Consumer News

Waist Not?

The mystery of the expanding pants.

Thinking about buying pants for Dad this Father’s Day? Better get a waist measurement from the old man himself. The listed waist size on pants often varies widely from the actual size.

Recently TINA.org went to a local outlet mall in Connecticut to measure some pants. Here’s what we found:

This pair of pants from Banana Republic says it is for a 32-inch waist:

TAG_BR

But when measured, the pants actually have a 36-inch waist.

MEASURE_BR

We also measured a pair of 32/30 pants. Its waist measured the same, 36 inches.

shorter32

How about these pants from the GAP?

Gap_Tag

They also measured as a 36-inch waist, the same as the pants from Banana Republic.

Gap36

Banana Republic and Gap are owned by the same parent company, GAP Inc. Both seem to be targeting a younger crowd. Maybe pants from another company, made for an older crowd, would be truer to size?

We measured these brown, striped, linen pants from Ralph Lauren.

RL_Tag

The Ralph Lauren pants sat higher on the waist, but they still measured larger than the advertised 32 inches – they were almost 35 inches around.

RL_Measure

Perhaps listed waist sizes are accurate for pants that should be worn like Fred from I Love Lucy. But if you don’t want your dad to wear his pants like that, better to take matters into your own hands and compare his actual waist size with a measurement of the pants in the store, rather than relying on the labels.


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