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How to hold up low-rise pants?
special belt or technique?
Liz in Cville
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Liz in Cville  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/13/13 12:50 PM

I hope it's OK that this has nothing to do with sewing, and I feel a bit like an idiot for asking. But I just don't have much experience with belts! I have one nice reversible leather one, which I thought would cover all my needs... which I assumed would be very rare. Hah!

Having recently and abruptly shrunk to an unpopular size, I was desperate for pants, and unable to sew. So I bought a few pairs with lower rises than I prefer, and they are a little loose at the so-called waistline. Furthermore, at least on some of them, the waistline curves downward (best pic I could find of the pair I just got, sorry, but maybe you can see what I mean):

curved low-rise waistline

I have not tried these with the belt yet, but in the past I've found that my leather belt tends to ride up above the pants where the waistline curves downward, unless I scrunch it really tight, and that does not work too well. Do I need to invest in a wider belt so that the loops will hold it in place? Is there some trick or special type of belt I need? Yup. Feeling pretty silly asking this.

I think it helps if I put the buckle off to the side, though it looks rather silly.

TIA for your thoughts,

Liz <---cluelessly tugging my pants up...

Vivienne
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Date: 5/13/13 1:03 PM

I've had this problem too, in fact I think it is pretty common with a body type like mine - the only time my pants stay up is if I am 10 pounds overweight and have a bit of a bum or wear some kind of elastic waist pants.

I often sew a piece of 1" wide elastic (stretched) to the inside back waistband of the offending trousers. I've considered looking for the elastic with the silicon gripper on it for this.

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

Vivienne
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<
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Date: 5/13/13 1:06 PM

This lovely blog shows an elegant version of what I am talking about:

Sew Brunswick

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

beauturbo
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<


Date: 5/13/13 2:44 PM

On the low rise ones, your belt is not really even supposed to have to hold them up at all really. Instead, pretty much only the fabric of them going around your hips does, more straight up and down there as they are not not even tall enough, rise wise to get to the indentation of your waist.

But what you are talking about is probably, and hopefully on the pants, just ones that fit you well in the hips, and you have some "gap-osis" at the center back waistband. If you don't want to wear your tops tucked in, and loose and over them instead, I guess you could have your belt take up the slack and extra in the back of the pants, but that will mess up the look of them, instead if wearing tops tucked in.

I have been doing the above to my pants, on and off for about forever. On me it's the opposite of the "shrinking in size" bit. At more probably my ideal weight, or what I prefer, most pants actually fit both my hips and closer to the waist just fine, but if I pack on some pounds and it really does not take much, even if only like an extra 5 pounds or so or so, but all right at the hips there, that is really not exactly all "needed there' and all at the hips, that really is just enough that I have to buy the pants for my larger hips instead, and will always get the gap-osis at the waist.

It really is a sewing issue though, as if wanting to have those pants not to do that and alter them to fit on you and not have that fabric gathered up along the back center of the belt strung through them kind of issue, then you need to split the back waistband of those pants instead, take in that waistband to fit you there, and then take in the back of the pants a bit sloped from maybe center or lower of center back seam to now fit into your newly taken in waistband there.

That works pretty good most times, if in just even standing in those pants you can reach around behind yourself and pinch out maybe less than two inches total (which is maybe one inch folded over in your hand) at the back waistband, and you still like the way they look on you. If it's way more than that, not so much. But that is how you alter. Then when you wear your belt, belt is over flat and smooth fabric, and it's more a fashion statement, and not all bunched up an not really holding up the pants at all.

I don't think it's only because you have "recently and abruptly shrunk to an unpopular size" , instead I do think it's also just the most common pants alteration kind of thing for women, other than needing to even re-hem the pants to the right length. Ditto for guys suit pants too actually, but at least in men's suit pants they make that easy for you, in the way the back waistband is even made from the start with a split back, unfortunate most women's pants are just not even made that way.

