Easy Stretcher

Easy Stretcher
By: Amy Jacquin

We all know what tight pants feel like. But maybe you don't want to buy new pants because you're determined to shed a few pounds? Stop sucking it in -- the Easy Stretcher promises to relieve the pressure. Can it really add three pant sizes to your waist band? Or are you 'wasting' time and money?

The Easy Stretcher is made of hard plastic and says it stands up to tough fabrics. Amy Jacquin chose a pair of her jeans, which she wore about two hours, so the waistband is already slightly stretched out. A measurement shows right at 31 inches.

The stretching process starts with newly washed pants. Since her Levis are pretty clean -- she thoroughly wets them under the faucet to save time. The next step is fitting the Easy Stretcher into the waistband. A front clamp replaces the button, so the stretching force won't pop the button off.

Getting the easy stretcher to fit was no easy task! The plastic parts were jammed together, and awkward to maneuver. But a little twisting action pops them apart, and Amy's ready to start stretching.

"I'm supposed to start stretching by turning the push roller from its zero position," Amy mumbles as she tries to follow directions. "Oh, see the whole thing turns! But how am I to hold it on there as I turn this?"

Very carefully, as it turns out! She tucks one wet corner under her arm to steady it, and cranks away. This twisting motion elongates the stretcher, thereby stretching the fabric. What seems like a simple concept is full of poorly written directions, talking about calibrations but not marking them on the stretcher.

Amy ends up cranking it pretty tight, showing a spread of three sizes. Then the jeans must hang to air dry. The Easy Stretcher says your pants will stay stretched until the next time you wash them, and then you have to start all over.

Amy's jeans are dry, so she dismantles the stretcher and measures the waistband again. This time it's 31 and 3/4 --- which means it stretched 3/4 of an inch. The people at Goody's clothing say there's about an inch difference with each size. We tried to add three sizes, so the Easy Stretcher falls short of its bloated claim.

It worked some, but the promises are inflated. Plus there's no way you'd go through this every time you want to wear your pants! So Amy gives the Easy Stretcher a C-. Put the $30 toward some diet food -- or a new pair of pants instead!