Why Do My Pants Pull Across My Crotch


One of the comments left on a post the other day was this:

jinnan-tonnyx said…


Can you explain more about why trousers pull across the crotch on X shapes? I am an X and whenever I buy a new pair of pants my husband always says they don’t fit right – and I tell him, they are the right size but ALL my pants have the little horizontal pull line at the bottom of the crotch.
To answer:
So why does this happen?  It’s most common for X, 8 O, and A,  shapes, it is rare for it to happen to a H or V  or I shape.   This is to do with how much fabric is in the seat of the trousers and the shape and height of the rise.
When you think about clothing manufacture, the patterns are made for a ‘standard’ body shape and size (never actually sure what  that is, and it varies from label to label), so if you have more booty or wider hips, you will often find that the fabric is pulled and horizontal lines pull across your crotch.  To avoid this you may need to go up a size and have the waist taken in to fit, or try a different brand which may be more fitted to your body shape.
I often find that clients who regularly get this problem find it almost impossible to find pants that don’t have this problem, and in fact it’s easier to have pants made by a tailor who will create a pattern for them that will have enough room through the seat and thighs for them to fit comfortably without pulling.
One of the other issues is that the rise is too long, and you get bulges of extra fabric, that no woman can fill out, as pictured above, if this is your issue, look for pants with a lower rise.
Hope this helps!



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  • Thank you! I have often wondered what was up with these two pants issues. Oddly enough I seem to have the problem of finding pants that either crease and pull at my crotch or have entirely too much fabric there. Really, I'm at the point that I feel like I won't know good fit when I wear it.

  • I have a complicated issue with this – when I buy pants that have a lower rise, I get a muffin top look in the back (because my derriere is no joke) and the pulling in the front. With the higher rises, I get all the extra fabric in the front.
    It's so complicated. It makes me hate dress pants. Jeans are so much easier, because they fit more snugly!

  • For what it's worth, we hobby dressmakers struggle with fitting issues, too. Pants are among the most difficult to master. Everything you say, Imogen is correct. It's a combination of the rise and the width and every body occupies slightly different space. I heartily agree that custom fit pants are worth every penny. Once you get a good pattern, perhaps you can find a local seamstress willing to sew multiple pairs of pants at a reasonable price.

  • On a different note, I was looking through an old photo album yesterday, and saw a picture of myself at 21, walking with my then 1 year old son. The first think I noticed after the tight t-shirt and shorts was…MY HIGH HIP! Wouldn't you know, it's been there all along? And then last night as I was flipping through an issue of Vogue, I realized that there wasn't a figure 8 to be found (lots of I's and X's, though…).

    Seriously, I've become quite obsessed with identifying body types in the past few days – now that you've made it so easy to do. 🙂

  • I always have this problem! I have to try on hundreds of pairs of pants to find a pair that doesn't do this. Thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy!

  • OMG — thank you for answering this question, I've wondered what the heck the prob was and now I know!

    You, are brilliant 😀

  • If you find a pair of pants that fit, buy multiples. Because you are going to wear the ones that fit to death.

  • Thank you! Finally I got an answer to this. I’m an X shape and I hate buying pants because they rarely (close to never) sit right, it always pull around my crotch. To not make it better, I’m a petite with short legs so finding pants is already a nightmare 🙁

  • Thanks for your extremely helpful blog. I have Trinny and Susannah’s book about dressing your shape, but I just couldn’t find a shape that seemed to be me. They don’t have an equivalent to your X shape.

    I also have this problem with finding pants that fit. I always have to unbutton my pants when I sit down. Do you have an idea of what a good price would be for a custom made pair of pants. I live in the DC area.

    • Custom pants are probably going to cost $250+ I’m really not sure about US pricing, but that would be the minimum I’d expect to pay for a great pair of high quality wool trousers custom made (and often cheaper than buying a pair off the rack and having them altered.

  • Don’t know if this works for everyone…but I have found that wearing Women’s sizes instead of Misses…
    solves this problem. Not the 1X or 2X, etc….but the actual sizes…12W, 14W, 16W, etc., solves the problem. I was told these sizes are for shorter waisted women. I am 5′ 8″…so never thought of myself
    as short waisted.

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