This holiday season, Santa may want to pick up some veggies and water rather than milk and cookies.
Custom designers making Santa suits year and after year say that the measurements are changing drastically.
“They are getting larger and larger,” said Adele Saidy, owner of Adele’s of Hollywood which has supplied Santa suits for over 40 years. “Last year and this year, 25 percent of my Santas — oh, I don’t want to say it — they are really overweight.”
Saidy said when she initially started her business the largest size for a Santa was between 200 and 275 pounds and about 50 inches in width. Now, she said she’s received six Santa suit orders sized for someone between 300 and 425 pounds and 76 inches wide. This is her largest fit as of yet.
Other costume providers are experiencing the same trend.
Santasuit.com said that it’s 2X sizes were formerly in demand by only 12 percent of their customers. Today, a third of their business calls for suits that are 4X in size.
Western Staff Services Company created the original Santa suit design in 1948. The company now produces a standard size suit to fit someone that is approximately 300 pounds and 50 inches wide.
Santa Suits Express said they no longer carry suits made to fit skinnier Santas with 42 being the smallest size and the largest at size 70.
“We sell thousands of Santa suits a year, and we don’t get too many requests for the smaller sizes,” noted Aimee Gibson, Santa Suits Express’s customer service happiness manager. “Only a few skinnier Santas have called to complain.”
But Santas will have to pay extra for more wardrobe space. At Adele’s of Hollywood, Santas may have to pay up to $800 for a larger suit.
“It takes lots and lots of extra fabric and hours and hours of extra work to make the bigger sizes, so the prices are much higher,” Saidy said.
Many health enthusiasts worry that as Santa gains more holiday pounds each year, he may not be as mobile as necessary.
Research has shown that people who are overweight are likely to gain five pounds or more during the holidays.
“Maybe he could get out of his sleigh and walk once in a while or at least do some butt squeezes or calf raises while he’s just sitting there to burn off a few extra calories,” said registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, Alysa Bajenaru.
Bajenrau suggests that Santa and others struggling to control weight gain commit to a regular exercise regimen and use moderation when indulging in holiday treats.