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Elastic Waist Band

2009-11-08

Category: General

There is no reason for a pair of men's slacks to have elastic in the waist band. You've probably seen this phenomenon in any American store that sells off the rack men's wear. It's like you can't find proper trousers anymore.

Traditionally it was easy to buy men's pants. If you knew your waist and inseam measure in inches you only needed to pick up a pair that had the same measurements and you were done. If you knew that one of your personal proportions was a bit different, you knew how to adjust the measurements to get the best fit. That's all changed.

First of all, they introduced different cuts that they call "fits". The standard cut is no longer the default. You will usually find that old, standard cut with the label "classic fit". Some times you can find a "relaxed" fit for those of us with extra padding. They even have a "trim" fit for men with the physical structure of a ten year old girl. To make matters worse, these terms are generic and don't have the same meaning among clothing manufacturers who are free to even make up their own terms. In no time at all we'll be down to all men wearing "size six".

So they have variety, big deal. As long as they can be consistent you can still learn what size and shape you need and go pick up a pair of trousers without too much trouble. It has to be a system and it has to be consistent and as long as they can do that we don't have to get drunk and beat the hell out of them.

Then there's that elastic. They usually name it something cutesy like "comfort" or "ease". What they are really saying is "too damned fat." Now most men don't have any trouble with someone calling them fat. The default response is to make a crude statement about how the other person's mother felt about it the night before and it's all done. The problem with these waist bands is the inconsistency.

You see, there is no discussion of what that elastic does to the waist band measurement. Say you get a pair of pants with a waist of 38 inches and it has an elastic bit. That means the waist band may go up to some other amount of inches. Do we know how many? No we don't. It could mean an extra two inches or it could mean an extra twelve inches. If you don't know what that measurement is you can't make a good purchasing decision.

Now, the real problem with elastic pants is that if you need them you really need to get outdoors like a man and lose a little of that weight. If you aren't going to do that, then man up about your real girth, get a pair of pants that actually fit you whether standing or sitting, and then get some suspenders to keep them up. There are some rally nice suspenders on the market and it gives you the opportunity to do that cool thing with your thumbs.

Where I run into trouble with the elastic pants it is because I'm about medium build. The elastic waist band pants take up valuable shelf space in the store and that means the store can't stock enough in my size. Since my size is something that sells off really quick, there's less selection for me. You would think the fact that there are still a ton of the fat pants on the shelves when my sized pants are sold out would convince the stores that they need to change their stock mix.

So, here's what I would like everyone to do. Write to your favorite clothing stores and manufacturers and tell them to stop making men's pants as though we are all a bunch of cry babies who are sensitive about our weight. We aren't that sensitive about our weight or we would beat people up about it a lot more. Make sure to mention that last part because even though we can't make direct threats there's nothing wrong of putting that thought into their minds.

As for those men out there who buy the trousers with the elastic bands, get off your fat back sides, grab your purses, and head down to the gym for some damned exercise. If you really need elastic pants that bad, dressing in slacks isn't going to help much, so put on those track suits. Maybe they'll help you remember to exercise. Make sure the track suit is white or dark blue so it won't hide those Cheetos hand prints.

If we all pull together, some day we can reclaim our ability to go to the damned store and buy a pair of damned pants without having to twirl around in the damned dressing room mirror asking whether or not the pants make our damned asses look fat. Then we can look into being able to get a hair cut without having to explain why we don't need any "product".


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