Going in at the waist

· life ·

I steeled myself yesterday to do the thing I hate most in the world: go clothes shopping. I don't mind at all when my clothes are old or unfashionable, but when they start to lose structural integrity I'm forced to the shops. I have no interest in clothes at all, and resent the amount of money I have to spend on them which could — for example — be much more enjoyably spent on buying hi-fi, computer equipment or music. But the real kicker is that it's seemingly impossible to find clothes that fit my lower half.

I'm built in the traditional way for women — big hips, big thighs, narrow(ish) waist. This means that I go in at the waist. It seems incredible, but manufacturers of women's clothes don't seem to have noticed this rather fundamental anatomical fact. I tried on several pairs of trousers and jeans yesterday, and if I found a pair to accommodate my hips, they were enormous around the waist. Even if I hauled them in with a belt, there would have been huge folds of excess material. The last two pairs of jeans I've bought have actually been men's loose fit jeans. This seems completely counterintuitive, and suggests that manufacturers make clothes for men that cater for curvy women better than those made for women. Or perhaps it means that men are getting curvier and women are getting straighter...

Surely in these days of automation, it shouldn't be too difficult to set up a cheap custom tailoring service, where you could separately specify the dimensions of hips, waist (and length, while we're at it), and robot cutter would cut and sew the material just for you? If anyone knows of a shop or an online retailer where they sell reasonable clothes for women who go in at the middle, I'm all ears (and hips).