No, That Sansabelt “Action Pants” Ad You Saw On Facebook Is Not Real

action_zoneEveryone loves vintage ads, especially the ones that haven’t aged particularly well. You know, the sexist and racist ads that look horrible to modern eyes, and the ones that sixty years of unrelenting irony have rendered unintentionally hilarious. However, before you hit “share” on Facebook, stop and think: is this vintage ad simply too hilarious?

Very few people have been asking themselves that question recently. That’s how a fantastic print ad for Sansabelt slacks came to make the Internet rounds, since everyone felt compelled to share it with their favorite men of action.


Tee-hee! The pants are extra-reinforced in the crotch, which is called “THE ACTION ZONE!” This could be placed unironically in a mainstream magazine ad because crotch jokes were not invented until 1974! Yeah, not so much.

The image itself was a 2010 parody published on the blog How to be a Dapper Gent, adapted from a real vintage ad that ran in Esquire sometime in the ’60s. Adapted.

Sansabelt was a real product, of course. They were pants designed to be worn without a belt: “sans a belt,” get it? The brand’s parent company went out of business in 1967, but the new owner of the brand promises to bring Sansabelt back. Maybe they should hire the blogger who made this ad to create viral marketing campaigns for them….even if the ads need a few years to really take off.

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