Sheldon The Wonderhorse

Eating Apples Since 1969
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 24, 2009 11:54AM

When Stretchy Pants Aren't Stretchy Enough

Rate: 51 Flag

I work with a woman who wears stretchy pants, and sadly, they aren't nearly stretchy enough.

I understand the theory behind stretchy pants - they make sense to me. You want to be completly supported, but regular pants are far too confining. You like to be out there, but you don't want the dreaded spill-over. Hence, you break out the stretchy pants. Those old friends that will expand with you throughout your daily activity.

However, there is only so stretchy stretchy pants will get. At some point, if you are not careful, you can and will obtain maximum stretchiness. After that, all bets are off, and your old friend becomes the friend to no one. I believe she has hit that point.

Before we go any further, I like her. She's a friendly person. Like many these days, she's on a budget, and stretchy pants fit well within that budget. That's one of the nice things about stretchy pants - they're affordable. Sure, you can go out to one of your more high-end stretchy pants emporiums and drop a handful of cash, but you don't have to. Affordable stretchy pants are out there.

A moment of full disclosure: I'm not in the best shape of my life. In fact, it's been many years since I was in the best shape of my life. But, I do go to the gym on a fairly regular basis, and am, at the very least, conscious of the fact that Ding Dongs, while oddly satisfying in a waxy-chocolate kind of way, are not something I need to be eating every day. I'm guessing that she is not in the best shape of her life either. That's not a judgement, just a simple observation. The difference is, I think I know when it's time to make the leap to that larger size. No one likes to make that leap to the larger size. It's a sad day. I've been there. I've made the leap - we all have. It's not fun, it's not pleasant. But sometimes,  sad and unpleasant are the order of the day. The nice thing is, once you make that leap to the larger size, there's no reason you can't leap back. Perhaps the larger size will only be a temporary situation. You never know.

I wish I was the kind of person who could pull her aside and say, "I know you love the stretchy pants. You seem to have a rapport with the stretchy pants. But these particular stretchy pants aren't doing you any favors. Maybe you should look to the next level in stretchy pants." I definitely don't want to say, "Hey, you need a larger pair of pants, tubby". That would be cruel and would certainly do nothing to improve my relationships around here. Plus, that significantly improves the chances of her responding with a punch and a "Go fuck yourself, baldy". No one needs to hear that.

In the grand scheme of things, frankly, I really don't care what kind of pants she wears. It's a personal choice when you get right down to it. If she likes tight stretchy pants and feels comfortable in tight stretchy pants, more power to her. Whatever makes you happy is my motto. Me, I like my clothes to fit a little looser. Those stretchy pants seem like they would be horribly uncomfortable and somewhat constricting, especially once you reach the MSI (Maximum Stretchy Index). After awhile, I would think that the stretchy pant becomes a hinderance, and simply compartmentalizes the blood flow to the upper and lower half of the body. The result is you end up looking like a couple of ticks joined at the head by an elastic waistband. For some, that's the look they're going for. Like I said, whatever makes you happy.

Don't get me wrong - you can very easily go to the extreme opposite and wear pants that aren't stretchy at all, and are simply baggy. I'm thinking in particular of the kind of pants you see guys at the gym wearing. They're like sweat pants, only they usually have some loud, obnoxious, pseudo-California based design on them. Or worse yet, these:

Patriotic Gym Rat 

It is absolutely impossible to have an intelligent conversation with anyone wearing these. Go ahead, try. I promise you, within 40 seconds, blood will be spurting from your eyes and your IQ will drop 30 points.

I'm looking at stretchy pants woman right now, and I have to say, she looks fairly content. Completely at ease with herself and her non-stretchy stretchy pants. She doesn't seem to mind that her below-waist imperfections can be seen, so why should anyone else? Really, who am I to tell her she's wrong to be living in a stretchy pant world? She seems to be perfectly happy, and now I realize I'm just being a judgemental dick. You know what? I was wrong - stretch away, madam.

Stretch like the wind.


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As usual you left me panting for more. If you could guestimate her size, buy her a pair of tailored pants and leave them anonymously for her. I realize that was a ridculous idea, but saying ANYTHING to her about this is just as ridiculous. So buy her the pants or nominate her for What not to Wear.
I have a stretchy pants woman where I work. I can see every bump and lump on her thighs and derriere. It's almost like seeing her naked.
I can't stop laughing.

.....she needs some "Garbo" leg, wide cut leg stretchy pants. Straight legs make an ample butt look cute and is gentle on the thigh.

Oh, I want to make it much.

