An open letter to the clothing industry

Dear people who make pants:

Why do the pockets on so many of the jeans and/or capri pants I find have flaps on them? Was there a great outcry by women demanding flaps on their back pockets? Was there an increase in the number of women carrying men’s wallets in their back pockets looking for increased security via a flap and a button? Because I think I can speak for most of the women I know when I say I carry my wallet in my purse.

It’s not that I’m anti-flap per se. It’s more about me being anti-ironing-clothes-that-you-shouldn’t-have-to-iron. How is it that we can put a man on the moon, and yet can’t seem to make a pocket flap that doesn’t do this:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C (notice how flap ear is more pronounced while the pants are being worn)

Please people who make pants, either stop with the flaps or maybe weigh the flap corners down with some fishing weights. I, for one, will be extremely grateful.

And while I have you here, I’d like to address another issue with pants. Actually, I would like to generously offer my unsolicited advice (isn’t that the best kind?) about more specific labeling on low rise jeans. Because let’s face it, they are not equally low rising. There should some type of international visual standard by which an educated consumer might determine how low they should go.

I have put great time and effort in determining three subclasses for the low rise jean category and have also provided detailed artist’s renditions of what would be the proposed internationally recognized symbols for these subcategories.

To establish what “low rise” equates to, the first sketch identifies what is universally accepted as “regular fit” jeans:

regular fit blue jeans

From there, we can move to the first category of low rise–Level One. I think this particular jean can be worn by most women.

Level One low rise jeans

Level Zero is next. I think many unsuspecting women buy this particular type of low rise jeans, but for whatever reason do not have access to a full length mirror, live in areas where wind drafts are uncommon or non-exisistent, and never keep their receipts.

Level Zero low rise jeans

Level Negative One is the final subcategory. I assume women who buy these type of low rise jeans know what they’re buying, but perhaps having a tag on the garment as a visual reminder might deter some from proceeding with the purchase.

Level Negative One low rise jeans

One final suggestion. On the opposite side of all of these proposed hang tags, I would also like to suggest you print the following warning. This would protect both you and the consumer from embarrassment and possible future litigation:

Proposed warning for all low rise jeans

In conclusion, thank you in advance, people who make pants, for your thoughtful consideration in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,


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22 Responses to “An open letter to the clothing industry”

  1. Ed Blonski March 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Congress can show me that they REALLY care by outlawing low-rise level 0 and negative 1 on both men and women. I don’t want to see underwear or less on either gender.

    I do find it amusing, though, when I see people running to catch the train at the L-Stop in Chicago and have to grab the front of their jeans to keep them from falling to their ankles and tripping them. They look like they are in a potato-sack race at a 4th of July picnic.

    • Maureen March 11, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Ed, someone in the Virginia legislature once tried to do just that. It was not a good moment for our state.

  2. Jason March 11, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Personally, I’m in favor of banning pockets from the back of women’s jeans. Just sayin’.

  3. Hazel Moon March 11, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    I agree and couldn’t stop laughing at your post. I wear soft pants that have no flaps and have elastic waist bands. Some might call them sweat pants (or granny pants) Anyway they are comfortable and I like them. I would not like the muffin tops at all 🙂

  4. Angie Platten March 11, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Amen, Sista! Finally, someone expresses my thoughts! I HATE the pocket flaps! I keep a bottle of Wrinkle Release handy for those stinkers but personally think they should either be sewn flat as a fake pocket or gone all together. And OMG, the muffin top pants! Unfortunately, I see WAY too many women wearing pants this way and wonder what in the world they are thinking.

  5. Helen March 11, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    This doesn’t happen with velour. Just saying…

  6. Pamela Gold March 11, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    OMG! Can I sign this letter also? I’m in!

  7. Maureen March 11, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    You forgot one option: buttoned down back flaps that cannot be opened because the pockets don’t really exist.

    Thanks for a good laugh this morning.

  8. Fatcatdaddy March 11, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    At some point these. Stop being low rise and start being moonrise

    • nancy March 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      good one 🙂

  9. Tony Alicea March 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    I, like you, am not anti-flap but something must be done to rectify this travesty!

    Your analysis on the anatomy of the muffin top was superb. Clearly you have done your research and your findings would benefit all of man and woman-kind.

  10. nancy March 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    i with ya on this…
    thanks for using illustrations instead of photographs of real muffin butts.

  11. Marni March 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    My office houses the campus testing center. We have a large window from the outer office into the testing center, so I can see our students as needed. (it’s kinda cool, as if they are in a large aquarium). But anyway, the female students with zero or negative low rise, do give us quite an eyefull when the sit down to test. Sigh.

    And I support your right to hate on the pocket flaps. As if my butt needs help looking bigger…

  12. Robin Arnold March 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I don’t want ANY pockets on my butt at all, flaps or no flaps.

    I’ve long believed there should be a pinch test at check out. Pinch too much, no sale. That’s especially goes for that those low rise style.

    Recently, I was watching afternoon TV, for research purposes, and saw that there is a two-finger rule for jeans buying. Here’s the link:

    I am especially appreciative of your illustrations today.

    • katdish March 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      Excellent link, Robin. Thanks.

  13. Sandra Heska King March 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    This is why I always wear muu-muus. Or should.

  14. Berniece Richards March 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Ed Blonski’s remark reminded me of the purse snatcher, in Hobbs, NM, who was tripped up by his dragging/sagging pants and caught! Do you suppose he learned a lesson???

  15. Annie K March 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    What’s even worse is when there is a thong showing on a -1 level. Bad enough we have to endure the crack sighting.

  16. seekingpastor March 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Your visuals are excellent.

  17. Jenn Calling Hom March 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    You’re too funny. Thanks for saying what we’ve all been thinking.

  18. jake March 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I have what I call “lower back tan jeans” meaning, my butt is gonna get some sun when I wear them! I’m totally mostly kidding because who the crap can’t tell when their crack is hanging out? I like my men’s low rise jeans…… I don’t know what to say after that. 🙂

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