The Lament of a Pear-Shaped Woman

It’s a familiar issue for many.. why are there no jeans manufacturers making clothes that fit ME?

Fed up with trying on jeans and finding the same problem again and again, I thought I’d investigate a little further, and try to find out why I have issues finding jeans that fit me.

First of all, I needed to work out what shape I am. Most people seem to be familiar with the fruity way of describing a female body – I am a Pear. This means (for the uninitiated) that my top half and waist are small in proportion to my hips and bum.

Google search gone pear-shaped

There are a few articles out there giving advice to those who have a Pear shaped body, but they don’t really tend to give any specific measurements. This helps to appeal to more readers, of course, but I wanted to find out whether there are any high street retailers making jeans for me. In the past, I’ve worn maternity jeans, as they are nice and stretchy at the waist and thus a lot more comfortable. With those though, I can’t tuck in the tops I wear because it looks too strange.

My first stop was to the Levi’s store in Carnaby Street. I’d heard about their Curve ID range, and went along to ask them why I couldn’t find the range anywhere for sale. You guessed it – they have completely scrapped it. The apologetic salesperson gave me an alternative pair to try, saying that people who used to wear the Curve had moved onto that style. Sadly, it was the same old story – the size that fit perfectly on the hips gaped hugely around the waist, and I couldn’t even pull the smaller size over my thighs.

Back to the drawing board.

I decided to look for jeans according to my waist size rather than try the lottery that is the UK dress size (I can be anything from 8 – 14 depending on the manufacturer!)

So out came the measuring tape. My waist circumference is 28 inches, or 71cm. Fine! I would now try on jeans with a waist size of 28 inches.

Both pairs of jeans labelled 28 inch waist

Wait, what? These two pairs of jeans both had the exact same size written on the label – waist 28 inches. My size!

It seems that 28 inches means different things to different manufacturers, too! No more reliable than the dress sizes.

Back to the drawing board again!

This time I began to think about proportions. It’s clear that I don’t match up with the fashion industry’s idea of a standard body type, so I thought I’d research what IS considered standard.

The results were illuminating, and have saved me considerable effort and time.

Although jeans are usually listed as a particular waist or dress size, none of the brands I’ve seen list the hip size along with it.

Out came the measuring tape again. My hip circumference is 40 inches, or 102cm, giving a 12 inch difference between the waist and hips. I looked through the size guides of fourteen clothing retailers*, and discovered that not a single one of them caters for someone with this waist-hip ratio.

Most of the retailers gave a difference of 9 or 10 inches, with Boden giving just 8 inches’ difference. In the majority of cases, I would fit a UK 10 around the waist, but a UK 14 around the hips! It’s no wonder I was getting nowhere.

The closest to my shape was Zara, who give 11 inches’ difference between waist and hip. I suppose I’ll have to start tailoring my jeans!

In the meantime, I’ll stick to my dungarees, even if they do make me look like a Minion.




*Boden, Dorothy Perkins, Gap, Levi’s, Mango, M&S, Next, New Look, River Island, Topshop, Urban Outfitters,, Warehouse, Zara


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