Why are jeans only made for tall bulimic women and tiny men with no testicles?

2011-12-27 08:08

Yes, I know it’s the season of goodwill, good cheer and a time for all mankind to be happy and hug each other but my message this festive season is directed at the people who design jeans and the really strange buyers who work for the big department stores who order them.

Very simply, my message of goodwill is that I hope you all wake up soon from your eternal slumber and that one day you can all join the rest of we mortals back here on our home planet.

What about the normal people?

I pass on this message on behalf of women generally, because I have not yet met one who has found it easy to buy a pair of jeans. Having said that, I don’t get to meet those tall, super-slim fashion models for whom I am convinced all jeans are made.

Other women, normal women, don’t seem to have a hope of finding anything that fits.

I can believe this because I am a fairly normal sized male and whenever I mention in company that I find it difficult to track down a pair of jeans that actually fit me, every woman within a thousand kilometre radius tells me that I have no idea of the problem that women have finding jeans.

I perpetually wonder at the people who do the buying for the big stores. Every year it’s the same thing.

I go in to buy myself a pair of jeans or chinos, shorts, you name it, and of the 50 or so types that I want only one or two are vaguely in my size. And always the wrong colour. The remaining 48 are either “small”  (a size usually designed to fit midgets with Kwashiorkor) or XXXXXL. I am always told that they are sold out but I really don’t buy that argument. 


Because, whenever there is a big sale, it’s always the small and XXXXL that are on the racks and never any remotely normal size.

This is a phenomenon that has been going on for decades and I have to wonder when some clothing buyer somewhere will actually realise that the majority of people are not kwashiorkor sufferers or the size of ten elephants.

Of course, it could be that most clothing – like jeans for example – is made for teenagers and that’s the reason why anyone over the age of 25 – male or female - can’t find anything that fits.

Maybe it’s just me being old fashioned and not really wanting to wear anything with the waist around my knees and my underpants sticking out of the top. And I guess most women over the age of 25 aren’t crazy about having jeans that are so tight the veins on their bottoms look like dried up riverbeds on mars.

Now, I suppose there might be a few readers who wonder why on earth I should choose such an apparently silly subject like this as a column for post Boxing Day.

Well, it is the silly season. It is also one week away from New Year’s Day on which people make resolutions. So, I figured that maybe, just maybe, some clothing buyers somewhere will read this and make a resolution to think before buying jeans exclusively for two-metre tall bulimic women and tiny little men with no testicles.

  • Hans - 2011-12-27 08:29

    Agree ... especially Edgars! Size small up to 42 and then from 46 at the "Bigger sizes" department! So do I get thinner or fatter?

      Andries - 2012-01-07 19:39

      Chris, Hans: Jeans are only worn by liberalists and their women have higher testosterone levels than their men!

  • wehries - 2011-12-27 08:29

    Chris Moerdyk, you obviously wrote this article only to entertain people who happens to read it. Perhaps you should try getting out more and shop less at boutiques with their designer clothing. The malls are full of shops who sell great jeans in ALL shapes and sizes. I'm sure you'll find a pair to accomodate your testicles soon..

      Phillip - 2011-12-27 12:02

      Where I live we have almost everything, Woolworth, Ackermans, Edgars, PQ, PEP Stores (4 of them), Boutiques, Fochini, Jet Stores, Miladys, Mr Price, China shoppies and many more. For the past 5 years I have almost never found anything between size 40 to 46. Nothing, and I have searched many times. And the size 38's that will squeeze me like a lemon juicer are all green or pink or khaki. Not even to speak about finding school clothes for the bigger child ( No not fatter but bigger ).

      Andrew - 2011-12-28 10:50

      Please tell me where these Malls are as I have visited just about all without success, from Eand Mall to Sandton City and looked at just about all the clothing stores Woolworths,Mr Price, Edgars etc and to me it seems clothing buyers cater only for sizes 32-40 thereafter told all sold out. Does that not tell the buyers they are not catering suffienctly for the bigger SA men.

      Merven - 2011-12-29 09:17

      "The malls are full of shops who sell great jeans in ALL shapes and sizes" What? Wear Mr Price jeans??? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??!!!! ;-)

  • lassieface - 2011-12-27 08:43

    I have to say, that as a teenager, finding jeans that fit me is hell! Mr. Price is hopeless. Edgars useless in service. Woolworths, not a snowball chance in hell. At just over 1.8 meters, finding a pair of jeans with long legs and a waist that fits is impossible.

  • Michelle - 2011-12-27 09:15

    lag ek nou lekker terwyl ek lees.!! :) ek het seker 12 pare jeans, en net 2 pas my nogal reg!

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-12-27 09:43

    Not just jeans - I take a size nine shoe. No go so now I wear men's running shoes and hiking boots - which look quite fetching with long skirts!

