Monday, October 15, 2007

Two Universally Appealing Clothing Features?

Susie and I (and Evan, Ted, Helen, Robbie, Katie, Grace, Noah and Susie's sister-in-law Lily) spent Sunday at the Fourth Anniversary Celebration of GiGi's Playhouse - a Down Syndrome Awareness Center in Hoffman Estates. I'll write a post about GiGi's on Friday.

On Sunday we had an opportunity to take measurements and talk about It'll Fit'll and the pants we'll be launching in early 2008. As we talked to parents - mostly moms, though plenty of dads - I realized that two primary features of our jeans and chinos have universal appeal. The features are as appealing to me as someone who wanders into and out of periods of deep infatuation with frozen custard as they are appealing from a children's clothing design perspective.

Those features are: adjustable elastic in the pants' waistband and fabric with 3% spandex blend. The spandex in fabric provides a perfect amount of stretch and give to provide breathing room when that's necessary.

The adjustable elastic is even better! First, the waistband doesn't look like the standard elastic waistband that one would expect on toddler pants. Instead, the styling looks like standard waisted pants. But there is indeed an elastic band, with buttonholes, that threads through most of the interior of the waistband. The tightness or looseness of the waist fit is determined by adjusting that length of elastic. Such adjustments are easy; the elastic is simply buttoned at a different point (or two different points since there is a button at each end of the pocket through which the elastic runs.) The adjustable waist extends the period of time that a growing child can wear the garment. The waist can be tightened when the pants are first purchased. And the elastic can be loosened over time as the child grows. The beauty part though, at least from my perspective, is that the flexibility exists on a day-to-day basis too. So, on those days that there's been a bit too much frozen custard consumption (or a healthier counterpart) the waistband can be let out a little - again, by just two buttons - and changed back again if the effect is temporary. And, no one's the wiser because the pants look just the same.

In my estimation those two features that are universally appealing. I would love to have a pair of pants or two that give me the stretch and flexibility that the It'll Fit'll pants will provide. In the meantime, I noticed when I picked up Blythe from school today that the flavor of the day at Main Street Frozen Custard is chocolate covered cherries....

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