Wearing the pants

Note: I know I said in my last post that I was pulling the plug on this blog, but that was then and this is now. Some stuff has happened that warrants comment (in my mind, anyway), so I’m posting a comment. Going forward, let’s agree that this blog is indeed finished, except when it’s not.

  Too tight:   Months of training have rendered my beloved Levi's 501s obsolete as they no longer accommodate my expanding derriere.

Too tight: Months of training have rendered my beloved Levi's 501s obsolete as they no longer accommodate my expanding derriere.

So I’m trudging up the stairs at work, several steps behind my co-worker – let’s call him Carl – which has me at eye level with his rump, but rather than avert my eyes, as per “The Guy Code,” I’m taking in the view for all it’s worth.

“Gee Carl, your jeans have ample room in the seat yet they aren’t too baggy. Do you mind if I ask what brand they are?”

This is what I’m thinking, but of course, I say nothing. The way a fellow’s pants cradle his buttocks is a somewhat taboo subject in our society, so I’m left to gather the information I seek through stealthy observation.

Unfortunately, Carl has his golf shirt tucked in loosely, so it hangs down over the top of his jeans, covering up the label. I’m disappointed.

A similar situation occurred recently at 7/11 when I missed my chance with a strapping young dude whose athletic build seemed to be ably accommodated by his stylish but unassuming jeans. Same deal for a shorter but equally athletic looking guy at KFC.

Epic blowout

My obsession with exploring jean styles has been going on for a while. It started with an epic crotch blowout that occurred when I was chasing a kid around a playground. (Note: It was my kid). The incident left Fruit-Of-The-Loom tufts protruding where they shouldn’t and upset an equilibrium that had been in place for decades.

Like most men, I settled into my preferred jeans style in high school and never looked back. For more than 20 years, buying jeans was the simplest form of shopping in existence. Every year or two, when I caught wind of a sale at Sears, I’d walk in, select a couple pairs of Levi’s 501s and strut straight to the checkout. There was no need to try them on since I’d long established that these jeans suited my body type and I knew my specs. (I did have to visit a changeroom every few years when it came time to graduate to the next waist size, to account for my body’s ongoing “settling in.”)

 Before: A photo of my backside taken in the summer of 2014.

Before: A photo of my backside taken in the summer of 2014.

This blissful existence has been under attack for a few months. I started noticing that my jeans were getting increasingly snug, as my ongoing training efforts expanded my butt to near-Kardashian dimensions and transformed my thighs from pencil-thin reeds to ... well ... reeds of carpenter pencil dimensions. It got to the point that kicking around in jeans on the weekend was no longer an act of relaxation, but rather an act of excruciating endurance.

Then the aforementioned blowout occurred and it was official. I needed new jeans – not just a new pair of jeans, a new style of jeans.

The dreaded “Clothing Store”

My soul-sucking quest for a new denim identity began with some online research, followed by a visit to an actual “Clothing Store,” where I tried on and bought one pair of jeans that I’d identified as the right style for me.

I was wrong.

I found this out while modelling my purchase for my wife. (The jeans were too baggy for my stumpy legs).

Some days later I revisited the dreaded Clothing Store, where I returned those jeans then systematically tried on every style that wasn’t super slim or super loose. Through a ruthless process of elimination, I surprisingly ended up with Levi’s 501s, except that the winning version was two waist sizes larger than the ones in my closet. Yes, these new garments were too large in the waist, but they were ample in the seat and thighs without being annoyingly baggy. I thought I could live with them.

 After: A photo of my Levi's taken in March 2015, shortly before the "Epic Crotch Blowout."

After: A photo of my Levi's taken in March 2015, shortly before the "Epic Crotch Blowout."

I was wrong there too.

The first day wearing my new jeans, even though I had a belt cinched up tight, I still had to keep my thumbs hooked through the belt loops to prevent the pants from falling down. I started drawling my words and people started calling me Cletus.

“Dang it all to heck,” I thought.

I was quite despondent, but just as I was starting to Google the location of bridges in my area, my mind seized on one nugget of information that gave me a glimmer of hope.

I remembered that Levi’s has recently come out with a new jeans style that’s specifically designed for athletic builds. Yes, I was thinking about this in terms of my body. (I’ll give you a moment to conclude your guffawing and snickering.)

So anyway, this new model is designed to provide more room in the rear and thighs without being baggy. I’d dismissed them before because I didn’t think they came in my waist size and I felt their prefaded grunge look was more for young dudes.

But, lacking other options, I decided to give them another try. I found a store that did have some in my waist size and I bought myself one experimental pair.

I’ve worn them a couple times in public. They’re a bit stretchy and feel more like sweatpants than jeans, so I feel like I’m cheating, but I think I may have found my solution. I sure hope so, anyway. If these don’t work out, I’ll be forced to go way outside the box ... I'm talking kilt territory. Drastic? Yes. But don’t discount the double-barrelled upside: 

  1. plenty of room and 
  2. no need for Fruit Of The Looms.