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Rue's Stealth Fat Pants

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A minor aside: Last week, we basically ripped a publicist a new one after she sent a pitch that could have talked about how pretty and festive a certain brand of dresses were, but instead focused on how they would camouflage holiday weight gain. And it was written using the second person, familiar "you", and concluded with a line like "so no one will notice your growing waist."

Hey brainiac, you ever think that intimating someone is a fat pig is not the best way to win them over?

Yeah, we digress.

Anyway, it's a fact. This is the time of year when most people start indiscriminately shoving food into their faces, because that's what you do during the holidays. So it's the right time for clothing companies to market products designed to be so forgiving that you forget that you're gaining weight.

Jeans maker Rue De is targeting this "growing" audience, too. Rue's "secret" is an industrialized elastic inset that's designed to look like a label. The low-profile patch adds another two inches worth of forgiveness in the waistline. Some of the styles are super stretchy, but they also offer a cargo pant made from rigid, nongiving twill. When we heard about them, we volunteered to take them into the Racked LA laboratory.

We are no Rene Zellwegger: meaning, we're not going to gain weight just to test whether or not the product works. But we have been meaning to improve our hydration, so it seemed reasonable to drink a gallon of water in an hour to see just how forgiving the jeans were.

Hmm, we're having the usual fit issues that come with having a small waist and athletic thighs. We settle on a pair that's like a boa constrictor around the legs but curiously loose around the waist. We pull them down a bit so we'll get a better sense of how the waistband gives. Plumber-butt alert!

We drink our first 20 oz of water. The jeans are about as comfortable as to be expected. Another 20 oz, and we're feeling really full. Yes, the jeans did stretch. The jeans had a moderately low rise, which means they'll cinch a swollen stomach even with the patch.

Another 30 oz of water later, and those babies gave all they had to give. So long, jeans, hello leggings.

The verdict? We know, there's a huge difference between gradually putting on a couple of pounds versus guzzling a gallon of liquid: the fat patch is an interesting gimmick, but we didn't think it was particularly useful. Or necessary. They're cute, well made jeans. If a fat patch is what they need to find traction in a crowded marketplace, so be it. You can buy them at places like Traffic and Madison.
· Rue de Jeans [Official Site]

Madison on Melrose

8115 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90265 Visit Website