It's not hard to find pants with comfortable waists

April 15, 1993|By Los Angeles Times Syndicate

A saleswoman here told me that what she called "better" pants makers simply do not put elastic in the waistline. Is this true? I happen to love the so-called pull-on pants because they accommodate my flexible waistline measurements and are so comfortable to wear. And because I am a size smaller on top, I rely on elasticized pants to give me the extra room I need when buying a suit. Where can I buy nice black pants with an elasticized waistline in a summer-weight fabric? I wear a size 16.

Because pull-on pants started in the moderately priced market, elasticized waistlines were generally ignored by name designers who associated the look with inexpensive polyester double-knits. Today, some of the most famous designers -- especially the smart ones, who know that elasticized waistlines make it possible to fit more women in fewer sizes, thereby saving production costs -- now make pants with elasticized waistlines. At Excella Sport, the same pants are offered with and without elastic. With the elastic, you gain an addition 1/2 inch at each side. The front and back of the elasticized pants look like "regular" non-elasticized pants. The fully lined pants with the elasticized sides illustrated here are made of 100 percent Italian viscose and are priced at $125, sizes 4 to 16. They are also available in nine other colors.

The black and white novelty tweed jacket, also made of 100 percent viscose, is sized separately from the pants -- as is everything at Excella Sport -- so if you're a different size on top and bottom, you can pair up the right sizes for you. It's priced at $280, same sizes. For retail outlets, write to Sarah Worman, Excella Sport, 530 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10018.

I am 5 feet 9, size 16, and am having a terrible time finding pants in my size. Jeans are no problem, but I'm looking for pants I can wear to work as well as dressy pants I can wear in the evening. Any ideas?

Men's pajamas would not only fit you, they're a hot new look in women's pants. Buy them in cotton stripes for day and wear them with a bodysuit and easy jacket. Buy them in satin for night and team them with a stretch knit bare midriff top. Ralph Lauren, who started the latest round of the pajama game in his spring collection, showed many of his drawstring pajamas with cropped tops layered with sleeveless sheer dresses buttoned only at the top.

I just bought a pair of jeans by American Worker. The fabric looks like denim, but it's made of Tencel. Is this some new polyester? The care instructions say it's machine washable. If it behaves like rayon, I will have problems ironing it. Can you tell me more about this fiber?

Tencel is, like cotton and rayon, a cellulosic fiber. It is produced from the natural cellulose in harvested wood pulp from trees grown specifically for this purpose and constantly replaced. The people who make it, Courtaulds Fibers, claim that it is stronger than other cellulosic fibers and that it is produced using a solvent spinning technique in which the dissolving agent is recycled.

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