Women's specific clothing

6:35 p.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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Sorry if this has been asked before, but what's the big deal about women's specific things? There's pants, jackets, shoes, backpacks, sleepingbags, etc. The list can go on forever! What's the difference? As a woman, what is most important to buy specifically for me?

Mostly however, I am sooo frustrated by women specific jackets. They always seem kind of tight and not great for layering, so I'll buy a size up. But the worst thing is the length in the torso! Anytime I bend down to tie my shoes, pick something up, or sit on a rock, my entire lower back is exposed to the elements and anyone looking. Same goes if I lift my arms above my head. My hips become exposed if I reach too far. THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING! Anyone have this problem/any advice??

7:08 p.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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The pack is important because the measurment of the torso for men and women are gernerally different. Boots will depend on whther the lasts are different. For instance, I buy keens and it does not matter whether I buy men or woman specific because they use the same last.

Mens shirts/coats tend to have longer arms so if I have to buy a mans coat, I get too long of arms.  Looma ththe new First Ascent jackets coming out in the fall...theya re an inch or 2 longer than last years. Also, it seems the woman's are still generally fashion rather than utility oriented. The cut in waists is not good for me or for layering.

Again, look into teh Eddie Bauer First Ascent because some of these issues are addressed and you can get coverage and correct arm length at the same time.  If an active outdoor's woman didn't design it, then it is tocher to find functional stuff. I do think Mountan Hardwear and Patagonia have some goodd stuff as well. But still a bit tough on the layering space.

3:55 a.m. on February 3, 2012 (EST)
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Hello there allielibs

It is a thing to be welcomed, I am sure, and not just different colours such as cornflower blue and pink. Some things, such as socks, may only be good for keeping arguments at bay due to the colour differences. If I ever see a "women's" ice axe, I might collapse.

Packs may also have different shapes for the hip belts and shoulder straps and extra pockets.

Sleeping bags may have more insulation in the feet and other areas and will be a bit shorter, just like the women's-specific sleeping pads. But there is the accompanying problem of not being able to share across heights, making it more expensive for families or groups.

Gloves will often be available in women's small, equivalent to men's extra-small, which is much rarer.

Many companies are guilty of dependence on fashion-perception for short jackets to increase sales. Some companies are worse than others (Patagonia, TNF). I would suggest looking into the Arc'teryx range of longer women's-specific jackets now that they are being found at much reduced prices. I find Crux is a good UK company (made in Canada) for men. Judy Armstrong (?), the UK expert, favours the fit of Arcteryx, even the shorter climbing jackets. A good winter jacket will come in the correct size with room for layers.

For softshell, try MHW or Marmot, though I think they are generally longer than others, not that they have the all-important drop tail (sleeves probably wont be articulated).

A related issue is the loss of space underneath the armpits and along the arms (wake up Patagonia!), making layering harder. It wasn't the case more than a decade ago.

Trousers/pants may be another reason why there are so many builder's-cracks on the hill. The fashion for hipsters should be over soon and we can all move along in a better style.

I know people who are equally frustrated with the fit of jackets in the last ten or fifteen years but I think generally everyone welcomes the expansion of women's-specific clothing in the outdoor industry. Let's face it: things are more exciting.

Jon

9:31 a.m. on February 3, 2012 (EST)
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The combo of low rise pants and shorter shirts and Jackets for women = no utility. Try being a bit large and it gets worse. I lost 80 pounds and am about to leave to a trek in Nepal...I am still a long way out from all the weight loss I want to do. But getting a kit together that I can actually LAYER has mean more men's items up top. That also means more sleeves that are too long. Remember, this industry is a man's industry and even with guides making suggestions to designers, they will cut for the couch crowd first because there just aren't enough of us out here.

10:24 a.m. on February 4, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks everyone for your advice! I have to admit, I'm a little patagonia obsessed and hearing about their lack of functionality is disappointing! Arc'teryx is I brand I've mostly ignored due to the extremely high price, but you are right. Their theta jacket is the perfect length! Now where can I find this "reduced" pricing??

