I love the ubiquitous joke about “diabetic socks.” I didn’t know that socks could get diabetes. Ha! Ha! Ha! That joke has been around the block a few times. Although Best of the ‘Betes Blogs has added a category for the Best Comment of the month, I don’t want to see any comments questioning whether pants can get diabetes. Really, I mean it, no comments.
Now that we’ve gotten the guffaws out of the way, I want to tell you about my new favorite slacks. My aim in life is to keep my pump, CGM receiver, glucose tabs, Fitbit, and phone on my person at all times. Usually there are just not enough pockets to carry everything even if I’m willing to live with unsightly bulges or pants falling down because of the excess weight of my necessities. Occasionally I’ll use a SpiBelt to carry my pump and Fitbit, but I don’t find it comfortable enough for everyday use. And I never like the idea of lifting up my shirt to answer my phone.
I wish that my hiking pants from REI weren’t so baggy, so casual, and well, just “so hiking” pants. They have tons of pockets but the look doesn’t translate to life beyond the trail. I’ve bought cargo-style shorts and cropped pants from Chico’s for several years. They’re OK, but in recent years the quality has gone down hill. They require ironing which is difficult because the seams shrink after washing and nothing lines up well. They are also lightweight and designed for spring and summer wear.
I hit the mother-lode a few weeks ago when I discovered Comfort Cargo Pants at L.L.Bean. I’m sure the word “Comfort” is enough to scare away my younger and more fashionable D-friends, but I live in the Midwest and am approaching Medicare age. My standards are high enough that I don’t wear baggy sweatpants out to lunch and I thank Scott Benner, D-Dad and author of Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal, for reminding me to never let my fashion standards dip that low. But after that, practicality and comfort rate high in my book.
These slacks are great. They are what L.L.Bean calls Classic Fit which means that the waistline is at the waist rather than lower on the hip which has never worked for me. They are made of a cotton dobby fabric and are heavy enough for comfortable wear in the fall and winter. You can even buy them in a flannel lined version for true outdoor winter use. (I personally choose to go to Arizona for the winter rather than buy flannel lined slacks….)
The pockets work perfectly for me. Many reviewers criticize the top front pockets for being too shallow, but they are a good size and location for my insulin pump and Dexcom G4 receiver. I often use upper thigh locations for sensors and infusion sets. Deep pockets can result in my pump and CGM receiver bumping against the sites, so I often prefer more shallow pockets. The side pockets on the legs are deep and because of the heavyweight fabric, they are sturdy. My iPhone easily fits in one of the pockets with no sagging or risk of falling out. Glucose tabs, my Fitbit, and occasionally a house key end up in the other leg pocket. I haven’t used the rear pockets, but they could easily accommodate a small wallet.
The color of my pants is Gray Birch which to me looks like a standard light khaki. I’ve ordered a pair in Sage, but they are back-ordered until late November. The third color is Navy which I probably won’t order. Unfortunately they are not available in black. The available sizes are 4-20 with lengths Petite, Regular, and Medium Tall. For me they are true to size and require no alterations. I am 5’9″ and the regular length seems fine. However, I have ordered another pair in Medium-Tall to see what I think of the longer length. L.L.Bean has another style of cargo pants made with a light stretch fabric and a draw string waist called Southport. I personally don’t like the styling of these slacks, but they have good reviews. Men will also find numerous options for cargo pants on the website.
Now that I have done a blog post on fashion, it won’t be long until I start posting recipes. That statement should be worth a mention in the humor category of Best of the ‘Betes Blogs because those who know me understand that I hate to cook almost as much as I hate to shop.
Disclaimer: No one asked me to write this review and I paid full price for my L.L.Bean merchandise. I did get free shipping. Before you get too impressed, check out the website. Everyone gets free shipping.