Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm about 5' 8.5". When I tell people that, they always look at me and say, "Oh, that's not that tall," and then I give them this short lecture:

About ten years ago, the National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey, finding that the average height for an adult woman between the ages of 20 and 29 was 5' 3.8". (I looked up the survey info just for this blog post. Feel special.) This makes me about 5 inches taller than the average woman, which, if you think about it, is almost half a foot. Therefore, I am that tall.

(Incidentally, the survey found the average height for an adult man of the same age group to be 5' 9.2", which makes wearing high heeled shoes on dates highly awkward and impractical for me. It's unfortunate because, as a friend in high school who went on to become third runner-up for Miss Hawaii once told me, I actually have really nice legs.)

These are the facts that I must face when I go shopping for pants. The problems don't stop there, though. I've often surmised when shopping in stores, that designers must think women who are tall have 50% more leg fat than the rest of the population. I can't tell you how often I've tried on a pair of 12 Long pants in the dressing room, only to find that while they fit perfectly around the waist, there is enough room in the butt and thigh to fit another one of me!

My solution came two years ago when I went into the Old Navy on State and Washington in Chicago. Not wanting to waste my time looking for something that wasn't there, I walked straight up to the tallest employee I could find and said, "My kingdom for a pair of Long pants that fit!" She didn't miss a beat.

"Here's what you do," she said. "We don't consistently carry our products in Long, but besides length, there's no difference in how our Long pants and Average pants fit. Shop around the store and find some pants that you like, try them on to find your best size and style, and then go to oldnavy.com and order them with the right inseam."

I could have hugged her. I did what she suggested, and when I got online, discovered that in addition to carrying Long inseams, they have a Tall section, where you can get longer shirts, skirts and dresses as well! (Just a heads up, there's a huge difference between "Long" and "Tall." If you order the Tall inseam, order a size up.) Ever since then, when I want a new pair of pants, I just go online! I find something that looks cute, order it, and it fits perfectly! And that's how the story ends, or so I thought...

College makes you gain weight. No question about that. So before my first trimester of pregnancy was over, I needed new jeans, desperately. I made due for several months just wearing lounge pants (also from Old Navy) and skirts most of the time, but I really needed a new pair of jeans. I looked everywhere, but not only were Long maternity pants lacking, so were the maternity sections themselves. I stopped looking for it when I went into a store. I'd just find an employee and ask if they had one.

I did find an excellent maternity section at Kohl's, and made out like a bandit thanks to my Aunt Marie, who had Kohl's Bucks and various coupons she wasn't going to use but, still no Long pants. Finally, it dawned on me. I hadn't checked Old Navy.

Old Navy has an entire maternity section online. The clothes run a bit too big, but knowing that has made shopping for new clothes a piece of cake. I just order a size down. I now have two pair of Long maternity jeans, not to mention some adorable shirts and a pair of comfy burmudas. I've also discovered the Roll-Over Jersey Skirts, which have no elastic and are nice and stretchy to accomodate the ever-growing me.

So in summary, Old Navy rocks!

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