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Non-standard sizes
Oct. 19, 2018
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by Ivan Raconteur

All men are not created equal – at least when it comes to buying clothes. I suspect the same is true for the ladies.

Long ago, I resigned myself to the fact I can no longer buy clothes off the rack in a store.

I have been the victim of that certain kind of sagging that can affect guys of a certain age – the kind of sagging that causes everything to sort of accumulate around the middle.

Even in the days before gravity took over, “standard” sizes didn’t fit me very well.

When I buy more formal attire (which doesn’t happen often anymore), it always requires a lot of expensive alterations to get their ideal suits to match my less-than-ideal-shape.

I sometimes think it would be simpler just to go around in the kind of all-inclusive overalls that Winston Churchill wore during the war.

While I accept the fact that I will never be the same shape as the models clothing companies use when designing garments, it does seem to me that things have been getting even more extreme lately.

It makes me wonder what the guys that clothes were designed for actually look like.

For example, I recently purchased a winter jacket in a pre-season sale.

I bought it from a large outdoor apparel company that I have purchased things from in the past.

This particular jacket, however, seems a bit odd. It fits well enough in the torso (which is a minor miracle), but it is tight in the shoulders.

The real anomaly, however, is in the sleeves.

I’ve been trying to picture what someone would look like if this jacket actually fit them.

I’m sure the winning candidate would be ideally suited for a career as a fruit picker.

Anyone with arms that long could stand comfortably on the ground and pick apples or oranges from the top branches in a tree.

People like that must have to worry about their knuckles dragging on the ground when they walk.

There are snaps on the cuffs, but even in the snuggest position, the sleeves ride down, engulfing my hands, and making it difficult to accomplish simple tasks like using a key to unlock a door.

I suppose on the plus side, I won’t have to bother wearing gloves this winter, because my sleeves cover my hands completely.

Another odd garment I bought recently was a pair of sweatpants.

Manufacturers seem to think every guy who has an ample waistline must be about 9 feet tall, and these britches are no exception.

Usually, this is not much of a problem, because similar pants I own have elastic cuffs, which keep them in place. Since I generally only wear these around the house, it’s not a problem.

These new pants, however, take their dimensions to the extreme.

At the point my feet stop, the pants keep going. They are at least a foot longer than my legs are.

There is no elastic in the cuffs, so my only recourse if I don’t want to walk on them, is to roll up the cuffs. There’s so much extra fabric, this takes them about to my knees, which looks rather strange.

Another odd thing about these pants is the fact the manufacturers laid their hands on some distinctly substandard elastic for the waistband.

Normally, when I pull on a pair of sweatpants, they stay in place. That’s one of the benefits of these garments. They’re low maintenance and perfect for lounging around.

The elastic in the new britches has no grip to it at all.

I’m going to look pretty silly walking around the house with my sweatpants rolled up to my knees and held up by suspenders.

Even companies that I have purchased clothes from many times in the past seem bent on finding new and cheaper materials and construction methods every time I order from them.

I think the only way to beat the system, if a guy ever finds something that fits perfectly, is to immediately order about 10 more, because that is likely the last time that version will be available.

I haven’t decided what costume to wear this Halloween, but I think dressing up as one of the models used for some of the clothing I’ve purchased recently would scare the kiddies to death.


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