Friday, December 5, 2008

Two Pants Rants

One: Why did my little Bear - age 9 and smarter than both his parents put together - think it was a good idea to put sticky tack in his pants pockets??!! And how do I get it out? This stuff is like chewing gum!

Then again, I guess it could be worse ...

From I Can Has Cheezburger?

Two: Yesterday, with my two kids in school and me on break, I seized the chance to shopping for pants. It was an unmitigated disaster. For one thing, my town's solitary "mall" is actually a ghost mall. Only about every fifth store is occupied; the rest are empty, apparently because the mall's owners have overpriced the rents.

In our one lonely remaining department store I tried on about 30 pairs of pants. Not one fit me. I tried jeans, dress pants, cords - oh, I would've tried clown pants if they'd had any! I even ventured into the junior department with its distressed and ripped denims. Nada. Zip.

It comes down to this: For over a decade now, these $%*&@ low-rise pants have crowded nearly everything else out of the market. Even my slenderest students - the ones I suspect wear a size zero or less - often have a muffin top in these styles. As for me, they consistently gape in the back and even the "moderately" low-rise ones still stop miles below my belly-button.

Hey, I've done market research on this and the results are indisputable: There's not an overwhelming public demand to see me wearing a girly version of the plumber look.

I realize some women seem to fit just fine into "modern" pants (which frankly aren't all that new anymore). My sister is one of them. But are the rest of us all just a bunch of freaks? I have a waistline. I'm the same weight and height that I was 30 years ago in junior high. I'm not boasting; I was a few pounds heavier but lost them in last spring's minor medical tribulations when I was reduced to eating plain yogurt for a few weeks; and now my existing pants are all too large, and I can't find new ones. I honestly don't think I'm such an oddity. Yet it's been years since I could find pants that really fit me.

Men don't quite have this problem, do they? (Well, okay, there's the variety of older gent who wears his pants over his belly and under his armpits. I think that's a personal style choice, though.)

Anyone up for a revolt against the fashion industry's rigidity? If not, I guess I'm stuck waiting for spring - and better weather for skirts. And if anyone has a line on clown pants, do let me know.


J.B. Kochanie said...


Same problem here. It seems that having a small waist means that you don't show up on the radar screen of many retailers.

The exception is Lands' End. The offer pants with a traditional waist which means the waistband sits at the natural waist, rather than the hips (that is called classic waist in their parlance). They also offer some styles with the elastic hidden in the back of the waist band, so that you do not have that gap. Here's a link.

My experience in the past with Lands' End has been very good. Delivery was prompt, no mistakes in orders, good quality in both material and workmanship, reasonably priced, and no time wasted at the shopping mall. Hope this works for you.

Sungold said...

Hey Kochanie - thanks so much for the tip. By a funny coincidence I was browsing Land's End just yesterday. I had some great jeans from them back in the 1990s but was afraid they might have changed their cut. I'm also not sure about sizing since I lost that weight. I guess I just need to order a few pairs while they've got free shipping and see if anything works.

I have so little pride left by now, I will gladly wear "mom jeans" as long as they don't give me the plumber fit.

Euchalon Grandy said...

Hi Sungold --

Awesome post, as usual. Pardon me bumping this, but just couldn't resist adding another voice to your voice in the wilderness gripe about women's pants. Glad to know that there are at least two of us who don't buy into the whole low-rise thing.

I happen to be a guy, so thank god I don't have to contemplate wearing this s**t. But I'm not free from it because I always join my wife when she shops for clothing. She's 5' petite and even before normal pants went away she had a tough time finding clothes that fit and looked good on her. So I share her pain by going with her.

How they (fail to) fit Yariko aside, my personal bias is that these low-risers look good on almost nobody. Particularly real people, people I know, people with bodies not made for the runway. There's this slutty/trashy thing going on. What's the message -- that my pants are just about to fall down so go ahead and take me...?

OK, but all that's irrelevant, because it's just a statement of style preference. Here's what gets me: When these things came on the scene, everything else just disappeared. It was as if the central committee had sent out a decree banning normal pants. Of course, we all have to live with style trends. So it wouldn't be such a crime if, for example, *most* of the pants out there were low-riders. What gets me is that it's not just most, it's all. We're left with virtually no alternative. So much for capitalism thriving through providing consumers with an array of choices.

What finally hits me is that as a man I'm not subject to this. I can buy the same boring Dockers that I was buying 20 years ago. So what makes men free of this, and how do manufacturers, distributers, and retails stay in business by *not* providing the clothing that many women want?

One final plug, found a good source for sweat-free clothing (I'll provide the sweat in my clothing thank you). Check out nosweatapparel. Good undershirts--should work for gals too.

OK Sungold, just repeated much of your post. Guess I had to vent. Keep up the good fight...

Sungold said...

EG - If you are who I *think* you are, I remember those Dockers from 20 years ago. :-)

Yeah, I didn't really address the sluttification. It's not that I totally object to occasional sluttiness - but I'd prefer it to be on my own time, in a place of my choosing, and a whole lot more private than most places I'd wear jeans. :-) And in such situations, I'd want to be *sexy* whereas the low-risers are often just skanky, IMO. They're also not terribly sexy because by now they're expected and cliché. Whereas they *are* slutty not just in the skanky way, but also in that other, mostly forgotten sense of "slovenly."

Gee, I thought I was all ranted out, but I guess not!

I too would've thought the market would fill this gap. But I guess among capitalism's many recent failings, this one is relatively minor!

Thanks so much for your comment, Euchalon. Hope to hear from you again soon.