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Clothing industry missing entire demographic

If some brave man is willing to follow his gut — in more ways than one — he may be able to make a fortune and dive into an untapped market.

But this business venture won’t be for everyone.

It will take a smart man, likely willing to check their ego at the door. (Might be a good idea if they leave their self-respect there, too).

This is an idea with proven results. Well, sort of.

The secret project is … Paternity clothes.

It works well enough for women and justifiably so. In fact this is a huge industry — no pun intended — with specialty stores, exclusive brands and an entire sub-culture dedicated to the comfort of women with expanding bellies.

But what about their husbands?

It is a proven fact that men gain weight proportionately with their pregnant wives. (OK, it really isn’t proven at all because I just made that up but there is some truth to it).

But it certainly seems to be a fact that fathers-to-be gain weight too.

This may come from eating a little better. Maybe they aren’t getting as much exercise as before their wives were pregnant. Or maybe they are subconsciously channeling a tiny bit of their sweetie’s misery.

But if this turns out that it is all just me, well, I’ll be pretty embarrassed but the damage is already done so I might as well come clean.

With my first child, I packed on at least 15 pounds but since I was always kind of skinny, it wasn’t too noticeable because a few extra pound might have done me some good.

Plus, it was cold outside so I had the winter blubber excuse.

Still, I noticed that some of those pounds came off but some didn’t.

Two and a half years later, we are awaiting our second child.

My wife’s belly is growing quicker this time around. But, much to my surprise, so is mine!

She is entering her third trimester this month. The sad thing is, I look like I am too.

She looks like she has a basketball in her stomach. I’m up to at least a softball. Probably a volley ball if I’m being honest.

I may not have fully noticed until I was cleaning out some closets during a recent move. I then came to this shocking conclusion.

One pair of pants after another wouldn’t fit. Shirts were more snug than they used to be. Things that used to be at the back of the drawer because they were too big jumped to the top of the pile because they were the only things that fit.

And it went on and on.

This embarrassing revelation is what led me to the idea of clothes marketed solely to men with pregnant wives.

But the first challenge is that these simply cannot have a name like paternity clothes. That’s going to surely scare too many masculine men away.

So I came up with a few alternatives. Here they are: Male Enhancement Gear, Tummy Tubbies, Die-cast Expandable Pants, Temporary Growth Accouterments and Men’s Tri-Wear.

I think my favorite is … Baby Armor. I can see the TV commercials now, although they may have to nix the professional athletes though.

I don’t think I am ready to take this leap myself but I welcome anyone who would like to give it a try. No royalties necessary.

This industry may be a cash cow just waiting to be milked. No pun intended again.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.