We were thumbing through a police supply catalog the other day and came across these guys. They're like those garters old men wear, but instead of anchoring your socks to your calves they use the power of your socks falling down to keep your shirt tails from constantly blousing out like Seinfeld. And if your socks aren't bugging you or you're not wearing them, they've got another model where the bottom ends in a little stirup for your heel (two of our editors got in a really big argument about which one was probably developed first). Anyways, we hate it when that shirt-thing happens--as apparently do cops--so we were pretty psyched to see some brilliant mind had foregone AIDS and cancer to cure something real for a change and ordered ourselves a set.
When they arrived we paired up our loosest, most billowy shirt with our least elastic socks and clipped the foor little straps in place (there are two in the back) for our first taste of this brave new, constantly tucked world. Within steps the back right one had popped loose from its tail and made its way out of the pantleg. We tried fixing it, but it kept snapping off one of the ends and bunching up like when you're trying to get the last corner of a bedsheet on. Eventually we gave up and just let it hang loose down the back of our leg. The instructions warn that all four stays need to be in place for the system to be effective, but we were doing pretty fine with just the three--both socks were up, shirt was still fully tucked--besides feeling like a some sort of a nerd-transvestite everything seemed to be in order.
It was right at this peak of confidence, however, that we discovered shirt stays' fatal flaw: Sitting. Every time you take a step and your knees bend, the back straps slightly give and the front straps tug just enough to let you know they're working. But when your knee starts approaching a right angle everything falls to shit. The front dealers slide off to the back of your leg while the back ones just hang there like idiots, giving your shirt plenty of slack to start poofing out. You'd think this would correct itself when you stand up, but somehow it's even worse. Instead of pulling your shirt back in, the front stays catch on the side of your leg and just pull your socks way too far up to compensate. Then once you start walking, every time your leg straightens it slides back into place for just long enough to make you think it's fixed before snapping back to the side with a couple of leg hairs in tow. It feels like being bullied by your own clothes.
Maybe the stirup-model fixes this bug (pretty solid evidence that it came second), but to be honest, we couldn't spare the would-be geniuses at Law Pro 12 more bucks for another round of this level of disappointment. We still hold out hope that someday someone will learn from this abominable failure and, standing on the shoulders of shirt stays, finally surmount this obstacle--our money's on magnetic underwire.