I heard on the radio the other day that fashion guru Tim Gunn says the worst fashion faux pas men commit is wearing big, floppy clothing.
This astounded me. There are men with loose, baggy clothing?
I seem to recall having some myself at one time. I think they shrank in the wash.
Some have suggested a different theory. They claim that I am a man of - how shall we say? - well-rounded, hefty ideals. It never seemed to occur to them that I might just possess uncommon fashion sense.
And I see more and more, uh, fashion mavens all the time.
I believe that without meaning to, Tim Gunn put his well-manicured finger on the real root of obesity - loose, floppy clothing.
Think of your desk or dining room table. We know that an empty, flat surface is an abomination of nature. Clean them off and overnight, they are refilled.
If we spot a nook or cranny with a modicum of empty space, we have to fill it. We can't help ourselves.
It must be the same with clothing. If it flops, we think it needs to be filled.
It amazes me that this never occurred to that cornucopia of researchers who crank out like so much sausage those tons of reports that claim far too many Americans are somewhat oversized. ''Obese,'' I believe is the word bandied about.
These same reports try to blame this on perfectly innocent factors, such as chocolate chip cookies and supersized Cokes.
It wasn't a scientist but a fashion consultant who figured it out.
But maybe you already knew this from the experiments that you conducted in your own clothes closet.
I suspect that you, too, own a second or third wardrobe that's been shoved to the back of the closet or the bottom of the dresser drawers. They are garments that at one time fit loosely.
It wasn't a conscious effort on our part. Our bodies took notice of the extra space. And filled it.
I read once about the woman who wanted to start an exercise program but couldn't. The first item on the list of instructions was ''put on loose-fitting clothing.''
''If I had any loose-fitting clothing,'' she huffed, ''I wouldn't be looking for an exercise program.''
It's not about exercise, nor gravy or fries. It's the fault of fashion designers and biological design. If you have space, the body will fill out to fit.
This, more than anything, ought to frighten those young guys who saunter around in pants so droopy that they have to keep one hand clamped on the cloth to avoid showing off their knees.
That's a whole lot of material bagging about your backsides.
Guys, listen to me. It's a law of physics - empty spaces will be filled. You don't want that. We who will be following you in grocery store checkout lines don't want to see that - though, I suppose it makes a handy extra shelf if we need to set down a phone, wallet or small child for a couple seconds.
So please, drop the droopies and don something more fitting now, while there's still time.
You wouldn't argue with Tim Gunn, would you?
----- We, the editors, note that Cole lacks fashion sense, and pretty much any other sense. Find him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.