Stretch out this holiday?

Talk about weighing your options.

On the eve of the eating and drinking orgy that is the holiday season, fashionistas are once again faced with their most important seasonal style decision:

Should they try sucking in the ever-expanding muffin top for the next six weeks, or suck it up and buy a pair of elastic-waist pants. Lauren Beckham Falcone is planning for the former.

"Buttons and zippers are like those former prisoners lecturing high school hoodlums. They are my scared-straight program," said the WROR morning show personality, who joked that elastic waistbands feel like "a gateway drug to bariatric surgery."

But wardrobe consultant Vanessa Lundy said elastic waistbands are not only smart (on occasion), they're increasingly in style.


"Don't underestimate the power of joggers if it's paired with a nice, strong essential like a leather moto jacket or a loose blouse," she said. "Why not be comfortable and not have to worry?"

Answering her own question, Lundy, who owns Vana Vain, a Boston-based online styling services agency (www.vanavain.com), said this season's jogger pant allows wearers to belly up to the Thanksgiving table in a variety of looks. Depending on how casual the setting, the pants pair well with everything from a blazer and pumps to a sweat shirt and sneakers. (A bit of advice: "You can pull it off with your brother's hand-me-downs, but be careful of the fit," she said. "It's a risk and I wouldn't try it.")

For those wanting to make a more sophisticated impression (for meeting the boyfriend's parents, for example), Lundy suggested tailored elastic-waist pants with pockets that call to mind Angela from TV's "Who's the Boss?" but with a more modern vibe.

"Pair it with a peplum top and it gives you the cinched waist, and it's really flirty," she said. "If you want to get extra chic, add a blazer and a cute clutch. Now you're taking it up a notch."


Jill Radsken can be reached at jill.radsken@gmail.com.