All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Belly up to Betabrand's adjustable-waist Gluttony Pants

August 5, 2010 | 12:47 pm

After a night of strapping on the feedbag (or grazing at the trough -- or whatever livestock imagery you prefer), who hasn't wished for a pair of trousers that could instantly accommodate a postprandial paunch?

That's the conceit behind the humorous new "Gluttony Pants" from San Francisco based Betabrand, which has helpfully embroidered the waist button options as "Piglet," "Sow," and "Boar." And just to hammer the point home, the caramel-colored canvas trousers have burgundy cotton inner waistband lining and pocket bags with graphics depicting the life cycle of the glutton in all his gorging glory -- from chubby baby to shovel-fed senior citizen. (They throw in a matching burgundy napkin too -- to protect said pants in the event you spill some of your supper.)

The artwork was conceived by San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino, (a former "Iron Chef" contestant and

proprietor of San Francisco's Incanto -- a man with a penchant for offal and a restaurant menu that boasts such options as "leg of beast" and "whole pig dining"), who happens to be a friend of Betabrand founder Chris Lindland.

"He's a neighbor," Lindland told us when we spoke by phone on Wednesday. "And I thought he'd be perfect to help us out with a design that fit the theme of gluttony."

But why gluttony in the first place? Lindland explained that the trousers are the first in limited series themed around the seven deadly sins (those would be: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) that will roll out about one a month.

Rage_gluttony3 So which vice is up next? (We're already envisioning pairs of flannel-pajama-like sloth pants.)

"It's probably going to be envy," Lindland said. "And it's just going to be one very special pair of pants that people will have to bid on. We're even going to spectacularly destroy the sample pair so there won't be any other pants like it in the world."

Yes, in case you hadn't noticed, Lindland likes to marry fashion with funny. "If you have humor it saves on a marketing budget," he said. "If people think something is funny it can go viral." He cited the example of the "Bike-to-Work Pants," khakis with reflective back pocket bags and pant cuffs, which have proven to be one of the best-sellers thanks to blog buzz.

If you've never heard of Betabrand, that's probably because the name is only two weeks old. For the four and a half years prior to that, the company was called Cordarounds -- after its namesake product: corduroy trousers constructed so the ridges (knows as "wales") run horizontally instead of vertically.

"About a year and a half we started to branch out into other products," says Lindland. "And now the Cordarounds only account for about a quarter of our business so we decided to change the name to reflect that."

The product mix now includes fabrics like seersucker and khaki, and pieces like boardshorts and reversible smoking jackets. All made in San Francisco and in limited runs of a couple hundred (though they'll occasionally make more if there's demand).

Oh, and don't bother looking for Betabrand's quirky wares on store shelves -- it's an online only operation.

Which means only the UPS man will know you've ordered that deliciously gluttonous garb -- until the next time you sit down to dinner.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Top, the Gluttony Pants have a burgundy cotton pocket lining with graphic depictions of the glutton's life cycle and three adjustable-waistband buttons labeled "Piglet," "Sow," and "Boar." Bottom: a full-length view of the caramel-colored canvas trousers, which sell for $100 online. Credit: Chris Lindland