This was sweet and kind, Baldy. I loves you.
Stretch pants.... yikes! I remember the ones with the stirrups. They left you legs with no shape at all. Ok, since you posted this, I'm gonna put my opinion on the table. She's happy with those pants, well, as happy as one can possibly be when they know they are overweight. But, you have no idea what is going on in that woman's life. I see this as your problem, not hers. It's you that has the problem with the pants.... get over it.
Perhaps a resurrection of the MC Hammer pant is in order?
When was the last time stretchy pants were in style? Or what part of the country are they still in style?

Thankfully, I never see them anymore.

Going to leave OS immediately and go run. I run like a duck, but perhaps this way, I won't stretch like the wind! Hilarious, Wonderhorse. Hoofed. Or Hooved? Hmmm...
I love the stretchy pants! And the baggy pants. But not the MC Hammer pants.

(And it's good you said "now I realize I'm just being a judgemental dick". I would hate to have to beat my favourite horse with a bunch of carrots.) ;)
"Stretch like the wind. " - Love that line.

I'm glad you've come to acceptance...for your own peace of mind. She either doesn't know or doesn't care that she could look better. That makes it really the problem of all who see her more than her own.
Sheldon you are a riot! I think I snorted out my lunch over this I was laughing so hard.
Middleagedwomanblogging: I also remember the stirrup pants. They were the only pants that would slingshot themselves off of you when your stood up.
While I am certain that you aren't stretching the truth with this story, as far as saying anything to her I would suggest you put a zipper on it. (rim shot optional). Rated.
LOL! That was so gawd damned funny. It was not funny because of the description of the poor woman, (I feel she was just a vehicle for the post)but because the words STRETCHY PANTS are just so wonderfully funny to say. And the way you wove the words into combinations with other fun words makes this piece so *damned* funny. Sounds of certain words just kill me.
I will most likely be lying down to sleep tonight and the words STRETCHY PANTS! will pop into my head and my burst of laughter will split the silence like a pair of pants, scare the cats to death and it will be your fault. *Love* you for that. :)
We call it "testing the tensile strength of X", with X being whatever type of fabric the stretchy pants are made of.

I normally wear jeans, but there are days I wish they were stretchier.

Rated for elastic goodness.
Better than the stretchy pants is maternity pants ... super-stretchy in the belly (under your shirt) but look like real pants to the asshole gazing at your bulging midsection from his desk (like that commercial for face filler ~ everyone will notice, but no one will know!) ...

LOL ~ another winner Sheldon :) Loved it!!!
Funny and sensitively written.
If Aston Kucher was around this woman would know, along with the entire world.

Oh heck, a gift certificate to Stretchy-Pants Heaven may be in order.
Well, in her defense- maybe in her spare time she flies a jet fighter? She needs the ultra tight pants to keep the blood from draining from her brains during those extreme G's maneuvers!
Oh, the mental images, the mental images! You may have scarred me for life, baldy.
You've got to know when to hold. Know when to fold them. Know when to get some new stretch pants when you look like a balloon animal at a childrens party.
Are these the old-fashioned, polyester double-knit stretchy pants with the stitched down crease on the leg that old ladies like to wear, or the more modern "touch-of-spandex" ones? I know I've spoken out against it in undergarments, but spandex can be your friend if used responsibly. This woman is probably not using it responsibly but you're crazy if you tell her.
"The result is you end up looking like a couple of ticks joined at the head by an elastic waistband." I don't even know what this means or why I laughed but I did, loudly, alone in my bedroom which is the sign of a truly hilarious line. The whole thing is hilarious. You're killing me Sheldon. And btw there's not a damn thing you can about the view. Accept it. I fear it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Pray the seams are strong.
Oh my gawd this was the best post I've read all week.
Rated for Maximum Stretchy Index. So clever.
Oh ive lived that life.. i wasnt content in the strechy pants world but when you are from a poor family thats all you can afford sometimes.. hell i fought wit my mother one year to by my a pair of over alls bc i was tired of looking like the fat girl in strechy pants.. that just ended with me looking like the fat girl in over alls. either way.. ive been there.. its not pretty, there is no support, i dont care how tight those things are.
my children will wear resale shop jeans before i break down and by strechy pants... I only one one pair of those annoying capri titghts because htey are cute.. and I only wear them if im wearing a specific shirt that covers my arse and other bits.. bc there is nothing more distracting and disgusting that extra large camel toe.. *shudders*
As a psychology professional, my take on such people is that their self-esteem is low, or else they wouldn't look or dress the way they do, keeping in mind that self-esteem is largely unconscious. Risking high blood pressure and other health problems, by being overweight, does not suggest a high regard for oneself.
You really are a sick fuck.

I loved this.
But, you have no idea what is going on in that woman's life. I see this as your problem, not hers. It's you that has the problem with the pants.... get over it.

