I don’t wear pants very often.
It’s not a rule, per se, or a thing that I do, intentionally, wearing only skirts (although I’m a great fan and admirer of the No Pants! blog.)
I just figured out a while ago that in all photos of me taken anywhere, I prefer the way I look in skirts and dresses to pants, and since then, I’ve tried out various theories, in the following progression of thought:
1) Pants are particularly difficult to fit on MY body, and I just need to find the right styles and stick to those.
(and I drew this little sketch to illustrate it.)
2) I’m actually not really sure how to fit pants, and many of the ones I buy simply don’t fit very well, and I just squeeze myself into them, not knowing the difference, having quite likely spent my entire life thus far in ill-fitting pants.
3) Pants are by nature difficult to fit because there are so many measurements, and manufacturers can’t really fit a style closely to any individual body, therefore if I want to wear pants I should enlist the professional help of a good tailor.
4) If I sewed my own pants, I could eliminate some of these variables, but then I would still have to learn about all these different measurements and variables, myself, and I really don’t know where to start.
5) Then I discovered some pants I’d once made, some time ago, and decided that actually, my shape isn’t so difficult to fit after all (since once, at least, I’d been able to simply followed a straight commercial pattern, and end up with pants) and the real problem must be that the fit of pants is the first thing to change when one’s weight fluctuates, as mine (like so many other women’s) so often does. After all, these pants look fine, right now, but since there’s no waistband (just a side zip and waist facings, front and back) if I lose 5 pounds, they become too loose and ride down on the hips, becoming saggy in the crotch, and if I gain 5 pounds, the belly looks bad and…other unflattering things.
There’s quite likely some truth in all these ideas. I don’t really know how to fit pants, and most retailer’s pant’s aren’t a great fit on my body, and there are a lot of variables in measurements that improve a fit on a pair of pants, and I probably am really in over my head, on this one. But the fact that I once made this one pair of pants that’s not entirely awful indicates that maybe, just maybe I could try it again, and puzzle this thing out bit by bit.
I think I’m ready to try. My next pair, I’ll add some belt loops, so at least they might have some longevity and span at least a little bit of body-size fluctuation variation. Pockets would be a nice addition, as well. And a fabric heavier than suiting would be better, these are pretty lightweight, in my opinion.
But I’m still not quite sure where to start. Even if I made the same pattern over again, should I make some fit adjustments? Those are from Butterick 6833, here:
The style seems to fit my preferred shape for pant acceptability, so close that I wonder if I was wearing my home-sewn green pants when I drew that picture…BUT: Fit for Real People warns me that wrinkles point to fit problems. I look at the picture of the model on the pattern, and I see wrinkles, pointing to her crotch as well as over her right hip, where her leg extends farther. Do these pants even fit her?
How do I know? What does a pair of right-fitting pants even look like?
And most importantly: Do mine fit me? Pants wrinkle all the time, with every step. Which posture is the one that’s supposed to reveal the true fit? Which wrinkles are meaningful, and which ones are inevitable, as fabric flows around a three-dimensional form moving through space? And is there a formula?
One way or another, I’m going to figure out pants.