Because Every Pair of Pants Needs a “Snack Sack”…

Men's PantsYou know, they just don’t make things like they used to…

That’s something I never thought I’d say.  But, really, when it comes to clothing, this is so very true. Anyone who has bought a pair of jeans in recent memory knows that.

And they don’t advertise them the way they used to either.

[Y’all can thank Kitt Crescendo for this photo.]

You can see from the ad on the left that they mention both the Action Zone (with a strategically placed marker) and a Snack Sack, which I hesitate to guess about.

I mean, really…maybe these babies came with a free lunch back in the day, and the “snack sack” is nothing like my feverish little mind envisions.

Nowadays, a man has to buy his undies with a “contour pouch” if he’s packing an extra large lunch under his clothes. The Underwear Expert tells you all about it in “Ask the Expert: My Cup Runneth Over.” (Y’all KNOW I bookmarked that site.)

Now, scoping out the ad above, I’d have guessed Sansabelts went the way of the hoop skirt.

A tiny bit of Googling set me straight:

Sansabelt is a brand of men’s trousers. The Sansabelt slack was invented by Silver Manufacturer in Indiana, which subsequently sold the company and their patent to Jaymar-Ruby in 1959. The trousers have a wide elastic band sewn into the waist, which is intended to make a belt or suspenders unnecessary, hence the name (“sans a belt”).[1]

Jaymar-Ruby, with its Sansabelt brand, was acquired by Hartmarx in 1967 but in early 2009, Hartmarx Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy down in Florida. [Considering the target market for these pants, Florida wasn’t such a surprise.]

According to the official Sansabelt website, “starting Late Fall 2013, SANSABELT is back in stores.”

Apparently Sansabelts are “the pants that will not die.” Seriously. These puppies are BACK and going strong.

Mark my words, people…With the upswing in senior citizens we’re experiencing as our Baby Boomers get older, these pants are gonna get hip again.

The company’s current marketing pitch:

Sansabelt: The World’s Most Comfortable Pants
for over 75 years

Starting Late Fall 2013, SANSABELT is back in stores,
with new colors & styles for work & play!

SANSABELT pants have an exclusive 2 1/2- inch
webbed waistband slims the midsection
and gives you a classic, streamlined look.

Worn and beloved by celebrities, including
Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke and Mike Ditka.

 (You’ll notice the celebrities they mentioned, right? I don’t see any of the under-60 set here. Just sayin…)

So, I thought about now-defunct fashions that I kind of liked. I mean, growing up on the West Coast, I totally wore OP shorts (Ocean Pacific) and TomTom pants. I went through a major Flashdance period too. *shudders*

What about y’all? Did you have magnificent clothing items that you love to this day and keep in the back of your closet “just in case they come back?” (My husband knows not to touch my pleather skirt or my leopard print pants.) What are your must-keep items? Share your wardrobe secrets! Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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38 Responses to Because Every Pair of Pants Needs a “Snack Sack”…

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Hey, I remember SansABelt pants! Hideous things. Hope they don’t come back.

    I don’t have them any more, but miss my hip-hugger crushed purple velvet monster bells! They were so low, you had to wear one of those tops that snap in the crotch.

    I’m sure I looked hideous (thankfully, no snapshots of me in them,) but man, I was STYLING!


  2. Jenny, imagine a manufacturer trying to run that ad today … what a riot 🙂 Yes, we all have our memories of horrid styles we just adored. Yikes, my hip huggers were dress up black satin and I hooked my thumbs on either side as though I needed to draw attention to my middle 🙂


  3. I didn’t save any of those clothes from my Jr. High and High School days in the 1970s. A shame, too, because I could have saved a boatload of money when my own girls reached that age since they were wearing the exact same style of clothes! Peasant tops, hip-huggers, even love-freakin’-beads. I found it surreal. And odd when the school had “Hippie Day” as part of its spirit week for homecoming because all the girls just showed up wearing their everyday clothes!