And does anyone know about eVent fabric and anyone that uses it in a good women's jacket? A buddy of mine has it in his rain jacket and raves that it's breathability it's outstanding, better than gore-tex, while still remaining dry. It's made me curious, but I have mostly only been able to find it in shoes and some jackets in Europe.

5:19 p.m. on February 4, 2012 (EST)
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REI had eVent...I think......But search the gear stuff here and you will see these guys talk a lot about it.

8:01 a.m. on February 5, 2012 (EST)
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Sadly even items where obvious gender differences justify separate equipment offerings, the attempts still fall short of fulfilling this promise.  For example not all women prefer the same routing of pack straps along their torsos, thus while a “female” pack may be ill suited for most men, it doesn’t necessarily fill the need for the majority of women, or even women of similar proportions.  And then there is the fact that women’s body types are more varied than men’s.  At the risk of coming off as a MCP, I dare say the garment makers assume all women interested in gender specific offerings have “girly” figures, thus actually pay little more than lip service to the notion of providing clothes to cover the spectrum of female geometries.

I personally find gender specific shell garments particularly ridiculous, but then again my shells are all one or two sizes big for accommodating layers, thus the arms are always long.  I actually prefer this, however, as I can retract my hands up into the shell for warmth, like turtle heads into a shell.  At least my back side stays covered too.  It would be nice if the adventure garment manufacturers were more stylish in their color choices; it would be kinda cool to have a bright Hawaiian orchid pattern shell.  Better yet swaying palm trees – imagine that above tree line in February…

Ed

1:13 a.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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you telling me this is not practical outdoor gear?


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1:47 a.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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Ed. I agree and that does not make you a MCP. My biggest difficulty is getting a jacket without sleeves that are 4 inches or more too long (Mens) and a jacket that is not tucked in so much at the waist that I cannot fit layers under it.

8:42 a.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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I am a huge advocate of buying women's-specific apparel and gear. I don't buy men's or unisex clothing for everyday wear, so why would I buy it for outdoor activities?

At 5'4" I have no need to carry a sleeping bag built for a 6' person. Most, thought not all, of my packs are women's-specific. I also have women's snowshoes and skis in addition to all of my footwear, ski boots, etc (not an ice axe though, Pathloser). I even have a women's sleeping pad (it has a higher R value than the men's version and I'm a cold person).

Still, it all comes down to the individual and what fits her or him best.

I'll try not to repeat what's already been said, but here are a few of my personal thoughts.

I think the age of "shrink it and pink it" is well past. There is a lot of great women's and now children's outdoor apparel and gear out there.

I've had good success with women's clothing from Patagonia, The North Face, Arc'teryx, and Mountain Hardwear, among others. But different brands fit better than others. That's not necessarily a ding at a company, just an observation.

People come in different shapes and sizes. I don't think the fit issue is unique to women. I know tall women and tall/skinny men who have had to learn exactly which brands fit them best. And shorter women and men who have the same issue. Different brands will fit different people better than others. Ultimately that can be a good thing and it means if you look around you'll learn what you like best.

Try stuff on. Don't just go on reputation. You may think or hear that "Brand X is made slim" or "Brand Y is made for narrow feet" etc, but you never know till you try it on. I'd heard way back that La Sportiva shoes were built for more narrow feet and I considered myself an average to wider foot. Then I tried them and they're now my primary trail runners and mountaineering boots.

Once I find brands that fit me well I tend to stick with them.

People have different ideas of what fits well. I am not a tall person, but I loathe sleeves that shrink up at all. Seriously, if there's a gap after my wrist I hate that. I'd rather have an extra inch of sleeve. Then someone said to me last month how they did not like a major brand I did because they thought the sleeves were a little too long (and we're about the same height/size). So, get what you like.

Also, consider how you'll be using pieces. Will you need to layer under or over? Wear a harness? Many brands make clothing with specific activities in mind (skiing, climbing, running etc), so there may be reasons for a piece to fit a certain way.

