I don’t wear a lot of pants. I don’t find them as comfortable physically as skirts or dresses, nor as comfortable in terms of body confidence. However, since I’m trying to work on the latter I’ve been making more of an effort in the last few months to try different items of clothing I normally would steer clear from, with trousers especially, since winter is just a sensible time to be embracing them.
Most of the Autumn/Winter 15 offerings from Pinup Girl Clothing have been more along the lines of event wear, but the Houndstooth cigarette pants immediately caught my eye, even though, at first, I had no intention of actually trying them. As time wore on, I found myself wondering about them more. Maybe I would pick up a pair. The pattern might be somewhat disguising for my bumps and curves, I guessed, and they’re a better length than rocking capri pants in winter. The sizing information available, though, gave me massive pause. They size small, I heard, from multiple people and the size chart said they ran small. Laura Byrnes, PUG’s founder and head designer, confirmed it for me; they came in smaller than expected, size up. But no, I personally found they’re more forgiving than their past Cigarette Pants, someone else told me. What’s a girl to believe?!
Trousers: Houndstooth Cigarette Pants by Pinup Girl Clothing from Deadly Is The Female
Top: Alika Blouse by Tatyana
Cape: Discontinued Tara Starlet Caroline Cape
Heels: Black Peep toe Heels from Everything5pounds.com
The sizing issue really confused me. According to the size chart on Pinup Girl Clothing’s website, I was between the 2X and XL sizes. A woman in the PUG Style Pinups Facebook group confirmed she owned the XL pants and that the waistband measured 30-31 inches, which is usually the measurements for a size L in PUG and is, indeed, what the size chart lists as the L for these pants. Definitely get the next size up, she said, which is when Laura chimed in to confirm they came up small and sizing up was necessary. Still finding it hard to believe I would need a 2x but deciding it was best to follow this advice, I texted Claudia, owner of Deadly Is The Female, a long-time wearer of PUG who is one of only a handful of UK stockist carrying the brand. She told me she felt the houndstooth pants had more give than the other PUG cigarette pants they had stocked in the past and that the 2X was bound to be too big on me. She agreed the easiest thing would be for me to try both the XL and 2X to compare, and since I lived over 3 hours from her store and was unable to try them on, she sent me both sizes in my order.
Claudia was right. The 2X pair were definitely too big. The pants may have come up small, but they’re still made of bengaline, which is a stretchy fabric, so this is why I think the talk around this piece can be contradictory. Technically, the lady in the PUG Facebook group was right; the flat measured waistband of my XL pair is indeed 30 inches, However, even when stretched flat on the floor I could stretch them to measure 17.75 inches, which brings the waistband to 35.5 inches, slightly stretchier than the website’s size chart even allows for at their listed 33.5-34 inches. I would guess some of these sizing issues comes down to a worry about comfort and realistic wear for their customers: the XL does fit me and I feel totally comfortable in them standing, but I’ll admit that when bending over all the way to the floor I do feel the pull of the waistband digging into me as it struggles. Perhaps they are advising sizing up particularly to ensure customers get the most comfort in wear from their pants, which is understandable. I’m happy with mine in the XL and definitely feel the extra comfort from the 2X would not have been worth it since the pants were too baggy to wear without looking silly.
My advice on choosing your size is to follow the size chart exactly; if you’re between two sizes with only an inch between the measurements, you can likely size down unless your body is very firm and doesn’t compress at all under waistbands. Getting my pair from Deadly Is The Female was absolutely the best option for me, as returning items to PUG from the UK to America is very costly, something I’ve only ever had to do once before. If you still feel unsure about what size you should get, I suggest you search out a local stockist where you can go in and try the pants in store. If you don’t live near any stores where this is possible, your next best option is to find a stockist in your country who sell online or allow phone orders, as then you can order two sizes and return the pair which don’t fit without having to pay international recorded delivery fees to return an unwanted size.
The Houndstooth Cigarette pants come available in sizes XS to 4X and cost $82. If you do want to order direct from Pinupgirlclothing.com, they ship domestically for free over $100 and ship internationally.