  4. K.B. Owen says:

    I remember a tie-dye tee shirt when I was a kid that I loved. It had studs all over it in the shape of a puppy dog. I thought I was so cool…

    Love the pic! When I see these vintage things on Facebook, I always wonder: how do they NOT know the innuendoes behind what they say?


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh! I have to confess it…I’d wear that tie-dyed t-shirt NOW. That does sound groovy. And I still can’t figure out how people miss the innuendo of “the Action Zone.” It just doesn’t seem possible.


  5. Sharla Rae says:

    I remember Poor Boy short-sleeved sweaters. They had a necklace neckline and were ribbed knit. They fit very nicely but didn’t show off the lumps and bumps like so many of the flimsy thin materials now days. Most were cotton knit so you could wear them in the summer.


  6. Wow – that’s – well – wow.

    Action zone? Seriously? My goodness, how advertising has changed.

    Good stuff.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a jansen Schmidt


  7. Baaahaaahaaa…. Great ad – Loved it!! Looking at it somehow reminded of the Pajama Jeans trend. Remember those?!? Good Lord. Anyway, as far as my own fashion faux pas goes, two words – Shoulder Pads. Yes, I can remember a time the bigger the shoulder pad in the sweater the better! Hey, wider shoulders make your waist look smaller… right? LoL Never occurred to me I looked like a linebacker. Ahhh the good old days! Thanks for the chuckle! 🙂


  8. tomwisk says:

    Clicked “Ask the Expert” OMG. WTF does that guy do for a living? A porn star or is he “packed” for the ad. Truth be told, if I had a package that huge, I’d wouldn’t tell a soul. I’m not modest but I don’t need a lot of attention either.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Tom, was that “contour pouch” a stitch, or what? I laughed so hard over that post, it might have to come back here for another run. 🙂

      And believe me, no one really needs to be packing a lunch that size.


  9. Catie Rhodes says:

    The mini-skirt and jacket set. The skirt is very high cut, as in the waist of it comes over my navel. The jacket is one of those bolero jackets. The colors? Pale pink and white. I even had a matching pair of high heel pale pink shoes that went with the outfit. I don’t keep the outfit because I think/hope it will come back in style. It’s more sentimental.

    Now, I still wear checkered slip-on Vans (like Jeff Spicoli’s in Fast Times at Ridgemont High). But they are, however, relatively new. As in, I purchased them during the current decade. The ones I have right now are brown and black, and I really like them. I’m thinking about investing in a pair with different colors so I can spice it up a little. 😉


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I can’t even imagine you in a pair of pale pink high heels with bolero jacket ensemble. I really think we need a picture of this, Catie. Seriously.

      Oh, and there’s a VANS store like a mile from my house with lotsa colors. Just saying… 🙂


  10. Jess Witkins says:

    Well if Dick Van Dyke wears em, sign me up! Action pants for everyone! *applause, applause*


  11. I had one of those loose fitting, cut at the midriff muscle shirts in bumblebee yellow with hot pink block letters on the front proclaiming for the world that I was “WILD” to go with a pair of striped short shorts a la the Nair commercials. Looking back…maybe that shirt should’ve been a warning.

    We won’t even talk about my baby blue pleather Tina Turner wannabe mini-skirt to go with a matching baby blue members only jacket. Even stole my mom’s snakeskin heels and ratted out my hair for Halloween once, wearing the outfit….


  12. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    Is the snack sack the same thing as a butt munch? LOL!

    You had to see my prom suit. Robins egg blue, with dark blue large lapels, and a fluffy ruffled shirt. Oh yes, I was styling!


  13. Seriously, I had to ask my husband if Dick Van Dyke was still alive, let alone flashing his action zone everywhere with his Sansabelt pants! Yeesh! And I too was a little concerned about what a “snack sack” might turn out to be. That dog looks hungry!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      This made me laugh so freaking hard this morning…thanks, Jessica!

      “I had to ask my husband if Dick Van Dyke was still alive, let alone flashing his action zone everywhere with his Sansabelt pants!” <– BAHAHAHAHA!!!


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