Monday, February 1, 2010

All Women Are Not Created Equal

To the Powers that Be:

I come to you as a woman sickened by a great injustice that has been served to women for far too long. I come to you today, because not only do I feel that change is necessary, but I know that it is not impossible. I come to you with an opportunity to simplify the life of women all over the world. I come to you to ask: Would it really be so hard to sell women's pants with measured inseams?

When a woman decides it is finally time to buy a new pair of pants, not only must they schedule potential hours for this feat, but they must also prepare themselves mentally for this arduous task. You see, she knows that once she enters the mall, she will be required to roam from store to store, like a pinball, in search of a pair of pants. Often in tow, are an impatient husband and children who do not have the endurance for such a trip. "But," you protest, "Women come in many different shapes. It is the nature of the beast." I get that. I am delighted that you offer so many different fits of pants. This is truly empowering. But, many clothing manufacturers have been making pants with the mistaken belief that women come in only three heights: petite, regular, or tall. This, is simply not true. Nor is it a dependable system to shop by. For example, a 5'3" petite woman (petite generally defined as 5'3" or under) might find that pants sold in the designated petite section are STILL 3 inches too long. Do you understand how this might be frustrating? Do you understand that there are many heights unaccounted for in between the produced lengths of petite, regular, and tall?

Do you understand that when a woman finally finds a pair of pants that fits their waist, thighs, and rear appropriately, they are then forced to decide whether to a.) roll the bottoms of the pants to avoid walking on them, b.) cut and sew a new hem themselves at home (which we all know will never look right on a pair of jeans), c.) consider wearing stilettos for the rest of their life in order to avoid option "a" and "b", or d.) resign themselves to a life of high waters, and pray that it never goes out of style? (I know you might be tempted to encourage option "c" as a more fashionable way of life in general, but you must believe me when I tell you that it is not practical for the average woman). Do you understand that shopping for pants- challeneged only by bras and swimming suits- is one of the most dreaded tasks for the women of America- and perhaps worldwide?

Not only is shopping for pants a task frustrating, exhausting, and powerful enough to break even the strongest of women, it is also a great injustice to women everywhere. You see, any woman who looks across the dividing aisle of The Gap, Banana Republic, Express (once exclusive to women), Macy's, and any other store in America, will observe that pants are sold in an entirely different way for men. Clothing manufacturers understand that men come in more than 3 heights. Men can enter a store, find the fit they like, and then choose their pants with a magic number. This magic number is the measurement of their inseam- a number that never changes. This number tells men exactly where they can expect their pants to fall. I have observed with amazement as men walk into a store and purchase pants, without EVER having to try them on (or buying a new pair of shoes that allows them to wear said pants).

I understand that their are some brands that offer custom length pants- for a price. To that I say, it is time to stop offering efficiency to women as special treatment. It is time to break the bonds of frustrating shopping experiences and unite us with our brothers by selling us pants with measured inseams. Is this really too much to ask?



  1. Dear Gina,

    Instead of thinking pants-makers should change their sizing to fit your needs, have you considered changing YOUR sizing to fit THEIR pants?

    Why don't you just get your legs lengthened so they fit a common size pant?

    The University of Maryland Medical Center says this about leg lengthening:

    "While...under general anesthesia, the bone to be lengthened is cut. Metal pins or screws are inserted through the skin and into the bone.

    "Pins are placed above and below the cut in the bone, and the skin incision is stitched closed.

    "A metal attached to the pins in the bone and will be used later to gradually pull the cut bone apart, creating a space between the ends of the cut bone that will fill in with new bone...

    "Later, when the leg has reached the desired length and has healed (usually after several months), another surgical procedure will be done to remove the pins."

    Sounds less painful and time-consuming than your current practice of hunting for the perfect pair of jeans, don't you think?


  2. i had the same difficulty finding jeans last year and finally bought some lucky jeans, for way too much but are sized by inseams. now i'm thinking about selling them because they are TOO low cut and drive me crazy! i feel your pain!

  3. Rebecca-
    Ouch! But tempting....

    Isn't it the worst?! And you bring up another good complication thrown in the mix- budget.