has anybody seen these in a 26 anywhere?
In my experience, yes. The NC has that weird hourglass shape which tapers aggressively right at the knee then flares out. The NS has a gentler taper.
I wear a 29 in J Crew's 484 style too and take a 28 in APC Petit Standard. I really like the way they both fit me, but the APCs are definitely a bit skinnier. Can't really speak to whether or not another APC style is a better fit but I'm quite happy with both. Hope that helps.
Bought my first pair of Petit New Standards about 3 weeks ago.... First off, 5'10", 160 lbs, maintain a clean and fit lifestyle. I normally wear size 31 (or 32), but I went with a size 30 (so I sized down 2). Still today, they are overly tight in the thighs for me. The PNS maintains the higher rise cut, so wearing them at near the natural waist line (which is the intention) makes the jeans seems to fit even tighter around the thighs.
The waist did however stretch like crazy since then, and there has also been some knee stretch. But besides that, I've come to the conclusion that if you are NOT a truly kind-legged guy, APC is just not for you. Bummer.