How to Loosen Your Pants

Without your fellow Thanksgiving
guests noticing

By Brian Abrams

After a heavy meal, it’s sometimes necessary to give your swollen tummy more room by loosening your belt buckle, if not further adjusting your wardrobe. Granted, not every dining venue permits this sort of casual comfort; that’s why we rounded up some experts in overindulgence—barbecue chefs—to give advice on how to do it discreetly.

“You can always excuse yourself to the bathroom and come back with your shirt untucked,” suggests Katy Garner, owner of Nashville’s acclaimed Hog Heaven. What went on underneath that shirttail isn’t anybody’s damn business.

Austin chef Lou Lambert of Lamberts Downtown Barbecue thinks getting up from the table is for amateurs. “Make a gesture to your face with your napkin, and, as you lay your napkin back down in your lap, drag the tablecloth down toward your gut with your other hand. It’s almost a James Bond move.” The hand that shifted the tablecloth is now obscured under both napkin and tablecloth, undoing your belt, pant button, and, if quick enough, zipper halfway. “The trick is to qualify the movement near your groin by putting the napkin back in your lap.”

Chris Cariker, manager of the Smoke Joint in Brooklyn, is of the work-smart-not-hard school. “Wear elastic pants,” he says. “You gotta think ahead.”

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