I Hate Buying Pants: A Short Woman’s Gripe

I Hate Buying Pants

Since my second child was born I’ve lost some weight.  Rose is almost 5 so you’d think I would have figured out how to dress for my new, somewhat thinner, shape, right?  Wrong.  Buying pants is the most difficult part of dressing myself right now.

I Hate Buying Pants: A Short Woman's GripeI’m convinced all the weight I lost came off my boobs and smidge from my hips and waist.  My sizes are smaller but I don’t feel smaller.  And I still have thick legs.  Maybe it’s from my newfound love of dance class, or maybe it’s just my genetics, but my legs are short and round and they don’t seem to like any style of pant.  Well, except yoga pants – every set of legs likes yoga pants, right?  Too bad I can’t wear those to work!

Losing 25 lbs is a fabulous accomplishment.  I’m still excited thinking about it.  And I managed to get a few free bags of smaller clothes from giveaway sites on Facebook and other places.  In them I found tops that fit great, but pants are another story.  Anything that was shorts or capris seemed to fit my shape okay, and few were definitely too small so I passed those along to others, but pants and I never get along.  In fact I’m still wearing some of my size 12 and 14 pants (I’m down to about an 8 now) because they fit “well enough”, and it’s easier to add a belt than shop for new pants.

Petite length pants usually work for me.  I need something like a 28″ leg length.  Or I need platform shoes so I’m not walking on my pants.  And don’t get me started on shoe shopping – that’s another hated trip to the mall for me…

This past weekend Patrick and I had a few hours to waste while the girls were at a birthday party.  He lovingly suggested we use the time to find me some new pants.  Of course I protested, but he’s right – I need a new pair of pants for work.

I Hate Buying PantsSo off we went.  I think I went into every store in the mall that would have decent work pants (you know, black slacks type pants that don’t look too much like jeans.)  A lot of stores don’t stock pants for short people like me.  Or if they do, there is one pair in each size or style, and somehow the one I need is not there.  Also, I’m cheap.  I won’t spend $50+ for a single pair of pants.

After exhausting every store, I did end up finding one pair that fit me almost properly at Reitmans and were only $20.  I grabbed them, wore them to work this week, and promptly spilled a co-workers soup lunch all over them.  That was fun.

I did learn something while pant shopping.  My legs are not suited for ANY pant style.  Flare or bootcut work alright but can be tight in the thighs.  Slim fit is also okay, but I feel like my calves are suffocating.  Tight calves is easier to deal with than thighs because when you sit down in tight thigh pants it hurts.  And then there’s the rise at the waist.  Low rise gapes at the back, mid rise gives me muffin top, and high rise is sometimes hard to get past my large-ish thighs, especially in the lovely flat front (meaning no button or zipper closure) slacks.

Moral of the story?  Not sure there is one.  I guess it could be: “If you find a pair of pants that actually fits, buy it in every colour!”


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  1. hey jess you have the shape I used to have, when I was skinny LOL
    love your blogs, keep up the good work,
    I know the type of jean that would work for you,
    I’ll talk to you at work about it

  2. Lol! So funny! You are describing my shopping experience almost exactly! I’m about the same length I think, have curvy thighs and a gaping waistband. My preferred method of pants shopping is going to the thrift store so the person who is exactly my size has already done all the work. And then apparently outgrew the pants or lost weight, lol.

    1. Ahaha! I’ve found a few thrift store finds. They are definitely amazing when you can find them! That’s also why I like donating my old pants. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  3. Hey Jessica! Loved this post. I know how you feel but for different reasons. I have long legs with curves, so traditional jeans may not fit the best. There are stores that sell jeans in short sizes. I believe Old Navy and American Eagle do. I’m also glad you have hit up the thrift stores! They have great finds as well!

    1. I have have some success at Old Navy in the past – tonight I’m actually going to a Jean Machine Warehouse sale (it’s like a pop-up shop for a specific store.) We’ll see if they cater to my shorter stature.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Maybe I’ll have a follow-up post at some point when I find a store that seems to cater to everyone! 😀

  4. Ahh..loved the post. My daughter is almost a year old now and though I can fit in all my old jeans, I don’t quite feel comfortable in them anymore. It’s like my shape has changed and there are no clothes that fit properly. I don’t even have the energy to look for perfect fitting clothes or pants anymore. Sigh!

  5. Oh yes! I hate shopping for pants so very much. For a little while there I was golden when Target came out with a line of pants they named by fit. I had to try on several pairs but when i found that Fit 1 fit good I could just scoop up a pair in my size without trying them on and knew that they would fit… then they did away with the system and I’m back to finding pants that fit good enough; either the legs fit and the waist is big or the length is right but they sit too low in the hips…

    1. I actually bought a bunch of pants at Target during their going-out-of-business sales here in Canada. They were all jeans so no luck with work pants, but it was something! And isn’t that always the way – find something that works for you and they discontinue it. I feel your pain!

  6. Oh how I hate pants shopping too! Men have it so easy, they give a length and an inseam, and everything fits always! Ugh… I am wearing my Target jeans right now-on sale, for $12 each! I have two pair since they fit so nicely and were so frugally responsible! 🙂 Shopping stinks. Hang in mama! #mg

    1. Lisa – I have Target jeans too! Bought them in the going-out-of-business sale when they were closing up shop here in Canada. So there are definitely no more of that option for me. Thanks for commiserating!

  7. Yes being a short kind of girl myself I know what you mean, we do need to wear heels with most pants just so they are not on the floor, I have the same issue with long dresses or skirts too. Sometimes I think the same way I should just buy loads of pairs when I find one that fits well, but then styles change too, as does my taste. Maybe try wearing skirts to work and then stick to yoga pants on other days, work out wear in so on trend right now and you can get gorgeous work out pants pretty cheaply if you shop around or wait for sales. good luck! Thanks so much for linking up with #mg, so lovely to discover a new blogger xoxo

  8. It doesn’t help that in every shop you go into you potentially need a different size! I do that though, once I find a pair I love I buy several colours and sometimes more than one in the same colour! #FamilyFun

  9. Jess, you are so right. As I look down at the knee of my jeans today, I see the fray of a hole starting. I have anxiety already at the thought of having to get another pair… First the money, then the trying on! The wacky mirrors in stores that make you look long and lean, and then the one at home, that is real… Oy! You nailed it. BUY THEM ALL UP! #familyfun <3 xoxo

  10. Oh I hear you. I have issues buying trousers, I always have. I always seem to have been the in between size, wherever I shop! It is a nightmare. I am the queen on the belt – but sometimes the belt doesn’t work with the outfit! I still wear a pair I brought in New York about 8 year ago, because they were such a good fit – the one and only pair. Sigh. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. Somehow it’s heartening to hear I’m not the only one who struggles with sizing of clothes. When I find a well-fitting pair I’ll try to buy 2 just because I can!

    1. I’m a pro at a little rolled up pants action. Some styles of pants really don’t allow that option though. So many things to keep in mind while I’m hunting for new pants!

  11. Pants sure are difficult to get right but I think it’s powribke. Maybe you need to try some with a little elastic in the fabric do they hug you in all the right places and as for the length, just get them altered. I know i have to as I have short legs too. Thank you for sharing with #stayclassymama

    1. Glad you can commiserate with me Pat. I do like the pairs with some stretch to them, but I hate the idea of paying to get my pants hemmed when I’ve already paid more than I’d like to for a pair of pants in the first place! (Yes, I’m cheap.) I think I go pants shopping about every 3 or 4 years…

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