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Project Fatass: The Trouble With Jeans

When people ask me what my biggest problems are after my gastric bypass I think they are expecting me to say that I’m sick, that I can’t eat the things I love or that I have some freakish pain… but that’s not it, I have none of those problems.  Right now my biggest problems are hair loss (I knew this was coming) and LACK OF CLOTHES. 

I honestly had no idea how much quicker the weight loss would show in my clothes than it does on the scale.  I feel like I should still fit into things that I wore a month ago because my weight hasn’t changed a huge amount, but apparently my body has.  The pile of clothes that don’t fit is getting bigger and bigger and has pretty much taken over our dining room. I’ve given away a load to friends, I’ve sent a few bags to the clothing bins for the homeless outside our supermarket and I still have piles left over to photograph and put up for sale.


What does that leave me?  Not a heck of a lot!

I am incredibly lucky that I have a few friends who have passed on some of the clothes they aren’t wearing. The clothes they have given me are pretty much what I have been living in over the past few months.  One thing that is always difficult, though, is jeans (well, any pants at all really!).  I thought that losing weight would change my issues with finding jeans to fit, but that’s not the case at all.  I still have the very same problem just in smaller sizes, and boy does it tick me off.

I am such an incredibly odd shape that I can’t just say “Oh I’m a size so and so” and someone can hand over a pair of jeans and they will fit.  I am pear shaped and I have a very small waist and that makes things very difficult.  By the time I get jeans to fit around my arse, the waist is miles big and that’s never comfortable.  Most times I have to settle for at least a partially elasticized waist and while that’s not something I really like, I do it because it works.  I hope that one day I even out, that my thighs and bum get small enough to allow me to get jeans that fit in the waist too (without elastic) but for now, that’s life!

Today I went shopping because I don’t have a single pair of jeans that fits me the way I like.  All the ones I have now are too big and I spend all day tugging them up because the crotch drops halfway to my knees and the bum sags.  I know I’m going to have to get my head around wearing belts soon but I really don’t find them comfortable.

See, here’s the problem…  Today I went to a store called Miss Etam to try on jeans and this was the first pair I put on.

Jeans Problem

They were a size 48 (size 18 in US and Canada) that was a little too big anyway but WAY too big in the waist.  I went all the way down to a size 44 (14) and while the 44 was quite tight in my legs and butt, I was able to get them buttoned and zipped and the waist was STILL to big.

I tried every style they had in their plus section, trying them all in sizes 46-48 but it was the same every time. Some came close to being ok but I knew once I wore them for an hour I’d be tugging at them because the waist was too big.  I did the same in their regular sizes, trying the larger sizes in the regular part which was a size 46 (16) but had the exact same problem.  In the end it was either buy them and get a belt or don’t buy them at all.  I went for don’t buy them at all… and swore a little (ok, a lot).

I think I tried on almost every pair of jeans in the city before deciding to go to one of the plus sized stores I used to shop at a lot.  I had gotten jeans there in the past when I was bigger but still had the same problem.  The back of their jeans are elasticized (groan) but dammit, they fit my shape.  I was so hoping to be able to go to a normal shop and buy normal jeans, ya know?  Like to have this great moment where I can be all “WAHOOO jeans are no longer the bane of my existence!!”  Nope, they still are. ALL pants are!

So, off I went to Ulla Popken.  It wasn’t so bad because I’d just gotten a pamphlet in the mail from them for 10% off because it was my birthday on Tuesday (37, I’m making my mother feel so old! haha).  At least I could get my elasticized fat girl jeans for cheaper!

Elastic to the rescue

There’s no denying it, they just fit better, they really do!  No big sticky outy bit at my waist.  So I bought them.

I can’t really complain.  The last pair of I bought of these was just over a year ago and they were a size 52 (Size 22 in Canada / US) but today?  Today I walked out with a size 46 (size 16!!).

A size 16 people!!

I get that a size 16 would have some people running to the gym and crying in their martinis about how fat they’ve gotten but for me, coming from roughly a wrap around the moon size, a size 16 is freaking great!!

Even if they do have stupid elastic at the waist.

I’m not even going to get into the fact that those jeans are petite length and STILL too long for me.  I don’t even know why I argue when my husband and best friend call me Shire Folk.

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Hey Tammy! Great job. Jeans/pants are always tricky no matter what the size. And I hear ya on the length too. At 4’11&3/4″, I even try on tall jeans sometimes. I figure it doesn’t really matter since they all get hemmed anyway:-)

  2. Hi Tammy,

    I love your blog. Congratulations on your achievement! We all hate the dreaded jean shopping. May I suggest that you get your Mom to send you a pair of Comfort Fit jeans from Reitmans in Canada. They have a flat, wide elastic waist like yoga pants with a faux fly. No zipper, no button, no belt. Your top will lie smooth and flat making you look even smaller and they are super-comfortable.

    • Hi Lucinda! Thanks for visiting :) To be honest it’s really not worth having mom send me over jeans. My fit is SO odd that even with the curvy ones and the differences in the sizing between here and there, the chances of us getting the right fit is slim, then we have to factor in the shipping charges and getting them back and forth in time for returns. Easier just to drive myself crazy trying to find something here. I’m definitely visiting Reitmans when I’m home in October though, mom has been telling me that they have some great clothes now too!

  3. It’s a definite problem trying to buy pants in a country where all the women have legs up to their skinny necks!!! lol I tend to have more luck in Promise…you may wanna try there!

    • Oh yes the height thing is a definite issue for me here. 7/8 jeans here are like proper pants on me and 3/4 length pants are 7/8 haha I have to buy bermudas (shorts) if I want something that falls below the knee, it’s crazy!

  4. Size 16? Fantastic! They look amazing! Who’s happy with jean shopping—nobody. Only later, not right then. Welcome back to that eternal conundrum…

    • Yeah I know you’re right, I always imagine ‘normal’ bodied women just going in, grabbing their size and them fitting perfectly haha

  5. I don’t think there’s a single woman out there who actually likes shopping for pants. And I don’t think there’s a single pants manufacturer who makes pants for women with hips–I also have trouble finding pants that fit me properly, and usually resort to using a belt.

    • I’ve definitely resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to have to start using a belt. I just need to bite the bullet and buy one and wear it until I’m used to it :P

  6. Hey there skinny ass…errr waist! ahahha

    Great job!!!
    Kara´s last post ..Crane and Sheep and Community

  7. Tammy, I love your blog. I had the same problem and so did my daughter until we had children. Now everything is too tight in the waist. glad yyou found a pair that fit.

    Have you tried ones that have some stretch to them? Happy late Birthday!!


    • The jeans I ended up buying were stretchy, most plus sized jeans here are. I’ve gotten so used to them that non-stretchy jeans just feel sooo hard. Maybe if I ever get pregnant things will even out a bit, I don’t know if that would be a good or bad thing! haha

  8. awesome!!! Glad you found something to get you through for a while!

    I have some 16W Calvin Klein’s if you are interested in trying them; if they work for you, they are yours. I have been holding on to them for comfort (meaning emotional more than anything else) but to be honest I really, really shouldn’t be wearing them, they look terribly too big and droopy butt.
    Renée (@pinkypie)´s last post ..And… Another Race!

    • Oh that’d be great Renee!! :) They may be too small now (unless they are stretchy too) but if not then I’m sure I’ll get into them at some point. I’m also going to try to get used to wearing a belt so that I give myself more options with pants.

  9. Woohoo for the new jeans!! I think you look awesome Tammy!! :) You will be shopping at any store you want in no time!!

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