...

Your "fruit bowl of life" sentence is pure awesome.

As is finding a rare pair of pants that actually fit. Congratulations.

Stacy Q said...

I hate that I find a pair that fits... but then those darned laundry imps sneak into the dryer and make my pants SMALLER! No, I'm sure I haven't gained weight, it's those damned IMPS!

Jadzia@Toddlerisms said...

I just lost some weight and now the only jeans that fit me are leftover from the last time I was skinny, which was in 2005. The year of the ultra-low-rise jean.

And now I have 5 kids. (Only had 1 back then.) Let's just say that loooong tank tops (for layering) are my very best friend. Hell, I often throw a knee-length coat on over the entire ensemble. Just to make sure.

Glen said...

I've always liked pears

Linda O'Connell said...

I have six pairs of black pants and one fits me the way I like. I have five pairs of jeans and one fits. I so feel your agony. If an outfit fits my top, forget the bootam and if it fits my bottom I Swim in the top. And still, I eat.

Tom said...

I find it ironic that one of the most accomplished and talented bloggers online would stoop to include a people of Walmart photo in her post. That's a play from my book.

Gigi said...

I feel your pain, Pearl. I really do.

Especially since "someone" decided that the "Petites" department isn't just for short people anymore; or that the new estimation of "short" actually equals Amazonian.

The Elephant's Child said...

I loved the people of Walmart. And the whole concept of being unable to trust sizing. And don't even start on the length issues. I know very few people with six foot legs. The manufacturers of pants obviously know many.

jenny_o said...

Why limit our peeves to pants, I ask? Are the tops, skirts, dresses and varying seasons of coats we must hunt down and shoot and drag home just as hard to locate? They are, in my case at least :)

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Every time I write in this box, just above the box I see "you know how I love you". Pear shaped or not, I like dedication and that includes dedication to well-fitted pants even if there is only one pair in all of Minnesota. They look nice and don't show any butt-cracks or thongs which fog up glasses and make me go the wrong way and crash into stuff. It is much safer if pants fit properly. ":)

Austan said...

We saw a guy stand up in front of us on the weekend, but his pants were on strike, and his underwear had already quit and gone home. The crack problem continues in America. Me, I wear dresses a lot. Try ro find a 34" inseam!

Steve Bailey said...

You have tried on 10,000 pairs of pants???? Man if you could have just harnessed even half of the static electricity you generated putting all those pants on!!!

sarchasm2 said...

This must be a universal problem. My wife complains every time she goes shopping for pants

the walking man said...

"This week’s going to be awesome" It always should only take a proper fitting pair of jeans!

River said...

I'm like Ellen Abbott above, except I'm 4 inches shorter. I've been looking for new pants for a month now with no success whatsoever.

Tom G. said...

Why is it that I can take 3 pairs of the same size jean into the dressing room, and one will be too small, one will be too large, and (if I'm lucky) one will be juuussst right?

I think it has to do with the garment industry being offshored to someplace where bears sew pants.

darlin said...

A new pair of pants that fit? So there really is such a thing! You offer me hope, thank you Pearl. :-)

What was that lady in your photo thinking, oh wait, she wasn't!

Have a fantastic week with those new pants, now you can take on the world in style.

Dr Zibbs said...

I heard dat! I tried jeans on the other day and when you try on 36 X 34 they're all different! What gives!

esbboston said...

Um, it's already 11 AM on Tuesday, where is my daily dose of Pearlism(s)? Is this 'Tuesday Without Pearl' ? Say its not so .....

Ms Sparrow said...

The common term for the unfortunates caught shopping at Wal-mart in badly fitted clothes (or lack thereof) is Wal-Martians. They are a Hoot!

Indigo Roth said...

"I'm a pear. I’m a little wider on the bottom than I am up top, am small around the middle, and mix well with nuts of various types."

I'm not sure if I'm turned on or just hungry. But, from one nut to another, I salute you.

Pat said...

Worth their weight in gold!
I seem to be leaning towards maxi skirts but then as I just drift around all day I can afford to be casual.

Bodacious Boomer said...

When I find a pair of pants that really fit I hold onto them like grim death until they are no longer able to hold together in a solid state.

Then I cry.

HermanTurnip said...

I hate wearing boots, but my favorite jeans are boot-cut styled. I despise the irony, but have come to learn to live with it.

HermanTurnip said...

I hate wearing boots, but my favorite jeans are boot-cut styled. I despise the irony, but have come to learn to live with it.

NellieVaughn said...

I buy all of my pants at the thrift store for one dollar each. Not because I am cheap, which I am, but because I refuse to try on pants in dressing rooms. At the thrift store, I pick out what I think will fit. Once I get home, if I see that they're too large or too small, it's not painful to just throw them away.

Diane said...

Pearl. Pearl. Pearl. You inspire me. You do. Maybe one day I'll be able to get out of the men's department at Old Navy and find pants that fit. And don't ask me what I was doing in the men's department. With the . . . men . . .

Suldog said...

I've always thought that women should hold a mass revolt against clothing manufacturers; tell them to start designating things by actual inch measurements, rather than "sizes", or else they'll burn down their factories and hang the designers. Guys clothes, for the most part, are usually described by the actual size in inches, so we know where we stand (and sit) and don't have nearly as much trouble shopping for pants as women seem to do. I've never understood why women haven't demanded that "sizes" be abolished.

Lola Rouge ...the mom said...

Aaaahhh Pearl my girl, I totally relate to the tragedy that is the search for pants....Even more now trying to find pants that dont make my teen look ready for the next Pussy Cat Dolls video.... I laugh and cry with you :)