MY ANGLE: Belts suspend male style
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It’s Monday morning. You look outside and see that spring has arrived. So you open the shorts drawer that has been in the back of your mind since fall. What you find is a combination of shorts that are either too short, too wide, too tight or too long.
After 15 minutes of frantically pulling out shorts and refolding them, you find that one pair of khakis which all males have worn at least once.
You try them on, and they’re the perfect length. But they’re wide – so wide that you need a belt.
Once the belt is on, the shorts fit. However, the belt is uncomfortable. And once you put your shirt on, your stomach has a rigid shape.
Do you take the belt off and hold your pants up all day, or feel uncomfortable with a leather strap around your waist?
I ask this question every year at the beginning of spring. The majority of the time, I decide to wear the waist-cinching loop and spend the entire day adjusting my shirt and pants.
As Jerry Seinfeld said, one solution to my problem would be to wear sweatpants every day, sending the message to the world that I have given up and can’t compete in normal society and showing everyone that since I’m miserable, I might as well be comfortable.
The more logical choice is to fight the belt industry.
Belts have been used since ancient Egyptian times, both showing a person’s political status and holding up his loincloth.
Wake up, everyone! We’re not living in the ancient world. We have the technology and the craftsmanship to build elastics into all pants.
Or designers could add two straps to tie onto the undergarments. These would hold the pants in place without making one’s waist uncomfortable.
However, the best solution is to find the belt’s biggest competitor and support it until belts are driven out of the market.
And that competitor is the suspender.
I learned about suspenders when I was in a performance of “Bye Bye Birdie.” In the part, I had to sing and dance on stage while wearing light blue overalls.
In costume I discovered that my range of motion was greatly increased and that the double straps actually kept my pants up better than the cursed demon noose ever had.
So this spring I plan to buy my first pair of suspenders, hopefully inspiring a change in male fashion that will lead to a large variety of formal comfort clothes. This change might include fitted shirts that do not need to be tucked in and removable tags that come off with a slight pull.
And while they’re at it, why not design bow ties that stick to shirts with velcro?
—By Jackson Margolis