Avatar A terrible waist

This week I’m going to a wedding in Jernsey, an island just off the coast of France near where I live. It’s been a while since I went to a fancy do, so I did the usual thing, which is to get my suit out of the wardrobe about a week beforehand and try it on.

I got a new shirt and tie, so I put those on and they look nice. The suit has a waistcoat – I like waistcoats – so I put that on, and it’s smashing. The jacket is also looking very swish. The trousers, on the other hand, are a cause of concern. They have three fastenings at the top and it’s a good job they do, because they are so tight that a single button would not have handled the strain.

I breathe in and I heave and I pull and eventually get them fastened, and then I attempt to sit down, an activity I rapidly have to abort due to the discomfort involved and the extreme risk it poses to my perfectly innocent trousers.

I contemplate attending a wedding at which I have to politely decline all opportunities to sit down and where I have to avoid eating anything all day long. I decide this is not a world I want to live in.

On Saturday I take the trousers to work with me, and in my lunchbreak head out to a tailoring and clothing alterations place nearby where the man has a look, explains that there’s enough extra in the waistline to let them out by about four centimetres, and gets this job done in the time it takes me to find a working cashpoint and come back with the money. I try them on and find this modest change is ideal – the trousers are now well fitted but with plenty of room to breathe, to sit, and to insert a three-course dinner. Problem solved.

I return to work and relate these events to one of my colleagues. Oh yes, she says, I think everyone’s going through a bit of that these days. She and her husband went to a wedding just last week, one that had been postponed since Spring 2020, and the pre-pandemic suit her husband had bought in February of that year no longer fit properly. He had to have the trousers adjusted in exactly the same way to fit his post-lockdown waistline.

It’s the lockdowns, she said. We all did less exercise and ate more food. It gets to us all. I laughed with her and agreed. It gets to us all.

In my head was a different thought. It’s not lockdown. I only bought this suit six months ago and it fitted then. It’s not lockdown, it’s just too many biscuits.

But I’m not saying that to anyone. They can never know.

10 comments on “A terrible waist

  • It’s important to remember that no matter what happens, you will never fit into the clothes you think you can. Our age is an age of marvel and discovery. Discovering that nothing is “right” anymore and marvelling at whatever size you used to be has probably doubled.

  • Professor Douchebag says:

    “A tall giraffe is bound to know all your secrets.”

    He also says:

    “Feet are not included on the scale of men struggling with clothing in the late thirties.”

  • Also when you reach your mid-thirties the answer to anything that anyone asks you that doesn’t involve sitting on a comfy chair is, “I’m sorry, I’m sitting down on a comfy chair. Perhaps later.”

  • I’m going to remember that, and deploy it at work when people try to get me to do things. I’m not at work to do things. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve turned up, and they should think themselves lucky they got that out of me.

  • I had almost the exact same problem with my suit this weekend. Had a wedding, got my nice suit out. luckily the trousers were acceptably waist hugging, if tighter than desired. But the main disappointment was that I was unable to fasten the lovely waistcoat around my now slightly more generous frame. Had to go jacket only… and open jacket at that.

    Bloody biscuits.

  • It’s always sad when the suit doesn’t have a waistcoat to accompany it. The waistcoat is my favourite thing about my suit. I generally resent having to wear anything formal but if there’s a waistcoat I’m in.

  • I’m not a waistcoat kind of person. I’m also not a bathrobe, slippers, hat or dressing gown kind of person. I’m not entirely sure what clothes I’m suited for other than stretchy pyjama pants.

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