Personal Blog

Women's clothing sizes - Why do pants gap in the back?

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Sun, May 11, 2008 @ 21:05 PM

It's one of life's little mysteries. Why do all women's pants gap in the back? I've been thin and not thin, hourglass and not hourglass, but always, the pants gap in the back. I thought it was just me, but then I went shopping a slender size 0 woman the other day; she put on the snuggest pair of jeans -- snug leg, snug hips, snug zipper -- yet still, there was a gap in the back.

Google provides 150 items in response to a search for "gap in the back" and women's pants. A few are manufacturers who've claimed to solve the problem. Wrangler says the answer is to have a curved waistband. Lands End says the answer is "a trimmer waist."

Most of the items are consumer comments -- reviews, bulletin boards, and blogs. The consumer comments reveal that there might not be a single answer. Two of four comments about Cabela's Jeanos say they don't gap in the back, but the other two say they do. One person who had a poor fit said the problem applied to the long-waisted. But other blogs say it's caused by being an hourglass. It sounds like the problem is created when a particular pair of pants doesn't match a particular body shape.

I've written before about the fact that women's clothes aren't consistently sized, making online shopping particularly challenging. And, I've written about two services (MyShape and SizeMeUp) that try to help women address the problem. While researching the gap-in-the-back problem I fell upon another service -- zafu.

I hadn't heard of it before, but zafu looks like a great website that helps women find jeans, pants, and bras that fit. zafu takes an interesting and different approach from it's two competitors. Like its competitors, zafu  asks questions about measurements, but different from them, it also asks about your age, your style, and your shape.  It's suggestions should offer something that fits, is age appropriate and is consistent with your taste. The site is powered by the algorithms of a sister company, Archetype Solutions (which is designed to let people buy customized clothes).

Both the zafu and Archetype websites looked a little old ... blogs ending last fall; so I did a little more checking. zafu raised another round of funding last fall. And, Archetype is now powering a company called DNA Wear. There seems to be some activity going on behind the scenes (job postings, etc), so I think there will be some exciting enhancements coming soon.  Definitely keep an eye on this company.  They might yet solve the gap in the back problem!

Topics: womens measurements, womens clothing sizes, technology b2c customer service, b2c customer service