Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I weigh 154 pounds and see a personal trainer twice a week. I watch what I eat and exercise. But I still have a gut. Where am I supposed to wear my pants? Above my stomach almost hiked up to my nipples? Or under my gut? I’ll bet some of your readers remember the Fred Mertz character on the old “I Love Lucy” show who wore his pants comically high. I think of him as the poster boy for this bad look. I do NOT want to go there. Because my butt seems to have disappeared as I got older (where did it go?), if I wear my pants a little low, beneath my gut, they won’t stay up and I keep having to tug at them. Tightening my belt doesn’t really work because if I cinch it enough to keep my pants up, it is too tight and uncomfortable.
— Mike L.
Dear Mike: OK, you’ve already ruled out the Fred Mertz hike-up-the-pants solution. When I searched the internet for “pants falling down,” I was stunned to discover more than a dozen products designed to hold up your pants. Suspenders are the first and obvious go-to, but after I contacted you to discuss the particulars of your situation, you said there is no way you were going to wear suspenders.
Undershirtguy.com lists “13 killer solutions” you can buy to solve your droopy drawers woes. None of them seemed very promising to me, or they looked like more trouble than they’re worth. Check out Hikers hidden suspenders (hikersco.com), NoSaggs “for men with flat rears” (nosaggs.com) and the nine other inventions listed and see if any of them suit you.
My best advice? Buy pants with lots of elastane, Lycra or spandex in the fabric — for stretch. Have the pants waists altered. Buy custom-made pants, especially jeans, to your exact measurements, but choose carefully from the proliferation of online options. And, of course, there’s always elastic-waist sweatpants.
And another menswear question…
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Why are men wearing fitted suits? I think they look stuffed into them with their ties hanging out the bottom of the jacket.
— Rosemary R.
Dear Rosemary: You know how women with super figures often wear fitted, close-to-the-body dresses, tops and skirts that show off their bodies and, in many cases, the hard work of diet and exercise? These fitted suits you dislike are the male equivalent.The people who wear them likely have made an effort to keep their lean physiques and are proud to put them on display.
I agree with you that this shrunken suit fashion in menswear — originated by designer Thom Browne (thombrowne.com) 20 years ago — is a bit silly. Sort of reminds me of the high-water pants Pee-wee Herman wore. But over time, I’ve gotten used to them. I’m a big fan of the talents of NBC’s Lester Holt, who looks pretty good in his super fitted suit, even if his tie is hanging out the bottom of his jacket. Reader Liza O. has her own suspicions on the trend: “I can bet what’s leading to men wearing tighter pants. It’s simply all about gaining “the pandemic 15.”
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: When I saw the headline on your recent column, “Those Annoying Bra Pads,” I laughed out loud! Before I started reading that column, I had been on a department store app trying to find “molded cup bralettes”! I’ve been searching for months as I have a Jockey molded cup bralette, which I love, that I can’t find again for the life of me! If you have any suggestions where to buy them, please let me know.
— Pamela K.
Dear Pamela: I’ve done this myself: made an internet search a lot harder than it needs to be. You were looking at department store websites — probably because you bought the bra you loved at a big department store. I went directly to the manufacturer’s website, jockey.com, and searched for “molded cup bralette.” They’ve got them there in six colors from small to 3X and they’re on sale: $28 or two for $38!©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC