Friday, February 05, 2010

Dock those tails: Streamlining adjustable elastic pants

Pants handles [pænts hndls] pl n - the flappy bits of buttonhole elastic that stick out of a skinny kid's waistband when the pants are adequately cinched.

When I was a beanpole kid, I spent about 50% of my waking hours hiking my pants up. The other 50% of the time I was wearing highwaters that fit my minimal girth.

I celebrate the advent of pants with adjustable elastic. The only drawback of these brilliant inventions is the extra 4 to 8 inches of elastic that inevitably emerge from the pants waistband like tiny alien arms that sway giddily with every step.

While daydreaming of ways to batten down the tentacles (without cutting them off), I considered adding a second button on each side. At best it sounded labor intensive. At my present speed of mending, I could probably get all Ranger's size 5 pants adjusted by the time he's wearing size 7s.

Then the clouds parted, trumpets blew, and I saw IT. The no-sew, no-fuss solution.

The elastic anchoring hack is so unbelievably obvious that I consulted with other parents to see if I was the only one who hadn't thought of it.

Hang onto your hats, people. You can start docking those pants tails immediately (and humanely).

1) Adjust waist size normally. Secure elastic to button.

2) Take the tail and fold it back toward the button. Find a buttonhole near the dangling end of the tail (or near the center of the tail if it's really long). Loop that buttonhole over the tail.
3) Happy dance (preferably with music) and congratulate yourself on a job well-done.

***Baby Toolkit is an irregular communique from some geek parents notable for both spleen and silly dancing. We gain no profit (beyond bringing cutting edge obviousness to the Internets) from this discussion of fixing fancy pants for the wee-waisted. Photos: Baby Toolkit (c) 2009, some rights reserved.


Carmen said...

Holy good god, WHY have I never thought of that. It's genius. I shall be heading into my skinny kid's closet tonight and buttoning up the tabs.

Thank you so much!

Nancy said...

That's BRILLIANT! How on earth did I never think of that? *smacks forehead*

tchrtiff said...

Agree...why o why haven't I thought of that?!?! Sometimes it's the simplest solutions that solve the biggest problems. Thanks for sharing!

Aimee said...

I do this to my kids waistbands. However, I must confess that it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the pants HAD an adjustable waist in the first place. Never did figure it out on my maternity jeans. So that's what that button was for!

Keri Jackson said...

That's the way I do it :)

ashebridge said...

This same trick works for wristbands. It's more of a trick needed for adult events but appreciated nonetheless. It takes care of that itchy excess strap that hangs off. We show horses at the state fair so have wristbands for admission to come and go as we please at the fair and so the wristbands get used a lot for the kids and adults.

Jenn said...

You can also fold the tail over and stuff it back into the hole it came from. A bit more effort but it seems more comfortable.

(My mom taught me that one!)

Logan said...

That is how my skinny kid's jeans came from the store- so I didn't have to figure it out!

Rachel said...

Brilliant! The simplest ideas are always the best. I wish I thought of this years ago.

Bar 7 Ranch said...

OMG!!! That is so great!!! Why havent we all thought of that sooner?!?!!!!! THANKS!!