Jeans For the Meatball-Shaped Gal

Pigeons, I know that finding pants that fit is impossible for MANY of us, and you may join me in a collective groan of frustration now. Ready? All together now…


That feels better, doesn’t it. There, there.

Finding The Best Jeans To Fit Your Body is a perennial headline in the fashion mags, which should make it clear to all of us that from Oprah to Elle, finding a pair of pants that fit and flatter our interesting and unique female bodies is an achievement somewhat akin to finding the Holy Grail. Like, if there were chick knights in the Middle Ages they would have found the Grail really fast and then gone jean shopping with the rest of their time on the road, because they knew even back then that this is a holy quest. If Don Quixote had been Doña Quixote, she would have dreamed the impossible dream about finding pants that fit and looked cute in the butt AND legs (it’s an impossible dream and Cervantes knew it).

We all have our figure ish-oos. Mine is that I have about 70 lbs of butter molded around my midsection in an interesting formation that my friend Ruthie calls “snowman.” It’s really a triple-tiered snowman (or snowwoman, if we’re getting precise) with bosom on top of tummy on top of large lower-abdominal tire. By the time a pair of pants fits around my “waist” (and I use that term with an ironic wink), there’s a tremendous amount by way of fabric swishing around my thighs, which are of normal plumposity factor.

This makes me look and feel like a clown. Like a clown in diapers, in fact. There is no heel high enough and no bra aerodynamic enough to off-set the extra width that regular cut pants add to my silhouette. When I find a pair of trousers that are cut wide enough in the gut and slim enough in the thighs not to utterly engulf me, I weep in the fitting room, praise all the gods I can think of, and buy at least two pairs (because it’s a very RARE occurrence).

And so it is with some hesitation that I recommend to you Pure Energy Stretch Denim pants from Target.

These are nothing to get SUPER excited about, as they’re decidedly casual. They’re fine for a day at the office, worn with a nice blouse or blazer or cardie with a fun necklace and flats or boots. They’re billed as “skinny jeans” (oh GADS, the dreaded skinny jeans trend is still with us! For ladies AND gents, more’s the pity) but what they do best is STRETCH. They’re junior sizes, so you need to get a size up from your usual (or even two sizes) and then expect them to stretch a lot throughout the day. The end result is a normal, button-and-zip pair of pants for a meatball-shaped gal, because the thighs and legs are cut slim enough to look nice and neat and still fit around your butt and stomach.

I have gotten way past the weight where I can publicly wear nice, stretchy black yoga pants on casual days (and all of mine are so threadbare from thousands of washings that they’re barely even gym presentable), so it’s a real break when I find cotton pants that have a decent fit factor. When I exercise and tone up, the first thing to lose weight is my legs and thighs, which just exacerbate my challenging shape situation.

They come in purple, dark teal green, and black and are $29.00 per pair.

4 Replies to “Jeans For the Meatball-Shaped Gal”

  1. I feel your pain. I have found my holy grail in the form of Lane Bryant ‘right size’ jeans. For the first time in forever, I have found jeans that fit my body in all it’s unique lumpy gloriousiness. Unfortunately, they only do jeans and dress pants – the search continues for a pair of khakis and casual (read not polyester) black pants.

  2. Yes, I cling with great tenderness to my three pairs of Lane Bryant black pants — none of them from the “Just Right” collection, as “Just Right” is “not right” for my bod… augh!

  3. I checked out the Target page. If you are of the taller persuasion, it seems these pants come in only one inseam length, whatever the “default” might be. If you are a different shape, and need pants long enough to cover the territory, you might try my best jeans right now. I am not especially tall, but the height I have is from my legs being longer.

    Wrangler Ultimate Riding Jeans, Q-Baby or Cash, in the mid-rise, are available in dark denim (!) and black. These are boot cut, probably for cowgirls of European descent, and meant for horseback riding, with room to bend your knees. They come in sizes and inseam lengths, on-line from various western wear dealers. The suggested price is about $50, but you often find some discounting going on. I’ve been so pleased with these I haven’t checked out much of the rest of the Wrangler line. I tried a pair of Aura, but gave them to the charity shop.

  4. Glad to hear Target has anything in the plus sized line somewhere. The Target in my area has ONE small rack of plus sizes, next to the petite maternity dept., and they get mixed more often than not.

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