Ask questions about what makes a piece of gear women's specific.

I did that just a few days ago. I needed new goggles and went into the ski shop to see what they had. There were a bunch of frames, with some men's/unisex and some women's specific ones. You could get the same lenses in either frame though. In this case I went for the men's. The frame was a wider size I preferred for more peripheral vision, plus, most important here, I have a larger head so it fit better. So in this case I got the unisex, though many women would have preferred the slightly smaller frames and it's good they have that option. Know what's unique about you.

As for eVent, it is good stuff. I have had a Rab and a Westcomb shell with it. However, both jackets were unisex and I do not like the fit so much. So, despite the great shell material I'm looking for a new women's hard shell, primarily due to the fit issue.

Lastly, everyone's an individual, so buy the item that fits you best and meets your needs and preferences. Go to stores and try stuff on from different brands and in different sizes. Then support those stories and brands that serve you well.

Hope that helps.

10:32 a.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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I think the problem is that woman specific has meant FIT woman specific. When a man is big, that is addressed more in men's clothing. Because big men are often fit men it seems companies cater to a wider range of sizes for them. When I started getting off the couch and on the trail, I couldn't buy anything made for a woman. There were no plus sizes available...even from lines of cloths that touted their plus sizes! I am now able to purchase a woman's XXL but few companies provide that size. First Ascent advertises it but nowhere in the country carries any of it and even corporate could not help me. I can wear a woman's XL but not with any layers under it. The average size of American's is much larger than the companies target. If I had a bunch of money I would target people like myself who want to go out and play in the out of doors and also want to ahave cool stuff to do it in. Most my stuff going to Nepal will be men's....not by choice but because it has been impossible to outfit myself with woman's gear. Even my Keen Ericksons are men's because they have not started making them in the woman's line. (They are made on the same lasts per KEEN). I wnt cute girly stuff too but am relegated to a mishmash of men's stuff that makes me look tomboyish at best. The precip jacket in my avatar is one of the only woman's pieces I ahve and if it is cold, that will not go over anything with layers. I am not cut in at the waist, but sadly, almost ALL of the gear made for women is this year and last year. That means that even if I can zip it, I cannot layer it.

10:51 a.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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Good points, gifttogab. It's harder for anyone who falls outside a certain size and/or height range.

Good luck, and let us know if you do find something that works, so others can use that info.

p.s. Congratulations on your weight loss so far. That is quite an accomplishment.

12:07 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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Giftogab, you're not entirely correct about the sizing thing for men. I had a heck of a time finding a suit that would fit me, because I was in good shape and had broad shoulders, while the suits were designed for fat, useless, businessmen and pointy-haired imbecile. (Real People (tm) hate middle managers.)

One of my friends used to complain about the selection of women's clothing quite a bit; she described the women's stuff at REI as basically the same as the men's, but with flowers and higher price tag. Since she didn't like the flowery apparel to put mildly, she bought men's or boy's clothing. (She's quite petite.)

Every time I hear a woman complaining about the state of the market, I'm astonished... by the state of the market. :-/

I know of VERY few companies that make backpacks, for example, that actually take the time to tailor backpacks to fit women. (For that I recommend McHale.)

I didn't realize that there was still a dearth of clothing made for women though. :-/

BTW, eVent is great stuff, though a bit on the heavy side. Some of the newer fabrics are pretty nice also, like the Pertex fabric GoLite uses for its shells. Which are probably also unisex. :-/

12:14 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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So do men have less shape variations than women or does the culture have stronger preferences for a fitted womens clothing than we do for men? 

I think the latter is true.  I am ok with clothes that fit loosely, I think that "we" expect everything women wear to be super fitted to accentuate the parts of women that we like to see, which ends up being rather impractical, however nice to look at it might be.  Whether this is fair or not I will leave to the philosophers to decide.

I am a shameless fan of fitted women's clothing but I also understand that some ladies actually want something practical to wear, in which case I would refer them to the unisex/mens clothing; but only if I am asked.   

