MY (TRAUMATIC) JOURNEY TO FINDING THE PERFECT LEATHER TROUSER
A Story Of Drama, Emotional and Physical Defeat
I really can’t believe how long it’s taken me to share this post with you. It’s an outfit post I’ve been meaning to share for absolutely months, I was so excited to share the full story with you (I eluded to it here, you may remember) that I kept waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ and as tends to happen with those kind of moments, it never quite appeared. The reason this post was so eagerly anticipated is that it features a garment which I dedicated almost 6 months to finding & a rather elaborative story to boot. My quest for leather trousers was nothing but traumatic. We all know leather trousers are a struggle size wise anyway (if you don’t just refer to Ross from friends’ experience), add in the complexities of fucked up high street sizing, the ratio’s between my butt, hips and thighs and the general nature of such an investment purchase and I found myself on a self mission expanding months, a mission of serious investment both financially and emotionally.
Who knew it would prove so difficult. The story goes a little something like this …
I really wanted a pair of straight leg trousers. A classic tailor and a cropped straight leg. I didn’t want skin tight leggings & I most definitely didn’t want a faux leather. I just wanted a quality pair of straight leg leather trousers that fit me. Simple huh? Well the quest for these trousers actually spanned a series of months, over 12 different orders (over half of which were the same pairs) and a terrible cash flow as a result of constant ordering and returns (heaven forbid doing it in store, my self confidence would have never survived it).
I first found ‘the pair’ on Mango. I ordered them. They were too small. I ordered another size. They were perfect, I turned around to look in the mirror and the inner seam split. I returned them. They sold out. I hunted the high street for weeks and weeks for the last remaining pair (Regent Street in case you care), I dashed to the store, bought the pair they had on hold for me. Got home, went to try them on & for some unbeknownst reason, the same size in this pair literally wouldn’t go up my leg. This my friends, is a common occurrence in the story we’re about to unfold. I returned them. Then they sold out. Forever. No more, in stock. EVER. I was gutted, I love the cut, they fitted nicely (well 1/3 times), and they were good quality (well aside from the seam issue on the second pair …). I lost hope a little bit … I was already three pairs in by this point, and a good month or so of time and energy dedicated to the cause. Despite the price point the quality & sizing was all over the shop.
I wasn’t sure i’d find the cut I wanted again, that was until And Other Stories stepped into the ring. I was relieved, I love And Other Stories as I’m sure you know. I buy a lot from there, I know the quality & the sizing … well I could get over the sizing situation I thought. I bought 9 pairs of leather trousers from AOS in total. Nine!
I spent months of pain trying to get the right pair. Months. I faced three key issues: Firstly sizing, what AOS says is a size 8 is a size 6, what they say is a 10 is an 8, so on so forth, so naturally nothing you order in your size fits. I got so exasperated by the sizing drama I actually carried out an in-depth analysis of the clothing size guides of all UK stores compared to AOS, and the results were definitive. Without exception every store had measurements which AOS would call one size smaller than the rest of the industry. Talk about a way to bring a woman down, I hope me sharing my findings brings you some internal relief as much as it did me. I gradually got over the self repulsion of having to ‘size up’ due to AOS’s utterly fucked up approach to sizing and re-ordered all the styles I’d bought in the next size up to try them out, but even then It didn’t resolve the issues.
This brings me to the second issue I faced, the lack of consistency in sizing; so I bought 4 styles of leather trousers again each in a size up versus my first order (a UK 10, which AOS label a 12); this time it rolled out as follows. One pair I physically couldn’t get over my knee, one was too big, gigantic almost, one fit perfectly. Of course the one that fit perfectly, had a ripped inner cotton seam (AGAIN) so the faulty fitting pair had to be returned. Of course – I debated heavily keeping all the inner seam ripped leather trousers, after all you can’t see it and the leather trouser was still perfect. But you know what for £250+ per pair, it’s not acceptable that they are faulty. So I obviously reordered the same size in the same style. When they arrived they were bigger than the prior pair. A small win in the self-esteem bank & thankfully on the right side of sizing issues in my mind. So they did.
I was 12 pairs deep. Well over a thousand pound debited awaiting refunds. And truth be told exasperated physically from the extensive trying on, but also emotionally from the mental trauma of the sizing conundrums.
So you can imagine how delighted I was when I finally had this pair in my clasp. Quality. Tailored. A tiny bit too big (hooray). And with an intact inner seem. I was almost so over the moon I couldn’t then bring myself to share the post, I wanted to saviour it for the perfect occasion. And then, much like the leather trouser mission itself, months passed and I still hadn’t shared it. Until now …
The good news is that despite my tardiness of sharing this post, the pair I decided on have been reprised in AOS’s Autumn 2018 collection so you can find them here – it seems the other styles didn’t make the cut so I suspect I wasn’t the only customer facing these dilemma’s. They’ve also released this pair which i like too. I wore it with my Whistles ‘le Weekend’ knit, Lady Chanel, my Jigsaw City coat and my Gucci loafers.
As regards to any advice if you too are on the quest, my biggest tip is not to take it personally. I have discovered there is utterly no rhyme or reason to the sizing, tailoring, cuts or styles, it is utterly pot luck. But perhaps that makes the final perfect pair all the more special and worthwhile …
Good luck adventurers x