Thunder Thighs in Tight Pants

Everyone has some unique body dimensions or physical anomalies they have to deal with: ears that stick out, ugly feet, love handles. Some of these are more prominent than others and can be hard to minimize. It’s never really bothered me much, but I have massive thighs. I’m a clydesdale, so it’s probably because they have to hold up so much weight. The poor guy who measured me for my wedding tuxedo was worried about my pants falling down because the waist was so loose by the time he accounted for my thunder thighs. But it all worked out.

I’m a creature of habit. I typically rebuy things that work for me. I’ve been getting the same socks, deodorant, and toothpaste for decades. Labels may change, but as long as the product remains consistent there is no need to shop around. Mess with the product though, and it’s out. Lever 2000 changed their formula and it’s dead to me now.  

The same hold true for blue jeans. I was in high school when I bought my first pair of Levi’s 501’s – likely because of Bruce Springsteen. After all, Born in the USA was top of the charts and his butt was the album cover. I’ve long been resigned to the fact that my butt will never be on an album cover, but it can’t hurt to imitate those who have.


To compensate for my thighs, jeans end up loose in the seat. And that’s good. Then came skinny jeans. As most men should, I have avoided them like the plague. I am past the age where they would be appropriate for me anyway. But I have been very careful to buy “loose fit”. Nobody wants to see that.

Before Christmas, I noticed my jeans were ragged and I needed to buy a few new pairs. I hadn’t bought 501’s in a while so I decided maybe this was the time. Knowing my size, I ordered them and felt a little nostalgic when I opened the box. They looked like they came straight off The Boss!

I was dressing for work when the first hint of a problem arose. Somewhere over the years, they changed the cut. Maybe it was to save money in fabric or to be trendier, but Levi’s 501’s are NOT loose fit anymore. CURSE YOU LEVI STRAUSS!

Oh, I fit in them, but they were tight on the thunder.

My daughter hadn’t left for work yet so I asked her if they were too tight. She said no and that they would get looser during the day. Wrong and wrong… She’s young, she doesn’t know things.

They were most definitely too tight. I felt like I was subjecting my coworkers to a freakshow – the senior citizen in skinny jeans. Yuck! I will say that if anyone noticed, they didn’t say anything. For that I’m grateful.

And they didn’t get looser. Going to the bathroom was basically like peeling off a wetsuit. And by the time the workday was over, I think my already disporportionate thighs had swollen under the building pressure. I was slightly afraid I wouldn’t be able to operate the pedals in my car.

I cannot adequately describe the relief I felt when I peeled them off for good at home. My poor thighs exhaled when they hit the floor and I think I heard a chorus of joy from them when I grabbed loose-fitting sweats. My body wasn’t made for that.

So Levis 501’s, you have now gone the way of Lever 2000 and New Coke. Shame on you – you had a good product.

12 thoughts on “Thunder Thighs in Tight Pants

  1. Everything changes, Mark, that’s life’s only constant.
    Sorry, buddy.
    I used to have hair and no gut whatsoever.
    Well, let’s not even go there…

  2. My daughter hadn’t left for work yet so I asked her if they were too tight.

    Usually that means you are good to go. I rarely get to the point where I actually have to ask, if they are not trying to hide behind a broom or stick their heads in a closet, I figure I am okay.

  3. well, at least you weren’t wearing a spandex cycling onesie, though that is not much comfort considering what you had to endure for 8 or so hours. what do designers know anyway? they have no idea how real bodies are built, think we are all barbie and ken. lesson learned, and hopefully no permanent damage.

  4. Mark, you can not be a senior citizen, I am, so I know what they look like! This blog is hilarious! Too bad LEVI STRAUSS, you lost a customer. Your writing often leaves me thinking, today, I am laughing hard! Thanks for your often hilarious, insightful, thought provoking, sensitive blog. I never know which emotion, it will evoke. Thank for every one of them. Margy

  5. I console myself with the thought that they cut clothing in giant stacks of fabric and one or two on the bottom are going to get a bit short-changed in the sizing. I am just unlucky enough to always get one of those two short changed cuts. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And skinny jeans and leggings…don’t even get me started!

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