12:26 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

I think the latter is true.  I am ok with clothes that fit loosely, I think that "we" expect everything women wear to be super fitted to accentuate the parts of women that we like to see, which ends up being rather impractical, however nice to look at it might be.  Whether this is fair or not I will leave to the philosophers to decide.

I'd say that fitted clothing both looks better and is much more functional and practical to wear than unfitted clothing. Fitted is not synonymous with tight though.

Looks aside, I don't want to wear — let along run, ski, hike, move, etc. — in something that is too baggy in some spots, too tight in other spots, and so on. Most of us want clothing that fits and is fitted comfortably to our form. How fitted is a matter of preference though.

12:31 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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Not taking away from the thread(key word "women's) but on fit I find that I am a hard animal to get the "right" fit.

I am built like some weird Spider Monkey. 

If I want the sleeves in any of my shells to fit I have to go a size up. If you look in my avatar photo the MH Tech jacket I have on is a XL. I tried the large and it fit well in the area of my torso but when I extended my arms straight out in front of me I found the sleeves were halfway up my forearms. 

So I had to go a bit larger on size to compensate for this. The torso area of the coat is a bit baggy but I can still layer no problem lol. 

Oh well, what can ya do?

1:53 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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I often wonder what clothing manufacturers have in mind with their sizing. Apparently the "standard woman" in outdoor clothing is pretty close to the "supermodel" shape. Barb has the complaint several have noted here of sleeves the wrong length and no allowance for layers (hey, folks, if you are going to wear that soft shell other than in the apres-ski bar, you have to fit layers under it, and that goes even skiing hard when the temperature is sub-zero, like it was when Barb and I were skiing at Alta the week before the OR Show). Boots are another problem. Barb has size 4 to 5 feet. Here in California, we have a large number of people of Asian and Hispanic descent (white folks are in the minority in Calif). Many of these first and second generation immigrants are short and have tiny feet. And yes, they do hike and ski. Children's shoes and boots do NOT fit adult feet, even when the size is nominally the same. And when you do a lot of hiking, cycling, etc, you tend to develop the muscles in your legs, so the calves and quads are bigger for a given hip and waist size (for men, too - when I fit the waist in pants, the legs are too tight).

One solution is making alterations. Luckily (or maybe because of the population around here) we do have alteration shops that can alter the outdoor gear. Plus Barb is a pretty good seamstress herself. Doesn't do any good with the boots, but at least we used to have good bootfitters (that seems to be gone now, with Marmot Mountainworks closing in about 4 weeks).

If it is any comfort, when you get out in the wild, the important thing is does the gear do the job. Nobody who is a real backcountry enthusiast cares whether the ladies look like supermodels (if any of us saw a supermodel type on the trail looking like she just walked out of the catalog, our reaction would be "what is she doing out here? Is this a rescue operation about to happen?"). The question is not "Can she cook?" It is "Can she climb/ski?"

2:06 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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Alicia mentions goggles, which can be interesting when you want to find women's goggles or glacier glasses in the smaller sizes. We found that many shops jump from children's to women's medium, missing out teens and women's XS, S. In the end we had to resort to the internet for glacier glasses (cat 4); this was done by researching the manufacturers' websites for specs or by using a specialist retailer that already categorises eyewear according to dimensions and usage (Eyekit in the UK).

A lot of retailers will give you the dimensions of a jacket over the phone, such as neck to back hem, armpit to armpit, sleeve, front zipper, and so on. This can then be compared with something you have already. Another option is finding a website that lists the individual models' measurements (zappos?) that can be seen wearing the jackets, or browsing the online reviews where people describe the fit of each item and give their own sizing.

Of course it goes without saying that the first option should be a real store with genuine outdoor enthusiasts for staff members, though they are getting thin on the ground (so use it or lose it).

6:51 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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I am semi-lucky. I wear 34w, 30l pants.  Pretty common size.   Ever try to find them on a sale rack?  Good luck.   As for my problem area it is my neck.  I wear a 17 neck 35 sleeve shirt.  I have to get them fitted otherwise they look like tents on my torso. 