      Jennifer - 2011-12-29 15:39

      Judith , my daughter have the same problem .. no where can you find size nine shoes ..

  • Vaal-Donkie - 2011-12-27 09:47

    Edgars,Woolworths, Truworths, Legit, Markham( without the "s" these days), Ackerman's, Mr Price, etc. ALL of them think men are only a size 36 and under. I am about Kobus Wiese's size, and before his clothing line was released, I had one hell of a time finding something that fit. But even now, the designers think I am 2.5 meters tall because my pants are always 25cm too long and my T-shirts hang below my butt, like a 90's era basketball player. The reason is unfortunately very boring: the Chinese. We buy everything from them these days. Their people are shaped a certain way, and that's fine, but they must realise that we are NOT. We have everything from tiny Griquas to chubby tealadies in this country. And all our money is the same colour. I, for instance, am blessed with big, strong legs (it's in my genes). I am proud of them and there's no way I am going to let my muscles shrink to fit a pair of jeans. It should be the other way around.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-12-27 14:31

      Bwahahaha! Brilliant!

      Rohin - 2011-12-27 21:34

      I worked for a number of years in the rag trade and the thing is sizing has definitely changed. I have to agree though with these chinese sizes, if you have a look at those chinese import stores that sell items that are one size fit all - how is that possible. But not to jump on the depend the Chinese people band wagon - but there are still many factories in South Africa that supply the major chains - their blocks that they use to create patterns are not even standardized - a size 12 in woolworths is much bigger than a size 12 at truworths or edgars. I used to be able to grab an item off the shelf with no problem , now you have to try everything on. It's annoying.

  • Steven - 2011-12-27 10:02

    Don't even think of getting any pants in sizes 36-40 at Edgars or Woolworths. The disinterested sales staff shrug as though it's not their problem and customers are merely an interruption to their day. It's rather obvious why those sizes are not in stock.....because they are the most popular! Store managers can't simply order ten of each size in every colour and then just have a massive sale to get rid of all the mediums and XXXXL at the end of the month. But then again, these mullets are selling credit facilities, not clothing. It shows.

  • Josie - 2011-12-27 10:20

    First, South African rules. All they do is try to get rid of the leftovers. In Europe and US you are not allowed to call it a sale unless it meets specific criteria. Our Conusmer Protection people should make some rules. Second, try the new Levis; they take account of shape, and not only size. For the first time in forever I can get a pair of jeans that fits shape wise AND size wise! its brilliant. The Levis shop in Sandton City......if they havent got your size they will order it. Jozi

      Linda - 2012-01-05 15:41

      Wow! Nice to be able to shop at Sandton City.

  • wendi.wise - 2011-12-27 10:24

    Yes, I've always wondered why such simple logic is beyond the buyers for these stores ... if you continuously sell out of certain sizes and continuously have a surplus of other sizes then surely to goodness a conclusion should have been drawn by now as to which sizes to order in future! As has been mentioned this has been an ongoing problem for years in the main clothing stores in SA.

      helizna - 2011-12-27 15:37

      pep stores don't order, they just get what is sent to them.

  • johannsmith101 - 2011-12-27 11:48


  • sam.kaitawa - 2011-12-27 12:37

    I'm not sure mate, what's the punch line?.....Why are jeans only made for tall bulimic women and tiny men with no testicles? Is this a saffa thing because according to your mistress it's on a need to know basis?

  • Phillip - 2011-12-27 12:59

    Maybe I should convert to some middle eastern religion. Then I can walk into Mr Price home and buy a white double bed bedsheet for me and a black single bed one for my wife and we can wear that with a fashionable belt and a pair of crocs.

  • Ian - 2011-12-27 13:31

    On a variation: has anyone else noticed that sizes are now smaller? A size 18 used to fit my wife last year (and last year's still fits) this year needs a 20. Are the Chinese cutting down on the amount of material or are the Big chains cutting costs by specifying less material?

      Syd - 2011-12-28 20:06

      Or has your good lady put on some weight perhaps?

  • reine.marais - 2011-12-27 14:32

    I suspect that jeans are made by the same people who make metro rail trains. The seats on the 'new' trains only accommodate the behinds of people who are obliged to shop in the children's department. Those with slightly more padding are better off standing, as at least the blood flows through one's thighs, even if it stops in one's feet for the duration of trip. Thanks, Chris Moerdyk, for a lovely laugh at one of life's bizarre idiosyncracies.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-12-27 14:35

    Try buying bra's if you fill a D Cup. I think it's time engineers design underwear - and buyers need to take note that more than 50% of the women in SA sport a C-cup or larger.

      Glynis - 2011-12-27 16:08

      I had that problem. Now I only buy from a store called 'Storm in a G-Cup" - Absolutely brilliant service with beautiful garments that cater for all type of budgets.

