So my issues with non-denim pants are no secret to people who’ve been following my blog for a while. I want to like them, I want to wear them, but fit is a huge issue for me, and they often make me feel old and dowdy, and like I’m not trying hard enough. I don’t think my feelings are right or fair about this, but nonetheless, they exist, and my commitment to body positivity doesn’t extend to me wearing clothes that actively make me feel bad about my body just to prove a point.
All the same, I am not willing to give up, because when I do get a pair of pants that fit and make me feel good about how I’m presenting myself to the world, I am SO HAPPY about it.
These work for me. I’m not trying to hide or camouflage my figure as it actually is. Yeah, long torso, narrow hips, verging-on-skinny legs. They aren’t the problem; the problem is ill-fitting pants, which these are not. The fit on these is perfect, and I got that fit by sizing down. Every single pair of pants I own and like, as it turns out, are a size smaller than I think I am. I don’t think I have an accurate grasp on the actual size of my body sometimes, and I automatically assume that I cannot possibly be any smaller than my “real” size, which is a modern UK 12/US 8. Why I should be fixated on that number to the point where I find it hard to size down, as necessary, when I will cheerfully, and with no drama or bad feelings, size up, as needed, is beyond me.
And part of this is just the bizarre sizing inconsistency favoured by modern retailers: You just can’t tell anymore. Like, I know that (for me! your experience may be different! bodies are unique!) Gap tends to run big (except when they don’t) and Desigual and Mango small (except when they don’t), and Zara and H&M are all over the damn place, so I tend to start with Mediums at Gap, Zara and H&M, and Larges or XLs at Desigual and Mango, and then I hit this wall, when something like the Mediums are too big at Gap, and I just flat-out refuse to believe I could possibly need to size down beyond Medium because, frankly, I am a Large person. (No, seriously: 6’0”,with the kind of bone structure you might expect of one descended from a long line of giants.) And then I either pass it up, or end up with yet another garment I look at, in one of my pictures, and comment, “yeah, that’s too big.” And either I ignore that, or off to the charity shop the offending garment goes.
I am really, really sick of this cycle. I don’t mind a loose fit, if that’s integral to the style of the garment, but slim-fitting stuff that bags on me, simply because I haven’t bought the right size, is incredibly irritating.
Which brings me, in a long-winded and ranty way, to these pants. I found them at TK Maxx, after trying on a pair of the same size in a 14 (they had no 12s, and 14s do, in fact, fit often enough to be worth a try) which literally fell off me, once I’d buttoned them up. I was a bit morose, because flat! fronted! chinos! with! no! goddamn! pleats! and when poking around through the rack again, I came across the same pants in a 10. I held them up in front of me, and then against my hips. They looked like they’d fit. Maybe a bit of a squeeze doing the buttons up (button fly!), but they’re cotton, and they’ll give and stretch out, much like jeans, I reminded myself. Oh, and also, the 14s were just so crazily big on me that I wouldn’t be surprised if the 12s (if they had any) would be too big as well.
I seriously had to psych myself up to go and try on a pair of pants I was 99% certain would fit perfectly (hey, I thrift, I can eyeball-size pretty accurately), just because they were a size smaller than I think I wear. Like, I dunno, there’s a LAW that says you can’t possibly wear a garment that’s a size smaller than the one you’ve decided you are. It’s as if, for all my awareness of and bitching about sizing inconsistency, I totally forget it exists.
So I tried them on. They fit. I LOVE them, I immensely enjoyed wearing this ensemble today, and I am going to learn to buy pants that fit and then wear them, whatever the label says.
Cardigan: Jackpot, remixed.
Knitted linen tank: Zara, remixed, although it’s been a very long time.
Pendant: Urban Outfitters, remixed.
Cropped chinos: All Saints, via TK Maxx.
Belt: Ganked off a different pair of pants. This is just cheap-o polyurethane pleather, but it fit the loops and the style worked for me.
Scarf: I put this on after the photo was taken. For some idiotic reason, I carried that thing around draped over my arm for a good twenty minutes before putting it on, completely forgetting to wear it in the photo. I don’t know where my head was this morning.
Moccasins: Klackson. I truly wanted to wear heeled sandals today, but the weather was too changeable, and exposing my bare toes to filthy water is something I try to avoid.