I’ve talked a lot about pants and how to fit them and the components of fitting.
But haven’t talked a lot about what makes a good fit and what doesn’t. And that’s just as confusing, considering the plethora of stretch pants out there but also the paint brushing going on how can a person tell what’s good and what isn’t.
Here are some examples:
This is supposed to be a current style – thank heavens it’s in its waning stage. Most of the fitting problems that folks talk about are from too-tight pants. In this case, these are too tight through the torso.
This is when it gets really confusing. These are airbrushed. There is NO WAY a normal pair of pants is this flat across the stomach. Therefore showing anything like this like it’s reality is lying to the public (the airbrusher should be brought up on charges and allowed to suffer the consequences of his actions!) This causes unreal expectations.
I actually thought this was pretty realistic picture that has not been airbrushed. There’s a little lump of fabric that makes a horizontal line on the torso, which is probably the tucked-in shirt – meaning this is probably pretty realistic. Although hardly any of the models stood straight, which is how you should stand when fitting pants, this shows typical wrinkles that are not bad, they are just there because the model is moving.
This is a realistic picture too, and shows the mess with side pockets (hence the buckling on the model’s left side. The wrinkles at the crotch are not from bad fitting, they are from the model standing with her hips shifted. I would reserve judgement about whether those wrinkles would be there if she were standing straight (I’ll bet they aren’t there).
Yes, these look comfy; yes, they look like they would “fit”, but the truth is they don’t fit. And even if you see it on the runway, it doesn’t work; even if you are thinner than a runway model and on your death bed from starvation, this doesn’t work. This is another unreal expectation. If you want something to wear to sleep in, that’s different. If you want to look professional, no! If you want to look stupid, yes!
Please understand that stretch fabric fits differently than woven fabric. By differently I mean a totally different look when you are finished. If you are expecting a close fit in a pair of woven pants, then expect not to sit down, stoop, bend or move. On the other hand making a pair of stretch pants skin tight is not attractive, no matter what your shape is.
Another adage from YSL: (I love quoting him, he was so brilliant when it came to fashion), it’s sexier to show or elude to a little than it is to show the whole thing:
The left one just isn’t sexy. After the first shocking glimpse, that’s it – it’s all there…the gal on the right you keep looking – why?….cause you can’t see it all, and your imagination starts cooking – it’s much sexier and more alluring!
OK – back to pants. Here’s a pair that I like the way they fit.
Although this picture ain’t much – and the pants don’t look like they fit, click on the photo to see the pants move and you will see they meet all the points, they’re seated well, hang correctly, have enough ease to live in (although this model hasn’t eaten in a month [but she does have a stomach], but this does mean that we normal figures can be fit). This just works.
I want you to know it took me about 2 hours to find a picture on the internet of a pair of good-fitting pants. Some others may have been fitting, but when you’re bungee jumping, who could tell if they fit or not! That’s my joke of some of the positions that are in the editorial sections of the fashion magazines. Why can’t they just stand straight so we can see how the clothes fit?
But that it took me so long, show just how ill-fitting pants are partly because there aren’t any good parameters out there for women. For men, there’s lots of stuff, but not for women.
Lastly, here’s a picture I found that was so fertile for solution that I couldn’t pass it up….let’s start with the front….
This is probably a duh moment, but the front is not seated well, therefore it isn’t hanging well. The shorts are hanging so they tilt toward the back. If you actually want them this short in front, then adjust the torso length in front. That means bring the waist down. The frown and the crotch means that there’s too much fabric in the front, and the best and easiest way to cure this is take it up from the waist.
OK – now the back. Again they aren’t seated correctly, but this isn’t due to the waist (as in the front), it’s due to the fact that they shorts can come any higher in back, because the crotch height is too short so the pants are pulling to try and get to the waist and higher. This means that the crotch seam has to be redrawn so that it’s lower in back than in front. Additionally I would add a little in back. I would like to see a straight line in the fabric (no crushing, crunching, wrinkles of any kind) from both side backs, fit from the waist to the largest part of the butt and hang straight to the hem. That’s a good fit.
One more note about fitting; you will make a bargain between comfort and fit. This is natural, and this point is very personal and can even vary from your own closet – what you want for evening is different than the pair that you throw on to run to the mall. The point is that do not get frustrated if you feel you can’t find this perfect spot. More likely than not, you really don’t know where it is yourself (it’s been bred out of us by RTW). So allow yourself some experimentation to figure out where that is. Also once you find that sweet spot realize that you’ve probably been wearing the pants for a while, and they shape to you. You may take the same pattern out months later to make them again, and put them on and they aren’t like your pair you’ve been wearing for a couple of months. Nothing’s wrong, just give them time to shape!
Hopefully this helped you understand about what a good fit is and isn’t. It is no wonder we don’t know what is what in pants when so much is being offered – everything from huge pants larger than a hot-air balloon to pants that barely cover the subject as well as tighter than if they were painted on your body. Neither one is a fit.