Ask The Consumerist: Ordering Custom Pants Online?

Reader Mike writes, “I have a real problem finding pants that fit. The problem is not just that they don
t carry my size– they don
t even make it. I have a waist size of 30 and I need a 34 length in men
s. Normally I just suffer with pants that are too baggy or too short. Big and tall sizes are way too big. But someone mentioned custom jeans to me. Target sells women
s jeans for 35$ and that sounds like a good value. Sadly they don
t make men

But it looks like there are a lot of places online that will do it. I figured that before I went off half cocked and ordered a pair sight unseen, that the Consumerist (or its readers) might have some insight into which services would be good or worth checking out.”

We feel your pain. Although we haven’t worn 30-inch waists since we were pre-pubescent—even then we had a nasty tendency to wear sweatpants. Sweatpants that matched our sweatshirts. With knee patches.

Our suggestions, such as they are, after the jump.

A cursory glance through Google brought up very few options. We’re actually surprised you found “lots of places online.” You should share those with us!

Land’s End will provide you custom-fitted pants, but only if you’re willing to wear one of their two designs—dress pants or chinos.

Levi’s was considering a personalized jeans program, but it appears that custom 501s have been 401’d.

Have you considered making friends with a local tailor? Minor alterations can be as cheap as $20. In your case, you might be able to buy a slightly larger waist size and have them brought in.

We’ve recently had a very positive experience commissioning custom clothing from crafters on Etsy. While pants are one of the most difficult things to make at home, you might be able to find an especially skilled sew…er? to help you out. Then you’d have not only custom pants, but pants that are unique. (Of course, they will probably be crocheted, but that’s not all bad.)

Readers? Help this lithe young man buy some pants!


Edit Your Comment

  1. konstantConsumer says:

    while this certainly isn’t the cheapest way, i recently bought a pair of Energie jeans that are 30-34’s. i’m not that tall, but i use them to make a good two inch cuff. granted, these run upwards of 200 bucks, but i’m sure other jeans companies would have the same. i would check online. i’m sure you can find something.

  2. As konstant pointed out your best option is probably to go upmarket. You’re not going to find what you want at Target. I have a 30 inch waist and about a 35 inch inseam and as a result I have to buy mostly designer pants and jeans. If you’ve ever gone shopping at Neiman Marcus or Saks or the like you’ve probably noticed that the pants only have waist sizes. Designer bottoms generally have between a 34 and 38 inch inseam, the idea being that you’ll have them tailored if you need to do so (the market is limited and therefor it is not cost-effective to produce several different inseams in the way that larger distributors can.) Jeans and pants in this market can cost several hundred dollars but if you’re counting pennies you should try the outlets (Neiman Marcus Last Call, Off Fifth Saks Outlet, Nordstrom’s Rack) where you can find these from seasons past at drastically reduced prices. Designer denim in these stores usually runs around $80 (they retail $200-300) and you can get great deals on slacks too.


  3. Papercutninja says:

    Unfortunately Levi’s has “discontinued” their Original Spin program for making custom jeans. I got a pair a year before they stopped doing it, and its amazing, they fit perfectly. There is, however, a denim boutique here in NYC in the Meatpacking District that does the same thing for big $$. Someone remind me of the name of the place. The jeans run around $300, but you pick your fit, wash, rivets, pockets, material…everything. A bespoke denim shop.

    Also, most major retailers, IE. Gap, American Eagle, will have extended sizes in their online shops. The advantage there is that you can return to their B&M stores if you don’t like the fit. For instance:
    You can select your length, up to 34inches.

    JCrew online has for years been able to give you a custom hem on all their pants, you can even specify unfinished or an odd length like 34.5 inseam. Again, you can return to their stores if necessary.

    Online stores have really facilitated clothing buying for us odd-sized people (I’m skinny and short 28inch inseam), so poke around. You’ll be surprised at what you can find.

  4. Clare says:

    “There is, however, a denim boutique here in NYC in the Meatpacking District that does the same thing for big $$.”

    The store Papercutninja speaks of is An Earnest Cut & Sew. Check the first item in the NYMag link.

  5. Fairytale of Los Angeles says:

    Mike, you might want to check out the Justice Clothing Company, who stock pants of most styles in 30×34 or in 30″ waist unhemmed for alteration. They’ll run you about $35-50, but you won’t have to wait on custom orders.

    No prior experience with them myself, but all their items are sweatshop-free and union-made.

  6. konstantConsumer says:

    while i like the idea of non-sweat shop union made clothing, that justice place has some ugly ass shit. i mean, really, what’s more important: looking good or making sure that your purchases don’t support a company that enslaves women and children?

  7. girl150 says:

    I would recommend that this person contact their local vendor of Levi’s or Lee jeans. A non-chain store will work best, but JC Penney’s (and such) may even be able to help out. From my own retail experience, I believe that Levi and Lee both make jeans in the “custom” sizes (including 30×34). However, even if retailers don’t have these in stock, they can order them for you. (You might also avoid shipping costs and gain the opportunity to try-on the pants by going this route.) Old Navy/ Gap may also be able to help out here. Don’t feel limited by the sizes in stock at a store; often you’ll find that you have more options if you just ask.

    Incidentally, the Levi store online also has the size this consumer needs… the trick is to avoid the “Big and Tall” section and just go to the regular selection. (I didn’t check Lee or others.)

  8. AcidReign says:

    …..My God! I grouse about paying $26 for Levis at Goody’s!