Now that's a great idea!

That was my first thought when I saw a TV ad for Casual Male Retail Group's (NASDAQ:CMRG) line of adjustable suits for big and tall men. For everyone who's ever been surprised by the body's ability for stealthy expansion, such a product would be a welcome addition to the wardrobe. Moreover, the company's spokesman for this particular clothing line was George Foreman, whose previous success with his indoor grill is well documented.

But a great idea doesn't always make for a great investment opportunity, as evidenced by yesterday's third-quarter results. While comparable-store sales inched up 1.6% and the George Foreman line continues to do well, Casual Male still reported a quarterly net loss of $0.04 per share, a penny more than last year's loss and well below analysts' expectations that the company would break even.

But there was good news. The company appears to have found a buyer for the remaining 32 of its Levi's/Docker's outlets stores -- continued closure of this business dragged profits down by a penny this quarter and $0.05 the first nine months of this year -- and will use the proceeds to pay down its debt. In addition, it plans to improve its offering.

Right now, Casual Male carries $113 million in net debt on its balance sheet. Now, while no debt is preferable to a lot of it, it's not necessarily a deal breaker -- Stocks 2004 pick Alderwoods Group (NASDAQ:AWGI) has managed to do quite well despite a sizable debt load. The key is to find a company that has begun to pay down its debt as result of increasing cash flow.

Investors would be well advised to observe Casual Male from the sidelines -- despite the potential for an earnings boost from future expansions -- until the company can demonstrate that it will eventually be able to shed off, and keep off, its excess debt.

Fool contributor Marko Djuranovic owns no shares in companies mentioned in this article.