6:59 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

I am semi-lucky. I wear 34w, 30l pants.  Pretty common size.   Ever try to find them on a sale rack?  Good luck.

You're right. That is the flip-side of being "average." There are certain items I frequently see on sale and can use more of, but since I'm neither XS nor XL I never get them for cheap.

Still, one can't complain if they're at least able to find what they need.

8:30 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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I think, for me, FIT means it won't ride up or be too tight. Because of the years of difficulty in buying cloths I would be satisfied with FIT meaning not too small while at the same time, not with sleeves that are 4 inches too long because it is men's.

And, thanks, Alicia!

8:45 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
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giftogab said:

And, thanks, Alicia!

You're welcome. I'm impressed by your weight loss accomplishment. I'm sure it wasn't easy. You should be proud.

Your comments on not being able to find clothing as you became more active have made me think about how access to appropriate gear and clothing can play a role in getting a variety of people outdoors. Good food for thought.

12:02 a.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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Yes, Alicia. I have been thinking about that a lot. All people want to feel good in what they wear. One tough thing I am finding is that women's tops with short sleeves are more like cap sleeves....not a good look on larger arms so if FEELS awkward. I also think that if they got some bigger women like myself who are actually out there being active and focus grouped them, it might help. I am guessing it may not be cost effective...but some of the things should be able to incorporated to a degree. If your food for thought results in anything you need help for, I am happy to help!

6:05 a.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

So do men have less shape variations than women or does the culture have stronger preferences for a fitted womens clothing than we do for men? 

I think the latter is true...

You're joshing us, Jeff, aren't you?

There are several facts supporting the notion women's body types come in a wider variety than men's.

Women are shorter on average, yet have higher average weight.  Meanwhile a higher percentage of women can be classified as having low volume, relative to men of similar height.  All told that means men have less variation in total volume.

Women's bodies have contours that have far greater variances that one would consider within a normal spectrum of body dimensions.  I too could complain about shirt sizes - I have a med torso and a 171/2 neck - but realize this is quite unusual.  Likewise most men don't have the cyclist thighs Bill describes.  John may have the valid lament among us guys, since stout but not tall is a fairly common male body type, yet hard to find clothes that fit.  That said, women's bust, waist and hip measurements have considerable variance in their ratios, more so than men's.  That alone makes it more challenging to provide clothes that fit the spectrum of their dimensions.  And they still have the same basic issues men have (broad/narrow shoulders, long/short arms/legs/torsos, etc)

If this argument isn't convincing, compare the tailoring of high end business apparel, and you will note women's attire have more seam work, such as darts in the chest and hip areas to afford proper draping of the fabric over the body.  I am not describing tight fitting, rather well fitted, conservative, business clothing.  And if you should wish to discount these differences claiming even conservative women’s apparel is tighter fitting, then make the same comparison referencing wet suits, where snug fitting is desirable for both sexes.

Lastly as an art major who has spent hundreds of hours in figure drawing studios, my observation is women on average are more complexly contoured than men. 

Ed  

10:41 a.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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I'm glad you chimed in Ed!

I  really do think that we (men) have a higher tolerance for less fitted clothing though I am that average-ish sized guy who can never seem to find anything on the retail sale rack but EVERYTHING at the thrift store seems to fit.  A blessing/curse I guess.

I think its just a social convention though that makes us want to have womens clothing closely follow the lovely countours of their figures.  A convention that I am in no way in favor of abolishing!  If my clothes followed the contours of my, um... curves it would NOT be considered flattering.

Ed mentioned:

Lastly as an art major who has spent hundreds of hours in figure drawing studios, my observation is women on average are more complexly contoured than men. 

Capturing the beauty of the female body in art is a life well spent.  Capturing them in person is another matter entirely!  

1:31 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

Capturing the beauty of the female body in art is a life well spent.  Capturing them in person is another matter entirely!  