  • JK - 2011-12-27 14:55

    And don't even get me started on the "hipster" trend (which thankfully is starting to die out it seems). For the past few years any pair of trousers, jeans or otherwise, that actually came to your waist has been almost impossible to find. And the stores answer to this - they weren't selling (well, they can't sell if you don't stock them). Are the buyers themselves anorexic 20-something year-old supermodels, I wonder...because those are the only people they stock any nice clothes for.

  • seymore.butt - 2011-12-27 16:11

    This article highlights how we have given our freedom to big corporations. Gone are the days when you had a neighborhood tailor who could whip you up a shirt and pant in a week to your perfect fit. Always support neighborhood shops and not Walmarts and Edgars.

  • seymore.butt - 2011-12-27 16:16

    Oh I forgot to add our wonderful "Cape Union Mart" ... I never buy pants there... if you have noticed ALL pants are of the same length. I wonder who the procurement moron that works for CUM who thinks all people in the world have the same inseam length. To top that, they don't even provide alteration services!

  • Nicki - 2011-12-27 17:33


  • Sharon - 2011-12-27 19:07

    I am all of 1.6m tall, and I wondered, in a shop like Jet, why they only cater for really tall women in the slacks department. The problem is, if you shorten them, it destroys the line of the pants, making them look like bellbottoms! I admit I find it much better to buy slacks in the UK, 27" inside leg suits me just fine.

  • beryl.knipe - 2011-12-27 19:22

    Fabulous subject! I'm one of the "abnormal" women - six foot one! I would love to find jeans that fit as I'm not bulimically thin! The men's jeans I do buy are SO uncomfortable and heavy! All clothing and shoe sizes have gone to pieces! Good article. Thanks maybe someone will open their eyes!

  • Christine - 2011-12-27 20:12

    Bless you, Chris! I have often thought why it has to be, that if I have a size 48 bust (yeah, I'm a big girl), but am only 1.54m tall, I need to have a neck the size of a sumo wrestler. I have to chop at least half my shirt off, otherwise it hangs on my ankles, and my shuolders disappear halfway down my arms!

  • wanita.fisher - 2011-12-28 07:42

    not to mention how some people manage to squeeze themselves into these small jeans!

  • burrowscraig - 2011-12-28 08:24

    I agree, I am 1.79 metres tall. I have walked around in the malls and looked at other men on average are the same height or shorter. I am still trying to find a pair of jeans that i do not have to shorten, which destroys the cut of the pants and looks stupid. why is this, if most men are of this height.

  • Ledile - 2011-12-28 11:30

    This is soooo true, truworth jeans especially. I am only 23 yet struggle to find myself a decent pair of jeans. Most jeans made for people my age are such low waiste jeans that its hard to wear m without worrying about my butt sticking out #frustrated female

  • Jennifer - 2011-12-29 15:47

    Can we please have something sexy for the bigger females... Just because we are "big" does not mean ,we have to wear horible THE BIG TENT in terrible colours that does not even have shape. They also need to look at decent shoes , maybe a size 9 & up ,at the end of the day think of Cindy Crawford who is stunning & she wears a size 10 shoes!!

  • Trots-Blank - 2011-12-30 18:54

    OK, I give up, why?

  • jenny.gormanandrews1 - 2011-12-31 20:43

    I agree with this article. I used to have that problem but not anymore!! I lost 20 kgs in the last 2 years. I can now buy without trying clothes on and can even wear skinny jeans!!!!! Woollies jeans and t-shirts or women were the worst!! I used to think that woolies thought I had Legs like a giraffe and that my knuckles scraped the ground as I walked! I was a size 42, but now I'm a size 36.I have a cupboard full of "fat" clothes That I can't wear!!!

  • TamaraSays - 2012-01-01 01:17

    You should have tried buying ladies size eight shoes in the mid nineties. Was the most traumatic thing about highschool. And it's the reason I now favor flip flops...

  • Jonathan - 2012-01-02 15:43

    Dude, the reason is that a fat ass does not look good in a jean no matter from what direction you look at it.

  • Piet - 2012-01-02 17:57

    I just read this, and it is hilarious. If that was your intention Mr. M, it worked 100% for me. Thank you.

  • George Bennie - 2012-01-03 17:55

    Marasmus is the term you're looking for, not Kwashiorkor - Kwash kids are the little fat bellied ones due to Protein malnutrition. I'm probably being pedantic, but if you wanna make a point - make sure you get your facts staright. Furthermore, kwash and marasmus apply only to kids (usually 3rd world countries like ethiopia) - if you're struggling to find jeans other than those for kwash or marasmus, you should probably stop looking in the kiddy section. HTFU and stop making light of diseases you clearly have no clue about i.e. Bulemics etc. Somewhere a bulemic or anorexia nervosa patient is reading this and thinking, "What a twat!"

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