Banish Elastic Waists!

L’il Flava just said something about Comfort Pants recommended by Caroline Divine with which I must concur:

“There’s comfort and then there’s schlummpage.”

Even in black, yoga or workout pants are not appropriate professional wear. Big, floppy cotton pants with no shape to them (and tapered ankles don’t count as “shape”) are one of the most obvious ways to separate frumpy from fab. I KNOW we all love our floppy cotton pants from Flax and other hempy companies. I’m just saying that they’re not doing anyone looking for a sharp look any favors.

Ladies, PeaceBang is a fat, short girl with short legs and a serious jungle pouch. It is hard work for her to find pants, but she works assiduously to avoid anything with an elastic waist and a huge, floppy cotton butt. She doesn’t always succeed, but dammit, she puts in the effort. She insists on wearing pants that button and zip because she knows that if she doesn’t, it’s too easy to become a big, soft marshmallow and flumf around in clothes resembling sweatsuits, with so much material that the tushie is all over the place and you can’t even find the thighs inside the legs of the pants.

As Sister of PeaceBang once said, “The bigger the shirt, the bigger the girl.” Her point was, “don’t try to hide a chunky body inside huge, shapeless garments. We all know it’s in there.”

Pants are notoriously hard to find and to fit. That’s why you should spend serious time and effort finding cuts that work for you, plan to get them tailored when necessary, and buy two or three pairs when you find some goodies.

P.S. Just because skinny jeans are totally in this year doesn’t mean you should wear them. Tapered legs are also very au courant, but if you’re not slim and long of leg, and have an otherwise very au courant wardrobe, don’t bother. Stay with the classics, and if you’re short and have chubby legs, stick with bootcut trousers.

7 Replies to “Banish Elastic Waists!”

  1. Woah. I agree with you, on principle and also mostly in practice. But seriously — I looked in stores for MONTHS for something that would fit, that is, in the little time I had for shopping in a life that included graduate study and several jobs, and I simply could not find anything for my body. I guarantee you that the more formal outfits I constructed with those black Comfort Pants were anything but shlumpy because everything else was carefully tailored, and because the pants were black AND well cut (you can’t tell that from the website, where they aren’t black and the person is wearing them with a loosey goosey top — the line of the cut is actually very nice)it worked just fine. In other words the pants didn’t look like what they originally were. I made them work. And you couldn’t see the elasticized waist. The little jacket covered it; as does one of the other tailored tops I wear. And if you wear a slight heel the whole pant leg looks different from that picture. Trust me, dahlink.

    And yeah, I’m back at the gym so I can fit into other pants, some of which are still in my closet, and one pair of which was, bummer of bummers, gone from the J. Peterman website when last I went there. I loved those slacks and was even ready to spend the big money on them (and big money is not in great supply in our occupations) because I knew this was a shape that works for me (trouser shape, with pleats, straight leg, not flared) — I guess the moral of that one is buy it when you see it but I didn’t have the 80 or 90 dollars at the time.

    I think it’s important for people to work within their own sense of what’s stylish on them. And of course, what is comfortable. Granted, there are objective standards of what is appropriate and what is not, but I think flexibility and creativity are important. And better pants that fit and don’t make me look lumpy and have a nice drape and can be easily accessorize than, er, no pants.

  2. Caroline, we’re all about principle here on PeaceBang. I’m sure you made the pants work. I’m not sure that most of our colleagues put that much effort into topping a pair of elastic waist cotton pants with tailored tops with a beautiful line. Hence the post, and hence the blog.

  3. Jungle Pouch may or may not be a legit term. A veterinarian told me that it referred to the pouch of fat hanging down on cats — their tummies, as it were. It’s my word for a floppy abdomen.

  4. Whew. You are all far more dedicated than I am. I stopped wearing pants 15 pounds ago. Unfortunately, when your butt is shaped like an orange – not a peach, but an orange – it doesn’t matter how stylish the pants are.

    The only way I’ll ever look fashionable in pants is to hit the treadmill every day and stop going to The Cheesecake Factory.

    Until then I’ll continue wearing skirts and dresses. Fortunately it’s summer time so that works out well, but last winter my legs were cold all the time.

  5. I’m realizing that with all of this 80’s crap back in fashion that the 80’s were indeed very cruel to us girls who were more Rubenesque. No one told me that I shouldn’t try to wear the same clothes as my thin compadres!!

    Big girls and shorts-a big no-no. Stick to capris. Nothing worse then a frontal V-wedgie between a big girl’s thighs.

  6. I’m going to sign this one Anonymous because it’s too early to tell everyone I’m pregnant. But: I’m pregnant. And I am glad, glad, glad that I have all those nice stretchy-waist pants that I like so much. Here at 10 weeks I’m already outgrowing fitted items like jeans, and even with all the lovely, almost-new professional maternity clothes available on eBay and at yard sales, I can’t afford a different set of tailored outfits for each month of this venture.

    The plain old elastic-waist pants should take me through the next two months, and you know what else? Because I have worn these kinds of clothes ever since I arrived at this church, no one will notice that I’m wearing the kind of clothes that, coincidentally, conceal pregnancy for the first trimester. Had I been wearing tailored pants and tucked-in tailored blouses up to this point, my condition would be signaled as surely as if I were a regular wine-drinker who was suddenly opting for Pellegrino at every meal.

    The secret to not looking horrible in elastic-waist pants, as Caroline has discovered, is to cover the waist. I prefer tops that almost touch my hips, so no one need see the tops of my pants, ever. Some people prefer tucked-in tidiness, but I like the flow of clothes that slightly conceal the waist.

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