Those of you who know me know I hate shopping. I’m dragged kicking and screaming out shopping once a year WHETHER I NEED IT OR NOT! One of the reasons I hate shopping is that clothing manufacturers do not design clothes for my figure. A figure that I think is a fairly typical woman’s figure. As opposed to the figure of a 14 year old boy with breasts.

Yes, I have what my more generous friends would say is a “curvy” figure. Not fat, but with a big differential between waist and hips — say more than 10 inches. So most clothes, especially pants, don’t fit me. Clothing designers can’t seem to fathom that someone with my hip size would have this small a waist. Or that someone with my waist size wouldn’t have “snake hips.”

Before you shout, “Well, lose weight, Fatso,” let me say that I’ve had a similar problem since I was 104 pounds and on the high school cross-country running team. So there.

Which should make it all the more surprising that I am devoting a whole post to The! Best! Pants! Ever!

Yes, I found the perfect pair of pants. Soft cotton. An elasticized drawstring waist that is teeny tiny and stretches. As opposed to most drawstring waists that are huge and have to be gathered in like a bunched paper bag. Plus the legs are roomy and full enough to be comfortable even in Sonoma summer weather. But not so baggy that they look like clown pants. And there are numerous pockets for storing car keys, USB drives, bits of string or whatever else you might carry.

The best part: they magically seem to make you look about ten pounds slimmer. And by you, I mean men AND women. Yup. These are “Unisex Pants” (that’s the official name) because they fit men and women. Andy and I each tried a pair on and thought they were so flattering that we immediately bought a black pair each. Then I ordered additional pairs in almost every color they had (chocolate, natural and red). They weren’t in stock because these pants are WALKING OUT THE DOOR.

They don’t look like much off.
But on they seem to make you
look 10 lbs. slimmer!

Which door is that? Well, here’s the best part. They are in a great store on the Plaza in Sonoma called South American Secrets. This is a fantastic clothing, jewelry, hat, etc. store featuring products from South America, especially Ecuador, where the owner’s wife is from. Andy got a great Panama hat and was eying the case of fine cigars. (Note: free cigars are given to servicemen in uniform!)

Even better: a large majority of the profits of the store are being used to fund underserved communities in Ecuador. (Read about it here.) And most of the products are manufactured in Ecuador in fair trade workshops.

That’s right. You can shop for great products — at great prices — and also do good. What’s better than that? It’s like hitting the Trifecta.

Owners Fred & Janneth Johnson
donate most of their profits to help
underserved Ecuadorian communities.
And Fred mixes a mean Martini at his
other job at The Girl and the Fig!

So take this from a non-shopper. Go to South American Secrets on the Plaza in Sonoma and BUY, BUY, BUY. And be sure to get a pair of Unisex Pants.

NOTE: The pants are made out of cotton, not Alpaca wool, but the picture of the pants wasn’t as cute as the Alpacas. And I once saw a lady with two Alpacas hanging out at the door of this shop. So the Alpaca shot is in.