A Rant Against Baggy Pant-Knees

I had a date with Destiny the other night.

Not destiny in the serendipitous sense but rather an actual person named Destiny and no, she does not have a child thank you very much.

(This was also just a friend-date in case you’re wondering which way the door swings for me.)

So on my way to meet Des, I passed a store window to check out my reflection. I’d just had a blowout so my hair was on par, eyebrows were looking cleaned up for once, I had a sharp-ass shirt on, a freshly laundered pair of jeans — a “designer” pair, if you will — and in scanning my person from head to toe I was just about to hit on my own self when something stopped me faster than a blind bird to a glass window.


The knees of my jeans looked as if they had once been grapes and then became raisins. They were sadder than a deflated Mylar balloon two-weeks after a retirement party, more depressed than a popped lip-injection leaking collagen and worst of all — they hadn’t been like this when I left my house. The stupidly expensive denim had just gone completely rogue and bagged without warning. You see the image above? Those wrinkly knees are practically condom-fit compared to what was happening on my pants. They were Sag Harbor city, baby, and I don’t mean the pleasant Hamptons village.

What could I do? There’s no solution once the fabric of your pants decides to forgo sisterhood. I slumped like George-Michael Bluth doing the Charlie Brown as I walked to meet Destiny, defeated against my own pantalones’ determination to ruin my outfit.

“This is why I never wear jeans,” Destiny told me. “The knees will always let you down.”

What a distressing thought. Aren’t jeans supposed to be the backbone of America? The every-man pant intended to carry us through our sartorial ups and downs, our wardrobe staple, the thing we reach for when we can’t decide what to wear because we know that you can’t go wrong with denim? Where would James Dean or Brooke Shields be without theirs? Did they just not care about baggy knees? Am I the only one? I can’t be, but how is it possible that we’ve been subsisting on denim that wrinkle and drop at the leg joint like the skin of an adorable English bulldog puppy?!

I am not insane. I totally get that maybe some room is needed in order for the legs to bend or whatever, but I do not need an entire orchestra pit to take a friggen’ step. I do not need the Grand Canyon in my pants in order for me to run up subway stairs, or a Bat Mitzvah venue to squat down each time I drop my Metro Card. My pants are not a quote from the movie Step Brothers; I do not need more “room for activities” inside my god damn pants.

Someone. Anyone. If you have a solution, a brand, a wizard: I’m all ears. And until then, I’m also pantsless.

  • Wilted Orchids

    The “boyfriend’ fit doesn’t need to appear in every one of our jeans.

  • There are some clever people who are working on jeans with Spandex-like ability to stretch and come back (something about 4-way-stretch), but right now, all this is still a secret (I read about it somewhere but cannot find the article now), so maybe we just need to wait a bit (they are supposed to make you look slimmer, which is what caught my attention 🙂

  • dp

    amelia, you are very small. get your pants tailored.

  • Andrea Turner

    I pretty much always have this problem with skinny or slim fit jeans, but with wider leg fits this problem seems to correct itself. Too bad we need skinny jeans in winter for those boots.

  • jess

    ag jeans ?

  • Becca Barton

    Ten bucks says saggy-knee sad girl jeans will be the next item in stock in Portlandia’s thrift store.

  • Carmen

    This happens to me because I’m short, it drives me CRAZY! I wish I was 5 foot 7 and didn’t have these issues. If the jeans are the right length for my legs then it doesnt happen, but if they are too long then yes, OR if they don’t have enough lycra in them. Jeans with Lycra are your best friend.

  • Francoise Benoït

    Wow you are so funny write more things like this please!
    PS I am french and in Paris you get our seal of approval 😉 xx

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    That was f king hilarious Amelia!!…heheheh..this is my BIGGEST clothing pet peeve, closely followed by sagging butt after sitting too long usually at dinner or on the way somewhere that is taking too long, when you stand up and you can *feel* without even seeing it, that they are starting a slow sag and there is now way more room in them than when you put them on. I don’t know the answer, some jeans do this worse than others, but I’m not sure if any of them are foolproof, unless you go flare or wide leg.I did have some Hudson’s that were pretty good in the knees a few yrs back, but my most recent pairs are terrible, so it’s really really hard to know ahead of time even in the same brand.

  • techclones

    Thanks.. have a nice Article about A Rant Against Baggy Pant-Knees

  • DL1961 all the way! Amanda in Nirvana is my favourite…

    • Amatoria Clothing

      Amelia… You have to try DL’s. When we first got them in, I read about their “Four-Way Stretch” and thought… yeah, right. But they are great! My favorite pair is the Angel. They are mid-rise ankle-length. I got them in a super-basic dark wash (Mariner), but every time I wear them, I get compliments on them! I also have the Hazel, which is a more fashion style.
      I have not even had to wash these jeans and dry them to make them go back to their original size. They fit exactly like they did when I got them a year ago. I have been “Freeze Cleaning” them.
      I do really like Hudsons too, because they are extremely comfortable, but they do stretch. You have to buy them snug.
      Hope that helps! xx

      • Amelia Diamond

        Oh guys I am just seeing this now, I will!

        • Oh good! Let us know what you think. I hope you love them as much as I do! xx

  • Julia

    Jbrand photo ready denim is spectacularly non-saggy.

  • Rebecca

    Name and shame that overpriced denim so no one else develops elephantitis of the knees, please!

  • Emily

    I buy the inexpensive DKNY Jeans -jeggings. I have a black and dark wash denim as well as subtle patterns like camo and paisley. They look and feel like regular denim but with enough stretch to keep the knees in check!

  • Lustforblush

    Thank you for validating my experience with knees and jeans. I don’t know if I have super skinny knees or what….but..jeans are always baggy there, even when I tailor them to be skinnier in the lower leg. The more expensive the jean the more knee-baggy it is I find 🙁


  • erika szoboszlai

    this happens to me, with any pair of pants i own. not sure if its because i’m tall or what but its super annoying. i also get the diaper butt, where the fabric sags under my cheeks…does this happen to anyone else? if there is a solution to this problem, i’m also all ears!

  • Taylor Braithwaite

    check out http://www.citygirlsolutions.com the boot clips rock!!

  • Taylor Braithwaite

    check out the boot clips at http://www.citygirlsolutions.com

  • Elizabeth Hannah

    Uniqlo. They stretch right back around the knees and NEVER sag.

  • Kelly

    DL1961 Florence fit

    They will do you no wrong

  • I bike everywhere so jeans can be tricky anyways. I would love to wear jeans but the knee thing kills me. Makes me feel SO FRUMPY.

  • My favourites are always the AG Jeans in the 360 fabric in any wash. That 98% recovery can do no wrong and looks fab on the bum too

  • DarthVadersCats

    THIS CAUSE ME BONE SHATTERING PAIN everytime I wore my favourite jeans and they stretched and the knees did the things baggy knees do ^ About a week ago I figured out how I could sort it out. I slashed em.

    It’s not a solution for everyone. But now I have ventilated knees and any bagginess looks intentional. (Yes this also means I live the casual life of someone who can get away with wearing ripped jeans almost anywhere >.< )

  • Audra

    I’ve stopped wearing so many good pairs of jeans because of baggy knees! Anything with “shaping” or “sculpting” in the description seems to helps, maybe because of the extra elastic. I can recommend the H&M high waisted shaping jean as particularly good at holding their shape!