|| 5 December 2023
Hidden Stretch Waists: How They Work
When I discovered hidden stretch waists for pants in my recent online shopping during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales, I was alarmed. I worried that hidden stretch waists would hide any weight gain from the wearer until that weight gain had become permanent.
I should not have worried. When I actually examined a pair of chinos with the hidden stretch waist, I found that while the stretching mechanism would be hidden from people viewing someone wearing this design of pants, the wearer herself would certainly be aware of it.
Actually hidden stretch waists have a number of benefits that could bring comfort and money saving. I will cover these benefits in the latter part of this article. But first I will use photos to help me explain how hidden stretch waists work.
In the photo at the top of this page you see the inside of the waistband of a pair of chinos with a hidden stretch waist. The pants have a clear plastic inside button and a faux bone button (like the one you see on the pocket) on the outside of the waistband. The double buttons help prevent putting undue stress on the outside button during expansion. Each side of the waistband has elastic that will stretch when a wearer's waist size requires it.
In the photo below you have a better idea of how the expansion mechanism is designed.
image: inside waistband
And a closer look in the photo below
image: closeup inside hidden stretch waistband
In the photo below I have pulled the left side of the waist band from its unexpanded size (about 1 inch / 2.5 cm) to double that. You can compare it with the unexpanded elastic on the right side. Each elastic is designed to stretch 2 inches / 5 cm. This will make the promised total of 4 inches (10 cm) expansion.
image: expansion elastic inside waistband
On to Part 2 of Hidden Stretch Waists: How They Work