David Trinko: Pants fitting daughter are a tall order


It’s every dad’s dream for his daughter to be extraordinary. Unfortunately, it can make it a little tough to find her clothes.

My 13-year-old daughter’s been growing again, despite our best efforts to keep her our little girl forever. None of her clothes fit quite right anymore.

To be fair, nothing’s fit her quite right since she started sprouting a few years ago.

She now stands at 5-foot-9. That’s five inches taller than the average woman in America, who is 5-foot-4, according to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is in the 97th percentile of all adult women, and she just turned 13 in August. She’s extraordinary, isn’t she?

She requires an inseam of 35 inches, a full 5 inches longer than her dad’s inseam despite being similar heights. She’s also lankier than the average American woman, with her waistline of 28 inches nowhere near the average of 38.6.

In short — or in tall, in this case — she’s a narrow skyscaper in the world of women.

We headed out in a quest to find her some clothes that might actually fit her body. It’s also when I realized how messed up the clothing sizes are for women, especially for pants.

If you’ve ever shopped for men’s pants, it’s pretty easy if you know your inseam and your waist size. You walk over to a rack or a pile of pants, and you look for the one that’s your size.

But what is this nonsense that is women’s clothing sizes? Is she a size 4 for her waist? An extra large for the length? A venti caramel macchiato?

I kid. That last one was a Starbucks order, but at least it sounds big. I suspect if she drank enough of them, she might catch up with the average American woman’s waistline.

My wife, who is also taller than the average woman in America, has tried to explain sizes to me. It turns out that most women’s clothes are measured for their fit on the hips and waist rather than the ability to cover your calf. The sizes can be different from one company to another too.

Our daughter asked some tall female teachers at her school where they shopped for pants. They shared two tips. One tip was every pair of pants can be called capris, hanging just above your ankle. The other was if you wear tall boots, no one can see how long your pants actually are.

These felt more like work-arounds than solutions.

We’ve tried shopping in men’s sizes, but what teenage girl wants to wear men’s clothing? The styles are different, and her height shouldn’t strip away her femininity.

We’ll keep searching for the perfect solution. Until then, if you see a tall girl’s ankles, remember that her pants aren’t too short. They’re just not as extraordinary as that girl wearing them is.

By David Trinko

The Lima News


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David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

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