 I do this in my photography quite a bit... and since I shoot beauty, I very rarely shoot male models. They're just not pretty enough :)

1:53 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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Ah, but that which is Beautiful isn't always Pretty. (and things that are "pretty" can often be quite ugly)

;) 

6:37 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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gonzan said:

Ah, but that which is Beautiful isn't always Pretty. (and things that are "pretty" can often be quite ugly)

;) 

A new topic I am exploring as camp fire chat is how cultural preconceptions bias our perspectives.  Specifically I am currently exploring the the assumptions we make declaring certain things as opposites.  Is black the opposite of white.  If so, then what is the opposite of gray or red?  Is zero the opposite of infinity, or is it more accurate to state null set is the opposite?  We consider ignorance the opposite of knowledge, yet the more we learn the less we realize we actually know.  They can't be opposites!  Is hopeless the opposite of hopeful, or hopeless only midway on the spectrum between hopeful and despair?  Or is despair the opposite of faith?  Is it possible these contrasts can work along multiple axis, thus generating several opposites for a single concept?  If so what concept or term defines the origin of these axis? I am amassing a list of these contrasts, some of which are sure to  be provocative.

I am going to add your contrasts to my list.  I can see musing over this comment getting pretty deep, punctuated with some silly digressions.  Great fun.

Ed

7:51 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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Ummm, this is starting to wander pretty far afield of the OP's original topic. Maybe Ed Whome, gonzan, Tamerlin, and Sage want to start a new topic in Off-Topic?

note to Ed - Red is at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum, hence blue (or more correctly spectral violet) at the short wavelength end is the opposite of red.

8:15 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the reminder to keep on topic of a given thread, Bill. 

My apologies for contributing to the divergence, Alie!

The direction of the rabbit trail is an intriguing one, so if anyone wants to take it up in Off Topic, I would follow with interest :)

11:33 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
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The rabbit trail heads this way.

10:13 p.m. on February 9, 2012 (EST)
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Alicia...perhaps a way to gather reviews together of clothing that works well for woman in spite of their gender specificity? Would it be too much to have a thread/subforum to link all woman's gear reviews even if it is a woman review a man's piece of gear and how it works for a female?

10:19 a.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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My daughter has made me sit through some of those "fashion shows" on TV with her... but I did think they had a good point. . . alterations.

Find a good starting point, and it might be worth the extra couple of bucks to get the items altered. People are rarely always off the rack sizes, and alterations are another way to have those clothes and look that are personalized.  Alterations will also equalize the whole guy cut/women's fit sort of thing.

11:16 a.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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Unfortunately altering a pair of pants or a shirt is a lot easier than modifying a lined technical jacket.   I would hate to have to modify a down anything.

12:29 p.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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Does anyone besides me still hem their own pants?

 

 

Bill Wrote:

Ummm, this is starting to wander pretty far afield of the OP's original topic

 

Yay! Ten more posts and we can start arguing about global warming.

12:32 p.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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second gear...that is fine if you ar nip and tuck, but expansion is not possible. The large end of sizing for female cloths assumes you are not carrying extra weight. That has been my experience in outdoor cloths far more than suits and other casual/work attire. Also, working with some of these lighter weight materials makes ripping out stitching problematic as does the fact that down likes to come out. Simply hemming sleeves and legs is also not a very effective way to deal with velcrowed cuffs or sippered ankles. While some things can be altered to some degree, it is just not the answer to actually designing cloths for active women who are not lean.

2:44 p.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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giftogab said:

second gear...that is fine if you ar nip and tuck, but expansion is not possible. The large end of sizing for female cloths assumes you are not carrying extra weight. That has been my experience in outdoor cloths far more than suits and other casual/work attire. Also, working with some of these lighter weight materials makes ripping out stitching problematic as does the fact that down likes to come out. Simply hemming sleeves and legs is also not a very effective way to deal with velcrowed cuffs or sippered ankles. While some things can be altered to some degree, it is just not the answer to actually designing cloths for active women who are not lean.