Umm.... MiddleAged, did you even finish reading the post? "Stretch like the wind"? Maybe your stirrups are on too tight.
Go fuck yourself, baldy ;) I knew you went to my gym
Stretchy pants are only stretchy if your body can stretch them. I bet Calista Flockhart can't find stretchy pants!
The real danger indeed of stretchy pants is that you will fill out to their waistline in time...leading to the next size of stretchies. It's like those soda bottles where they start you out on 16oz and work you up to a 2-liter.
Judgemental dick or not, those flag pants have to go. There is a reason why the calendar does not still say "1970"--rayted.
Well, the essay was kind.

Some of the comments....wellllllll....It's OS.
Only you could make stretchy pants so entertaining. And you are so classically male (sorry for the generalization). The back and forth and the final resolution and the permission to stretch away. Thank God you finally came around!
Stretchy pants are the worst thing that ever happened to women! before the invention of the stretchy pant your pants got tight and it was like an alarm screaming "hey fat ass! " "lay off the chips" but noooo! not anymore! now your pants expand...way to go who ever invented them should be shot and burried in stretchy pants! the bastard!
You lay off my stretchy pants, mister.
Maybe she should be made aware of that Stretchy pants are a privilege, not a right (along with Spandex). I wouldn't have the guts to wear the latter.
Well, Shelly, I'm with JT on this one. I think some basis black parachute pants, ala MC Hammer, Mr. "Hammer Time", would be in order. It could be a birthday gift from a very secret admirer. Who would know? Then there is the retro route..."Hot Pants" or a "Mini-Skirt". Whatever floats your boat. But nothing too confining.
Rated & Cheers!
Then there was the guy who did his doctoral research on fatty-assids.
Well it's easy to see how stretchy pants could get TOO stretchy. Without that actual zipper/button pressing uncomfortably against your skin you feel all fine and comfy and don't realize you may have gained a few pounds. I used to gain weight in the summer because I USED TO wear cotton shorts, elastic waist, or skirts. When the weather cooled off and I'd go to put on my jeans, it was like, Oh shit. I say you visualize her as a beautiful Reubens painting defaced by ugly polyester material.
One of the consequences of living in a size-obsessed culture is that it's often difficult for women in particular to admit that they wear the size they actually wear. I know a woman who is larger than me (and I am a large woman) who insisted on buying her clothes in stores that did not sell clothes in large sizes. Her pants didn't stretch, they exploded! Then, she decided to get married and another large woman who sews made her wedding gown and was able to convince her to accept her size. She's been dressing better since then and has even started her own business. Perhaps someone could take some candid photos in your office, making sure you get a good shot of the woman's derriere in those stretch pants so she can see how she looks in them. That might work. And it might not. It's so easy living on the River Nile where you don't have to face reality.
This is not a laughing matter. My cousin had a retinal detachment when he witnessed two such women simultaneously.
Way to go, Sheldon. I'm cleaning my closet out this very weekend. Tag, you're friended. Stretchily.
I have to admit, it was a very funny post, but I had just read two previous posts by people who were offended about all the fat posts lately and had them in mind. Stretch pants are from hell, no doubt about it. I don't even remember skinny people looking great in them.
I get my exercise at the Winn Dixie by fighting my way around the orange and lime green too tight stretchy pants. When I enter an aisle and see orange or green stretchy pants, I say to myself, "No way I'm getting around THOSE stretchy pants!", so I go to the next aisle and go all the way around, so that it adds another hundred feet or so to my walking. Doesn't sound like much, but in my town it really adds up. I might get an extra mile or two in at the the grocery. Same thing at Wally World. Too tight stretchy pants are everywhere here. This might be the Too Tight Stretchy Pants Capital of the World.
I agree with a previous poster that said that "stretchy pants" is just fun to say. Stretchy pants stretchy pants stretchy pants.

Seriously, stretchy pants look hideous on any woman over the age of nine. They really should be reserved for either workout clothes or pajamas.

(Why, why, why are STIRRUP PANTS coming back? Why are any of the fashions of the 80s coming back? My eyes! My eyes!)

(though, as a former preschool teacher, I have the following to say: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send your child to school in stretchy pants. You have no idea how many potty accidents are caused by a new pair of jeans.)
Bless her heart! That's what we have to say, by law, here in Tennessee, in these awkward situations.
I know exactly what you mean. I have seen that woman lurking around the mall.

Your post reminded me of a rant I wrote a while back called "On Becoming a Fat Ass." I re-wrote it and published it tonight. It's about the many humorous oddities of clothing the "plus" sized woman.
lmao - stretch like the wind.
"The difference is, I think I know when it's time to make the leap to that larger size. No one likes to make that leap to the larger size. It's a sad day. I've been there. I've made the leap - we all have."

The leap to a larger size day, ahh, something everyone can relate to!
very funny...