… I go online to look for pants. Pants are my fashion Waterloo. I’ve got a slight waist and short legs, a dimensional no-pants-land that’s ill-served by most retail stores… I’ve come across a few expensive brands of jeans, chinos, and dress pants that fit me somewhat well, and my strategy has been to buy up as many of them as possible… it’s sartorially boring, not to mention expensive… From afar, the Web looks like a trouser treasure trove… What could go wrong? … But then my pants arrive and they’re a disaster. Even though they’re in my size, they don’t really fit.
His problem is to assume that buying pants off the rack, in the mass produced sizes, is ever going to work. What he should do instead is look into tailoring, which is obviously not an entirely obscure topic to him because he’s written about it.
What I recommend is: shop online first by manufacturer, then by style/fabric, then cut, then color and finally waist size, and order a pair of pants that that will probably be too long. Then take them to a great local tailor and, for $10 or less, they can fit perfectly.
Like Farhad, I’m in the Bay area, and I warmly recommend Roberto, who’s accessible by BART/Muni (Montgomery Station) and who has done great work for me: taking pleats out of suit pants, which is a major job; and hemming a bunch of chinos that I bought from Uniqlo online via Suddenlee, a minor job to Roberto but still major to me.