A waistband is a strip of material that is either elastic or some other confining fabric that encircles the waist.
Historically, in northern India, waistbands served various purposes including fastening miscellaneous items to oneself, such as knives. In ancient history in the southern Levant, the waistband could serve as a status symbol when people would adorn themselves with ornaments attached to their waistbands. In the early 19th century, members of some Taoist branches had their waistbands colored as a distinguisher and in order to symbolize their membership of the sect. Among some members of the Yoruba, the placement of beads upon their waistbands is an established tradition that is believed to enhance and accentuate a women's femininity. In the western world during the 19th century, the contortion of waistbands was less pronounced due to the fashionability of suspenders.
The dimensions of the waistband serve as a contrivance for streamlining waist measurements. Waistbands are often designed with beltloops in order to allow for variation in case of manufacturer subtleties or weight variation in the wearer. Waistbands for boxer shorts tend to be thicker than they are for briefs, and men's tend to be thicker than women's briefs. In contemporary times, waistbands are more picturesque and scintillating compared to previous designs. A recent Debenhams survey revealed that the placement of one's waistband by males varies with age, with mid-teen boys placing them the lowest, while it steadily rises until the age of 57. In more modern times, the waistband is also employed as a method for men to conceal a manbulge during an erection. In stretchy waistbands, the material can be made of various materials including rubber and latex. The exposure of the underwear waistband has become a trend among followers of grunge music and hip-hop.
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