Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The anniversary of the day that my mother went through great pains to introduce me to the world seems to be fast approaching, as is the end of the brief period when I am not the 'older brother'. I find however that many of the places that I look to these days for some small bit of solace point to the inescapable fact that I am continuing to get older. 

I was reminded of this once again as I contemplated something on the inside of the trousers that I was putting on most recently. I could not help but notice the tag that once helped me to determine this article's ability to fit; noting that while the inseam measurement has remained much the same for many years, the same could not be said for the other published dimension. Even after having recently lost some weight (some being one of those wonderfully relative terms) the disparity of extent vs magnitude is not a happy one for me. 

There was a time in my life when these numbers were in fact identical (and for a short time in my youth, leaning in my favor). They could still be so today if I were tall enough to be capable of playing power forward in the NBA. Since I am not however, such numbers (like that of my age) must be accepted, albeit grudgingly. It occurred to me today however, that in spite of my displeasure over these dimensions; they are at least accurate with the printed designation. The disparity of these measurements for many of those of the current generation must be truly formidable indeed. 

How can it be otherwise given the current style? Aren't many of those young men choosing to expose colorful undergarments facing a far greater dimensional disparity? After all, if you're wearing your pants below your hip bones, you certainly don't need much in the way of an inseam. Doing so would cause the bottom portion of the legs of such pants to be constantly under foot. If this did not result in a dramatic increase in tripping from stepping on these unruly extensions, certainly the the bottom portion of these garments would wear out rather quickly from being constantly stepped on. 

And as the inseam measurement (at least as I understand it) would be curiously and seriously changed, the distance at the other end of a pair of pants would also suffer by comparison. It is probably a solid assumption that the measurement where such garments are worn is probably greater on most than that where I was taught to wear them. While bowing to minor variance from body to body, I think it's safe to assume (based on what those taking in or letting out my pants told me over the years) that the distance around at butt level is greater than that at the waist. 

In fact, it occurs to me that most of today's youth might be able to shop in the same clothing section as Snow White's seven companions to achieve the desired effect. I find this thought somewhat cheering, though I recognize that those in their teens and twenties perhaps no longer see a negative in such disproportion as we would have. Perhaps young men are no longer so vain as to concern themselves, as we once did, over the incongruities of such numbers (Nah ...); and seek more proportionate measures as a consequence. 

Of course the other thing that occurs to me in this situation is that even the names for such measurements might no longer have meaning in the Modern Age. Inseam seems highly impractical when apparently measuring from the knee to the floor. As for Waist, why bother to even mention such a measure when the belt loops can no longer see the part of the anatomy in question. 

I can see a day in the future in fact, when there will be multiple dimensional designations on pants, based on generational concerns. For those of my age, the traditional inseam (from crotch to cuff) and waist (at or above the hips thank you) will no doubt suffice as the areas of concern when fitting. For the younger generation however, new appellations will no doubt be required. Might I be so bold as to suggest 'drape' as the measurement moniker to replace inseam, as it appears to most strongly describe the affect that most are attempting to achieve. As for the other, I can think of no better than 'HDYA' as the indicative abbreviation. How better to designate the desired fitting goal then as "Halfway Down Your Ass".


Mom said...

You are right on Son. Good anology.

Judy said...

"Pants on the ground,
Pants on the ground,
Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!

With the gold in your mouth,
Hat turned sideways,
Pants hit the ground,
Call yourself a cool cat,
Lookin' like a fool,
Walkin' downtown with your pants on the ground!

Get it up, hey!
Get your pants off the ground,
Lookin' like a fool,
Walkin' talkin' with your pants on the ground.

Get it up, hey!
Get your pants off the ground,
Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!"

Roland Hansen said...