 I hear what you are saying. I recently have taken off 70 pounds myself.  I ran into the exact issues you mention.  But that is also why alterations (note I didn't not constrain to taking attire) is an option to a point.

Outside of starting special lines of clothing (rei did have some plus size stuff that worked for me) one-size mentality doesn't work well.  Outdoor gear is a fairly specialized market so I don't think we will find the breadth available at say, large department stores.

Bottom line, the big picture is that regardless of our attire, we are "out there" doing it!

8:51 p.m. on February 10, 2012 (EST)
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yes! good for you second! btw:my xl men's Fitz Roy by Patagonia is great!!!!!

8:25 p.m. on February 11, 2012 (EST)
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You said it, Giftogab! Rain pants have proved to be the most difficult item to deal with for me, precisely because they're usually zippered at the ankle. I can get a pair of pants that's big enough in the seat by shopping in the men's department, and taking in a too-big waist isn't too difficult. But the pants are always at least a foot too long, and that damned ankle zipper means they really can't be effectively shortened. I end up just rolling the pants up at the ankles, which really isn't a great solution. Oh, for a pair of very large, SHORT rain pants!

8:07 p.m. on February 12, 2012 (EST)
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artemis said:

..Rain pants have proved to be the most difficult item to deal with for me, ... that damned ankle zipper means they really can't be effectively shortened...

 A luggage repair shop often can shorten the zipper, even from that end.  Find one and show them your project.  They will instruct you what you need to do if you shorten the pants yourself, or offer to do the whole job for you.

Ed

2:41 p.m. on February 14, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks! I would have never thought of checking with a luggage repair shop.

3:09 p.m. on February 14, 2012 (EST)
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If you are looking for someone to do technical alterations on anything from tents(repairs, add doors, vents, etc) packs(add pockets or other mods/repairs,) cleaning, or alterations to outdoor apparel and repairs ya may want to take a look at Rainy Pass Repair Inc.:

http://www.rainypass.com/index.htm

They also do alot of warranty repair work for companies like ArcTeryx' etc.

Here is a link for some of their partners:

http://www.rainypass.com/partners.htm

I would trust a shop that specializes in working with technical fabrics a bit more than a luggage repair shop. That just me though. 

Let's face it. Gear is expensive.

Hope this helps.

Happy hiking-Rick

6:24 p.m. on February 15, 2012 (EST)
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GiftofGab I am not sure that I like your new look.

8:18 p.m. on February 15, 2012 (EST)
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What? Callahan..this is women specific gear built for a man!

2:44 a.m. on February 16, 2012 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

..I would trust a shop that specializes in working with technical fabrics a bit more than a luggage repair shop. That just me though... 

Perhaps.  But a zipper is just a zipper unless it is one of those fancy ones with the built in rubberized seals, in which case the luggage repair folks would turn away the job.  And hemming a pant cuff is pretty much the same process no matter what fabric is used.  In any case I also place some value in face to face communication, having experienced misunderstandings that result when people try to understand each other remotely.  Thus I urge no matter who you select for doing such work, that you be able to speak face to face whenever possible.

Businesses specialize for different reasons; equipment requirement, skills and marketing strategies among others.  I have received fine, affordable, service from my local luggage/shoe repair store for things like working on zippers, attaching leather lashing points to packs, fabricating equipment harnesses, repairing failed seams in boots, packs, parkas, and tents, and other tack that utilizes the same basic skills one typically uses on luggage and boot repairs.  I have relied of shops like these for decades with no issues.  Now if you were addressing a sleeping bag repair, or complete assembly of custom fitted parkas and other apparel, I would go to my outdoor seamstress, because the skills used to repair sleeping bags and assemble garments are specialized to some degree.  Otherwise the pin on a zipper is repaired using the same tools and skills regardless if the item is a rain shell, boot, or soft shell luggage.

Ed 

1:57 p.m. on February 18, 2012 (EST)
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Good for covering up my ugly mug

October 30, 2014
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