Pi Attitude Zone: Affiliation & Cohesion

Sagging Pants Are Really A Statement

Some years ago, by order of the hip-hop community’s high arbiters of fashion taste, it was decreed among cool young black dudes that Thou Shalt Wear Thy Jeans At Half-Mast, (or at least pretty low-slung).

It was a tribal, ‘belonging’ kind of a thing.  Sagging pants, revealing at least eight inches of the designer-label shorts worn underneath, became an almost mandatory fashion statement among young male African Americans with attitude.

Not all of them knew where the idea originally came from.  Since you ask, it started in jails, where oversized prison uniform pants were issued to prisoners with no belts, notionally to prevent suicide attempts by hanging. After the cons stopped laughing at this, low-slung pants became something of a point of pride among incarcerated felons, a kind of wordless invitation to the ‘screws’ (prison warders) to “kiss this”.

In response, US states like Louisiana started invoking indecency laws, and trying to criminalize the low-slung pants habit for everyone, not just convicts. Wearing your trousers below the Plimsoll Line could suddenly cost you a $500 fine in some towns, and – irony of ironies -- even get you thrown into jail… a full-circle return to where the strange fashion first originated.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) took a dim view of these threatened penalties. “To criminalize how a person wears their clothing is more offensive than the thing it is trying to remedy”, objected a former NAACP executive director.

Pi says: keep it up, bro.  Er, that is, um… down.

Zone: Affiliation & Cohesion Country: USA / North America Product –