We’ve all long known that I don’t “fit in,” metaphorically speaking. I’m not into the usual things guys are into… not sports, or cars, or hunting, or what-have- you. I don’t slot neatly into the Red State / Blue State spectrum. George Lucas didn’t “ruin my childhood” by making a trio of crappy movies. I shoot a webcomic based on my rubber duck collection, for pity’s sake. That’s fine, since I don’t really want to be like most of the rest of humanity. Maybe I’m a snob, but I just don’t “get it,” all of the identifying with brands that people seem to do. What I would like, however, are pants that fit.
Supposedly I’m just barely under average height, 5’8″ tall. Too bad that doesn’t translate into a wide availability of pants. Everything’s got a 30-inch inseam or longer. Even when I find a “short” 30, or an actual 29, I have to wonder what the hell kind of body shape the pants were built for. There’s weird bunching going on that mystifies me. Or, to put it another way: Why in hell does it look like I’m smuggling a small animal in the front of my trousers?
(Yes, yes, go ahead and crack wise. I gave you a straight line, I’d be disappointed if you chose not to use it as you see fit.)
What I usually end up with are pants that are too wide and too long and bunch up funny, because the alternative is… what? A kilt? I don’t see my boss approving that as proper work attire, for starters.
Were I rich, I’d just have everything custom made. Since that’s never happening… I just have to live with the fact that, like in every other part of my life, I’m the odd man out when it comes to buying clothes.
It’s not just you. As a woman with a long torso, I cannot purchase dresses unless they do not have a fitted bodice (the line that’s supposed to be under the bosom cuts right across the center of mine, and the waistline hits my lower ribcage). I do know how to use a sewing machine; I can try altering your pants, if you like.
What’s worse is that we’ve been lied to for years. Women’s clothing comes in sizes, but men’s clothing comes with these numbers attached that look like actual measurements – guess what, they’re not. When I left high school, I was wearing 28-36 Levi’s 501s. If I bought them today, it would be 39-34 (going by the advice to buy ’em one inch larger in the waist and 2 inches longer in the inseam than you would any regular pants.)
I submit that the increase in waist is honest; I have not, however, shrunk two inches in 20 years. The culprit is the fashion industry itself, which has been manipulating the sizes to make people feel better. A woman who wore a size 14 in the 1950’s would today be fitted into a 12.