Avoiding the Buddha Belly 12-Inch-Zipper Problem

Anonymous asked: "Hello! I’m a curvy girl with a large tummy (think Buddha belly… lucky me!!)

"I know I’m built to wear more girly/femme clothes but I feel more confident in more androgynous/vintage feeling clothes. Please help! Men’s pants look so baggy in all the wrong places (particularly the crotch) and women’s pants are either too low-rise or too girly looking. Thanks!!"

I can relate to the “buddha belly” problem. There are nooks and crannies in my body that are sometimes hard to fit. Once men’s pants get to a certain size, the zipper seems as if it is a foot long. This creates the “saggy crotch” that I believe you are referring to. I have the hardest time finding pants, so here are my tips for avoiding the “buddha belly 12-inch-zipper problem.”

Don’t be discouraged.

Shop around! Look for pants that fit you in the hips. The hips are the most important reference for fit. Once you find a pair of pants that fit in the hips, just about everything can be fixed with tailoring. For example, the waist and length of pants can be taken in. This leads me to my next point……anticipation…..


Find a tailor that you can trust. My policy for bottoms is buy cheap and then invest in tailoring. If the pants look too wide legged or too boot cut, a tailor can taper the pants. I wrote a post about this here.

Finally, some options:

I like Old Navy’s Sweetheart skinny jeans:

Old Navy Jeans

They sit at the waist and have an androgynous leg (not too skinny over time, they stretch VERY well). Right now they are on sale for $27.50. However, if you wait, they will go on sale eventually for about $15. Also, For dress pants, I suggest buying them from the women’s section and getting the leg tailored. I usually wear khakis for dress occasions so I don’t have too many examples of dress pants (anyone else out there have something?). 

I do believe that we have created a solution to the “buddha belly 12-inch-zipper problem.” I hope this helps!

Cover photo via meismith.com