This blog post was inspired by a conversation that my friend Ashley and I had about how 4-inch shorts are starting to look and feel way too short! My mind jumped to a wealth of other problems that I’ve experienced with my clothes. Afterward, I reached out to some other friends to see if we could compile a list of different clothing issues and problems that we could solve. The most common issues that I discovered were related to how clothing fits. Not a surprise considering that our bodies don’t fit into some perfect, cookie cutter mold. This post is all about 3 annoying fit issues for different body types, and what I discovered about each issue. Some of them have easier solutions than others!
FIT ISSUE #1: “SHORTS AND PANTS FIT MY THIGHS BUT ARE TOO LOOSE IN THE WAIST”
This is one of the fit issues that I’ve struggled with in the past, and it is potentially a problem for all pear-shaped women like me. A pear body shape is someone whose hips are wider than their shoulders and bust. If this is your body type and you’d like some recommendations for what to wear, I previously wrote a clothing guide for pear body shapes that you can read here. This is also commonly a problem for women who have the hourglass body shape, because they have wider hips and a smaller, well-defined waist.
Ever since I’ve been a teenager, I’ve had the issue of shorts and pants fitting my thighs but gaping at the waist. Now that I’ve started to nail down a consistent workout routine, my thighs are bigger and more muscular. The struggle is real! LOL. Sometimes my shorts fit in the morning, but as the day goes on, they start sagging down from my waist. According to Cosmopolitan, if you buy shorts that have some stretch, they will be more likely to hold their shape as the day goes on. I recently bought shorts from Altar’d State that have the right amount of stretch around my waist and thighs. I am so thrilled with how they fit on every part of my lower half! Before buying shorts, look at the materials that your shorts are made from. These are 2% spandex, so you know they are going to have a little stretch!
Jeans and pants are also problematic for me. All of the sources that I looked at suggested that a contoured cut is the best type of pants for pear-shaped women to buy. Instead of the waistband being cut on a straight line, a contoured waistband is cut on a curve to mimic the curves of your body (Source: Good Housekeeping)! If your jeans or pants are considered “curvy cut,” they are more likely to have a contoured waist and more relaxed through the hips and thighs. I am so happy that these types of pants have become extremely common in the past five years. My favorite jeans come from New York & Company (their bootcut and boyfriend style jeans). You can view their whole curvy line here.
FIT ISSUE #2: “SHIRTS AREN’T LONG ENOUGH FOR MY BODY”
I had a friend relate that her shirts are never long enough as a taller woman. As an average-height woman, I can’t personally relate to this issue. However, I can tell that it’s not easy at all to find tall clothing, except for when it comes to jeans and pants. When I’m shopping, this is the only section of tall clothing for women that I ever see. It seems a little crazy that stores often have petite sections, but never tall sections. Although I sadly did not have any major solutions to this problem, I did round up the best stores for tall women.
I read a Huffington Post article about the 8 best online retailers for tall women. Among the stores mentioned were J.C. Penney, J. Crew, Long Tall Sally (which I’ve never heard of!), Nordstrom, Old Navy, Topshop, and Victoria’s Secret. Through some online investigation of my own, I discovered several more stores that have tall shirts and blouses, including Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, ASOS, Eddie Bauer, and New York & Company. Unfortunately, many of these stores only have these sections online as well. This seems like a huge problem that needs to change! It’s really not fair that taller women would have to either a.) buy all of their clothes online and not be able to try their clothes on, or b.) buy clothes that don’t fit their tall frames that well.
FIT ISSUE #3: “T-SHIRTS DON’T FIT MY ARMS AND SHOULDERS”
Another issue that a friend had was that women’s t-shirts fit her waist but are too tight around her shoulders and arms. She has to wear bigger shirts so that she can actually move her arms. The main tip that I discovered for t-shirts is that many women with broader shoulders and arms buy men’s t-shirts. This is because men’s shirts are wider in the shoulder. If you can find “slim” or “fitted” t-shirts, the shirts will still nip in at the waist. Other suggestions would be go up a size for your t-shirts like my friend does. Some other ideas for shirts are wearing loose and long sleeves (such as batwing or kimono sleeves) to allow some extra space for your amazing muscles. Tanks, halters, sleeveless, strapless, and ¾ length tops are all very flattering styles for you as well. (Sources: Dirty and Thirty, Focus on Style, Birds Nest)
After investigating these fit issues, I realized more than ever that the clothing industry does not accommodate women of all body types.
My boyfriend and I had a good discussion about why curvy fit jeans only started becoming widespread within the past 5-10 years. He hypothesized that the fashion industry probably continued making clothes to fit their models (who were all stick thin and teeny-tiny) and didn’t really branch out to what the everyday woman needed. I also recognize that society goes through waves of what we think is attractive every decade in terms of body type. The ideal body type in the 1990’s was super thin, while nowadays women are celebrated for having curves. It isn’t right that women who are taller or have larger shoulders and/or arms don’t have easy access to the styles that they want to wear.
Did this address any fit issues that you have? If not, please let me know a fit issue that you struggle with!
Until next time…