Christmas for those of us who grew up when “Nyayo” was still the De facto leader of our sovereign state Kenya, was a day marked with pomp and colour. Everything and anything waited for it with baited breath, and when it came, it never disappointed.
Children rushed to shops just to try their luck on the random balloon purchase. There was one in particular that everyone wanted but none ever got. Mothers refreshed their cooking skills, while fathers travelled up country to reunite with their families after a long year.
However, anyone who grew up then will tell you that no matter what took place on that day, Christmas was still not Christmas without a new set of clothes. It was the only time of the year that your dad took you shopping, and got you matching outfits that would make you and your brother look like fraternal twins.
There was however something else peculiar about these clothes. They were never a perfect fit. That’s the only time you heard statements like “hiyo utaenda nayo hadi standard four.” ( that outfit will still fit, even when you get to fourth grade) And most likely by then you were probably in nursery or class one.
Boys were the main victims in this “fashion mutation.” I remember one time my dad buying me a trouser that was twice my waist size. It took ten good years for it to fit properly.
Fast forward to 2017, “Nyayo out Obako in, then Obako out Kamwana in. The male child is still grappling with the aftermath of this psychological misfortune. Years of wearing oversized clothes has turned him into “a fashion criminal”
According to research conducted by university of California, seven out of ten men don’t know their waist size. And five out of ten don’t even care about it. This overwhelming statistics has resulted into men who end up with trousers looking funny. (See figure above..) Not because they are ugly, no!! Far from it. But simply because in their perfection there exists serious imperfections. You only need to look closely.
Most men when they go shopping, never bother to ensure that the trouser fits and fits perfectly. As long as they like it and it’s in fashion, they simply buy it. That’s the time you hear them saying “hapo penye imebaki nitafunga na mshipi” ( I will belt up to cover for the remaining allowance.)
Which brings us to the main purpose of a belt. What is it really meant to do?
A belt has been for a long time misinterpreted to mean something used to make “an unfitting outfit fit” You inherit your father’s trouser and then tie it on your waist with a belt. You get a Yokozuna’s trouser hanging on the clothe line, and you simply pick it, hoping “Mr belt” will do the trick.
A belt is not supposed to tie clothes on your body. It is simply an accessory, simple!!! Something to make your dress code complete. For instance, if you are wearing brown shoes, it is only in order that you have a brown belt as well. Not what the majority of men do of having one belt that is multipurpose. It is used in official clothes, casual clothes, smart casual and even for disciplining kids. If the belt could talk….hmm!!!
Note: the type of clothe worn, I.e. the fabric, determines the belt used.
When one buys an oversized trouser hoping to make it fit by wearing a belt, this is what happens. The belt collects the extra chunk of clothing as it goes round your waist, this material is then brought around your crouch area making it look bigger than it’s usual size. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
If you’ve met a guy who doesn’t like tucking his shirt, then he’s an obvious culprit. What they do to hide the unusual crouch is wear another oversized shirt or t-shirt then un-tuck it so that it can cover the sin below.
This behaviour is wrong, yes the shirt or t-shirt hides what’s going on below, but your confidence is devoured upon in the process. Because even though the whole world is not aware of what’s going on, you are aware. You’ll therefore become uncomfortable, constantly making sure that your shirt does not go above your belt.
I am a guy, I understand the pain it takes to get a trouser that fits perfectly, I also know that we luck patience and that trying out one outfit after another is not our thing. But I beseech you, next time you are out shopping, please try and fit out that trouser before you buy it, forget just for a moment that you have a belt, in fact pretend as if they do not exist, then get yourself a trouser.
Till next time!!! “Look good, to feel good”