They also make what is called a "contour" belt, which is cut more of the leather in a pre-shaped curve, more almost half circle shape and not even a straight piece of leather. I think those were made and got popular even when "hip hugger" pants first came out long ago. Still lots of those around, if you try some of those with your pants, the whole curve of the belt then lays flatter on you and the low cut pants. They won't "take in" pants with gap-osis in the center of the back waistband much of any better than a straight cut belt though.
-- Edited on 5/13/13 2:48 PM --
-- Edited on 5/13/13 3:00 PM --

a7yrstitch
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<


Date: 5/13/13 3:33 PM

I have plenty of bits to keep my pants from falling too low but get frustrated when light cotton summer pants stretch just enough with wear that they droop. It is so unflattering to be my age and still have to yank up my 'britches'. I try to be discreet about it but, still, it seems I should be past all this. I was the girl who always had the twisted uniform skirt and the uniform blouse that had to be continually retucked.

I've tried including elastic within a fitted waistband. The results are sort of okay. This summer I am going to try using a quality swimsuit fabric for the waistband facing. I wll also be sewing pants with a back yoke and facing that with the swimsuit fabric too. Or power net, or whatever I find that will be compatible in the wash with the pant fabric and will help defy the effects of gravity, heat and high humidity.

I dont have this problem with heavier and dressier type trousers. But I know I can figure out a solution for the fabrics that are more comfortable to wear when it is swelteringly hot.

I think the key for me is to figure out how to get some vertical stretch with superb recovery in the back waist and yoke of the pant. Just meandering here but maybe that is why the elastic solution is just so-so for me. It focuses on a horizontal solution and my real problem is vertical. Maybe a bias cut waistband that is underlined with powernet would be something to try???


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Liz in Cville
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Date: 5/13/13 4:05 PM

Thanks, everyone. Actually, it's not gaposis in the back, but I've bookmarked the blog post about that for future reference, thanks!

They're really just a little too big, at least some days, but I'm not going to do better.... maybe not even when I sew my own. Plus, even though they are petite and called "ankle pants," they are a great length for me .

Maybe I'm just not hippy enough for lower-rise pants--which is all I could find!!-- though I do have several inches difference between waist and hips... not an hourglass, though. Anyway, maybe my belly is pushing them down with more force than my hips can hold them up! Yep, skinny as all get out, except, well.... you know. The part that accounts for the variable fit, and I won't go into it further.

I did a preliminary search for "contour belt," and am off to search some more! In the meantime, tucking in a thicker shirt might help take up some of the slack.... or push them down. Will have to experiment!

Thanks again :)

tourist
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Date: 5/13/13 5:00 PM

I have decided that pant tops really must sit at least a little bit above the hip bone to have any chance of staying on properly. Otherwise the only solution is to belt them in so tightly you get divots in your hip fluff and muffin tops above. Not a pretty sight.

Here is my solution to the problem, which is not as beautifully photographed as the other, but with a few more pictures. And here is how I did some knit waisted pants.

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

beauturbo
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<


Date: 5/13/13 7:37 PM

If they are cotton, and you only need it a bit smaller than now, the clothes dyers at the you put in coins kind of money into them, at Laundry Mat's often do run a bit higher temp than maybe some home ones. Particular if things left in them kind of long. That is a bad thing, if you always wash and dry at home, then maybe your dryer breaks down and you bring a load of wash there and some things shrink that never did before, but if you want that to happen instead, you could try tossing them into one of those, and even see if you could get it to shrink up a bit more maybe?

Liz in Cville
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 5/14/13 5:41 PM

Thanks for the thought.

As with almost all cotton pants these days, however, most of mine have a touch of lycra... so while the thought of abusing them with heat has occurred to me, I also wonder whether it could backfire, i.e., break down the lycra.

In fact, I just noticed that the pair of slightly low-rise pants I'm wearing now seems to be sagging more after just a few hours of wear :((( So maybe even the delicate dryer has hurt the lycra, and/or there was not "enough" lycra in the first place to rebound after my post-prandial poof wore off.

But it might be worth a try with at least one pair -- maybe I'll try the cheapest ;).... to see whether heat abuse makes them tighter or looser!!

Thanks again!

Jacqui315
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Date: 5/14/13 6:17 PM

I recently discovered that my pants stay up better with a narrower belt than a wider one. It must be the lycra stretching out because otherwise I have plenty to hold my jeans. The downside to using a narrow belt is that I usually create more of a muffin top.

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