Pop Quiz #468 pt.3

In which I explain context is everything…

If you recall in part one, I asked whether I’d be giddy with glee or annoyed that the two pant lengths were different lengths. In part two I explained I was giddy and why. In part three today, I’m most definitely annoyed. As I said, context is everything.

But first, have I ever explained how I do most of my clothes shopping? It is rapid fire, usually items pulled from a bin on the way to whatever other section of the store I’m going to (like in Sam’s club). In this case, it was Wal-Mart. I was only there to pick up some beer but the bins of Hanes sweat pants tugged at my sleeve as I went by. No, I don’t try anything on. I grabbed two pairs of the least offensive colors, compared lengths and went on my merry way. As per my usual, I was not surprised these were of different lengths. No, I didn’t think these were different lengths owing to strict quality control and fabric testing procedures -these are commodities- but I did expect a little variation because as commodity items, these were most likely produced across varying contractors (and as we already know, these large manufacturers don’t have their pattern. No no. Each contractor comes up with their own). I got the size mediums. I swim in Wal-Mart mediums leaving plenty of room for long johns underneath. I just wanted to make sure the shortest of the mediums would still be long enough after shrinking up a tad.

So then I get home, take a shower (looking forward to putting on some soft cozy sweat pants) and to my utter shock, the purple ones actually fit. Meaning, the fabric skimmed my thighs. There’d be no room for shrinkage or long johns or tights under these. Not if I intended to wear them in public anyway. And these were a medium? These were smalls or rather, closer to extra smalls. And really long smalls too. Dismayed (wondering whether I was deluding myself about unnoticed weight gain), I tried on the green ones. These were significantly looser but still, I’d rate these a small at best.

Let’s review:
The longer pants were the purple pair. The green ones ( a lovely shade, I don’t know why it looks grey here) were shorter by 1.5″ or so:

This means -if following the rule from entry #2– that the purple would shrink more than the green. This is rarely true. If anything, green is second only to black in the amount of likely shrinkage (provided it’s a dark green, a foresty-green color). If the rule from entry 2 was being followed by mega commodities producer Hanes, this would mean the purple wouldn’t shrink at all in girth, only length. Right. When does that ever happen?

Likewise, it meant the reverse was true for the green pair. In the photo below, you can see the green pair is significantly broader in girth than the purple.

This would mean that the green was going to shrink in girth, but not length. Ha. As if!

Summary: the “rules” never hold for commodities.

Oh, there was one other reason I did pick these sweats. In the picture above, can you see the front pant leg seam where it meets the back pant leg (hitting the crotch)? As these were folded evenly, it means the length of the front crotch and the back crotch are cut differently. This is good. These days, they seem to cut these nearly fifty-fifty, front crotch being nearly as long as the back crotch which really means the front is too long (you end up with a wong, even worse when sitting, you’ve got a barrel in your lap) and the back is too short, exposing your kidneys on cold days. Also, you can’t tell from the photo but the crotch length of the purple pair was shorter which is weird because since that pair was longer, the crotch should have been as well.

Still, the cut of the crotch made these did fit nicer than regular sweats so I’m debating whether to return these or to exchange them for larges -or even extra larges. I do know one thing. Wal-Mart’s core customer isn’t going to be buying many of these if they try them on beforehand. I guess that’s why they were marked down to $5.74.

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One comment

  1. Suzanne says:

    No, I don’t try anything on. I grabbed two pairs of the least offensive colors, compared lengths and went on my merry way.

    Ha ha! That’s how I shop. I LOATHE trying things on.

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