The other day I went out to get me some slim chinos and/or slim jeans from HE by Mango. Turned out nothing fitted me. I have a 31" waist. The 30" was way to fitted/tight in the waist and leg. The next size up was a 32" waist. This was waaay to big, as in 'I can fit both my hands and some more in the waist'.
I went to some other high street shops and encountered similar issues.
My question is: do many brands size up by 2 inches? And how do they expect people to find good fits??
I have the exact same problem, so I try and get a 31" if I can (at the moment the brands that are a perfect fit for me are Uniqlo 31", Ralph Lauren Black Label 31" (although with their other labels polo/blue label/Denim and Supply the 30" is a better fit for me). I have a mix of 30 and 32 trousers, and usually I have to have a belt with the 32"s which also causes some minor creasing and kinks where its drawing the waistband in - whereas the 30's fit very snuggly but do not give me much room and some can be quite tight on my hips.
I would just recommend trying plenty of brands, and even in the same brand sizes can vary so its full of frustration trying to find a perfect fitting trouser.
Yeah, I spent the better half of the day yesterday searching for a pair of trousers that would fit. AllSaints 30" where too tight and 32" way too big. I was slightly tempted to get the 30" hoping it would loosen enough, but didn't want to take the risk. On top of 30" trousers being too tight around the waist, 30" slim fits are often too tight around my cyclist-thighs.
I really don't want anymore 32" trousers with a belt causing creases. I have a couple and they just don't look snappy.
Levis 511 fitted pretty well, but in the end I found a pair of dark (raw) 31" jeans at Cos, which I am very pleased with so far. Not sure how much they'll loosen though. Also, I read that raw denim may shrink during the first wash, which could cause problems...
Yes, it seems I have exactly the same problem as you (cycling as well means my thighs are on the larger size, although my waist is trim). I have so many pairs of trousers because I have been after finding a properly fitted pair. Some of the cheaper trousers I have, where I have bought exactly the same trouser but in a different colour because the first fits perfectly has been inconsistent in the second pair, and measuring the waistband they have been a different size even though they are marked the same. Most of the jeans I have are 30" as they always loosen up a lot after a few hours of wear - never had any raw denim jeans so I cannot comment on that. Tailoring may be an answer for your more expensive trousers.
This is a problem I used to have frequently. You could try H&M as they do a inch increments on a lot of their trousers, but they don't do length increments on most of their chinos, so you might end up swapping one issue for another.