Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mini-rant: Pants

This makes me SO mad.

It's tough being a tall woman in a world where clothing designers design for women who are 5'7. Pants especially. Because if the pants aren't long enough, your options are pretty limited. A lot of the time with trousers these days, there's a pretty deep hem. If you're lucky, you can rip out the hem and re-sew/perky bond (magic stuff) a new hem a lot closer to the actual edge of the fabric. But if there's not a deep hem, and the pants are two short, there's nothing you can do.

I pull out this argument a lot when short women complain. They don't like re-hemmed pants. But, you know, you've got options. You've got fabric, whereas tall women usually get bubkes. Nothing.

Things have gotten a bit better the last few years. Gap has a tall line, and J.Crew is pretty reliable. Mind you, these are usually for pants that are JUST long enough for flats. I keep reading in magazines that they recommend buying two pairs of pants at a time (since pants and money grow on trees) and having one hemmed to wear with heals. Technically, the edge of your pants, with heals, is supposed to be no higher than one inch off the ground.

Are you kidding me? They don't make pants that long, and it's not like I'm that tall. Despite common belief, I'm two inches under six feet. There are scores of pants-wearing women taller than me. Most of them play basketball.

So here I am, 5'10, and I marry a man who stands just over 6'4. He is taller than I am. But here's the thing: we can buy his pants at Costco. And Fred Meyer. Most places make men's pants with a 34" inseam. In fact, they'll give you the option of choosing your waist size and your inseam. Finding a 29"-34" range for inseam is pretty common.

I ask you - why is it that designers acknoledge that men have many different lengths of legs, and women (if they're lucky), are petite, regular, or tall? Or in many cases, just regular?

Tall women are clearly being discriminated against and we don't even have an organization for our advancement with a clever acronym.

Don't even get me started on how rarely you'll ever see the words "hand wash" or "line dry" on menswear. Usually it's "Wash on the tough cycle and dry till crisp."


  1. I'd like to say that I feel your pain, but I really don't. I didn't realise you were THAT tall, actually. I'm only 5'5 if I'm being generous, so that means I can buy my trousers just about anywhere.

    (Incidentally, I've lived in England too long. 'Pants' over here means underwear and I thought as the picture was loading - 'I'm not sure I want to read an entire blog entry about Hillary's knickers!')

  2. I'm not sure I'd want to read an entire blog about my underwear, either. I forgot about the UK terminology, although I thought it was funny when "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" came out.

  3. Wear dresses, Legs!

    I've got short legs and a long torso. One of my students is the belly patrol and always lets me know when my shirts are riding up. I hope this long shirt fad doesn't go away anytime soon!

  4. I keep coming back to see if you've got a new blog up, and whenever I see this one about pants, I start singing "These Are Not My Pants."


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