And and, at last, at last I found affordable gray trousers for dayjob. Alas, they are "dry clean only" but I think that might be a lie (they are not wool, and not creased - polyester/rayon blend). All 3 pairs are Jones NY, not only in my size, but petite length, so I saved the cost of getting them hemmed. Now I will crassly tell you what I paid. Two pair, from Macy's, retail at $149 and $139 - I got them for, roughly, 78% off. I suspect they might go a tiny bit lower this week, but there was only one pair of each in my size, which goes quickly, and I had been searching so long I was not inclined to gamble. The last pair was at Daffy's - $104 retail, for which I paid $7.99 (about 94% off). Again, it was the only pair that fit, but I'm not complaining. Three pair is more than I expected to find, and they should last me for a while, assuming I don't ruin them through a gentle wash.
It's quite a relief. It's really difficult for me to find trousers that fit and look halfway decent. Not only are there fewer options for plus-size, I refuse to buy cheaply made ones, as I am hard on them. And though I am very large on the bottom, I'm not so large on top, so getting even an approximate fit at the waist is difficult for me, and tailoring, other than hemming, would be too much more than I'm willing to pay.
Enough of my woes, I have trousers! I am wearing a pair of the new ones right now.