My Relationship With Trousers- It’s Complicated.

Me and My Relationship With Bottoms- It’s Complicated.

Ah!- you can’t live with them, can’t live without them...a woman needs a pair of trews like a fish needs a bicycle. Alas, this elephant won’t be pulling on some spandex for a spot of off- roading anytime soon...but, I DO need fabric to cover my legs.

I am not going to use this space to bemoan the state of my legs, but despite the appearance ( averagely unfit person/elephant of middle vintage), they FEEL so much bigger. I can’t lie, my legs and I- we have issues….and as for my backside, I could write a novel on how complicated it is for me to sit these days. So, trousers/leggings/pj bottoms and their crotches, seams and waistbands and I have a love/hate relationship. That is: I would love to wear them, but I hate how uncomfortable they make me feel.

In addition to having ME I am also a Chronic Pain veteran. To those of you who have not experienced the joys of this, here is an edited version of Chronic Pain FAQ’s-

Yes, I am in pain all day every day for 95% of the time,

yes, I have pain every day,

yes, you can have pain that you get for no reason,

yes, there is pain that Drs just can’t understand,

Yes, I do take pain killers- lots of the ****ers!

there is no medication that completely gets rid of the pain, you can have enough opoids to knock out a brontosaurus and you will still be in pain. To get pain free you would need bucket loads of morphine and some sedatives washed down with a flaggon of Brandy...and you would be asleep.

no- exercise makes it worse not better, and I don’t want to speak to your pilates teacher/chiropractor/Shaman.

yes, I have tried various solutions/remedies/regimes/doctors/diets etc.

and voila! I am still sick and in pain, and poorer….

no, I am not a freak: sadly there are millions of us across the world in similarl positions.

Anyhew: having said all of the above, the main site of the pain is pelvic, lower back, middle back, sciatic nerves and buttocks- aka those glutes are NOT going to be happy if I try to drag a pair of jeans over them. I also have ‘ME pain’ throughout my body which makes me feel ghastly.On a bad day even looking at my underwear hurts. So it’s baggy tracky bottoms all the way in this house- although as I have to lie on a heat pad most of the time, it is better if they are cotton otherwise I am sweating like Black Beauty.

I haven’t given up on finding something trouser shaped that can be comfortable, but until then I rotate the usual unattractive suspects until I find ‘The One’ - crisply tailored work trousers having been consigned to the charity shop where some wardrobe- hungry lady, will buy the archeological remains of a life once lived.

Trousers- can’t live without them, can’t live comfortably with them. Not so very important, but not insignificant either….I mean: I can’t wear these fig leaves for ever ;-)


I have to say I read this and felt true kinship! I sympathise with your plight in trying to find trousers that are comfy, keep everything in and look somewhat trouser-like.

I will freely admit to being a skinny minny (as my mum likes to call me), but due to anxiety issues I find trousers near impossible to wear. Any hint of stress and I have to pee every 45 minutes. My trip to work is 15 mins off peak time, 40 mins on a good day during rush hour or an hour in bad traffic. For some reason trousers seem to put so much force on my bladder that it cuts my 'personal best' pee window in half.

I have bought about 6 pairs of trousers that I think will be loose enough across the stomach but when I put them on in the morning they seem to shrink and squeeze before I've left the house! The material suddenly feels suffocating and too tight on my thighs.

I have resigned myself to skirt and dress-legging combos which I live in now. Tights also fall into the bladder squeeze category.

I think the reason I keep trying to buy trousers, even though I know they won't make the trip to the office, is that it's another piece of my identity puzzle that's getting lost. Today it's a pair of trousers, but what will it be tomorrow?

I say we should embrace the sweatpants, those Kardashian sisters have been trotting around in them so maybe we'll look super stylish?! Or harem pants, loose cotton sounds pretty good. Maybe some sort of culottes?
I know what you mean about the compulsion to keep buying until you get in right! I am thinking ahead for summer and have bought a maxi we will see how that goes. Yes, it feels like once you give something up, you never get it back. I can also relate to the anxietyneedtopeething, and anything pressing on that area makes it worse. My next stop for experimentation is going to be harem pants this summer ( not good for work for you thou'). Will report back!
I just discovered harem pants recently. Wonderful. Loose elasticated waist, very baggy legs, elastic around the ankles so they don't float about and trip me up, and the 2 pairs I bought on-line, lovely soft fabric. Rather thin fabric for this time of year, but as I sit or lie around most of the day with a rug or duvet over my legs, not a problem.
I haven't made a pair yet, but I think Thai Fishermen's Pants might suit very well... Check out Confessions of a Refashionista, because if nothing else, she's amusing! I've had the pants bookmarked for ages. I'm allergic to elastic and don't like anything binding, plus my size is changing, so these will be worth the effort. (I've seen them for sale on Etsy, also, but never bought.)
I hadn't thought of Fisherman's pants! I'm glad this article is resonating with people, and that I am not the only one for whom clothes are a sore point ( literally!)
I do not have to deal with pain, but do have a couple of thoughts on comfy clothes that may or may not translate from the U.S. to the U.K.

One is thermal knit winter underwear. When I am not going to be leaving home, a favorite 'outfit' is a knee-length nightgown and thermal knit bottoms. The thermal knits are not baggy, but have enough give not to be uncomfortable. If the waistband is to tight you can use scissors to snip the elastic in enough places to make them loose enough to be comfortable, but not so loose that they fall off.

The other is bib overalls. These were originally worn by farmers and made of denim. I have a pair make of soft corduroy and once had a pair made of a light-weight knit. These were bought some years ago and would probably only be available in vintage clothes shops or online, if at all. They have a loose waist and could be worn with a soft top such as the tops of thermal knit underwear.
@Little Bluestem those are very good ideas! I do have thermal leggings but they are skin tight. Funnily enough I was thinking about bib overalls just the other day. I think they could look quite good on. And the loose waist would definately be a winner. I too am a snipper of elastic!!!

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