News In Brief

Your waist doesn’t lie, but your pants do

Christina Huh Sep 9, 2010

A size 36 is a size 36, right? Esquire’s Abram Sauer discovered that men’s pants are subject to vanity sizing too. He measured several pants all claiming to be a size 36 inch waist — what Sauer thought his size was. At H&M, the 36s were too tight with a real waist measurement of 37″. Old Navy was the top offender — basically the terrible friend who tells you you look great when you really don’t — its 36s had a real waist measurement of 41″.

A recent report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that men with larger waists were twice at risk of death compared with their smaller-waist peers. Men whose waists measured 47 inches or larger were twice as likely to die. Yet, most men only know their waist size by their pants — so if those pants are up to five inches smaller than the reality, some men may be wrongly dismissing health dangers.

Ready to face the music? Click on to find the handy “Waistline v. Actual Waistline” chart:

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