Q: When is an inch not an inch?
A: When it has to do with pant sizes.
Why does it seem that pant sizes rarely reflect reality? Not only do different clothing companies have varying opinions on how to interpret, say (in my case) a 34” waist, but often times different pants with the same advertised waist size from the same company could be wildly off.
Do rulers not exist in the dingy dimension occupied by clothing manufacturers, or are pant sizes somehow determined through a delicate blend of ritualistic voodoo, cubic equations, and averaged monsoonal temperatures of remote equatorial locales?
For all the years I’ve spent on this good Earth, I’m find myself constantly amazed at how loose fitting one pair of pants can be, and how constrictive another pair of the same size can feel. How hard is it to follow a template and a tape measure?
Ah, but perhaps that’s it. Perhaps, in the downtrodden climes where clothing is produced en mass, quantity is king. In the far off country where my pants are made for 10 cents an hour, perhaps it’s far too inconvenient to enforce any measure of quality control. A size 32 is as good as a size 34. Run out of size 36” labels? Fuck it, slap on a label that says 38” and let those haughty consumer bastards work it out for themselves.
And so it goes, forcing me, someone who hates shopping, to take the time to try on every single pair of pants I’m eyeballing just to make sure that the number embroidered in the waist of the swanky pair of pants I’m holding is the true measurement, and not a faulty promise.