A few questions regarding sagging pants

In news out of Chaska: Some old guy was arrested for starting a fight with a younger dude over his sagging pants.

Question #1: Was “sagging” ever “in style”? Because rampant sagging has been going on for at least 15 years now. If this is a trend, shouldn’t it go away at some point?

Question #2: Although most people will generally concede that folks should be left alone to dress as they want, how acceptable should it be to be openly annoyed by saggers?

Sagging is associated with hip-hop culture, so it could be perceived as racist to hate saggers — even if the sagger is white. But the fact remains that no one wears their pants that way because it’s comfortable. Pants are worn that way to make a statement. Of course, almost every decision about what to wear is based on making a statement, whether that statement is “I am a responsible and professional person who should be hired to represent your firm” or “I enjoy stock car racing” or “I want to emulate people who are in prison and can’t wear belts for safety reasons, because that makes me a bad ass.” Doesn’t it make sense to be annoyed a little by that last statement?

3) Does a small part of you root for an old guy grabbing a dude’s pants and yanking them up — even though you wonder if his heart is in the right place or not?

4) Do you think sagging’s popularity might be a backlash against David Lee Roth’s outlandishly high-worn pants in his 1991 video “Sensible Shoes”?

OK, forget I asked that last question.



about 14 years ago

Chaska? There are saggers in Chaska?


about 14 years ago

From the 'CCO article: "When the younger man refused to pull up his pants, saying his pants would not fall down until 2 a.m., the older man tackled him to the ground."

What did he mean that his pants wouldn't fall down until 2am? Did he install some sort of timer system?


about 14 years ago

I was seeing "saggers" out in Seattle as early as 90-91. The act of "sagging" was always referred to "pimping" ... ergo, pimping the sag.

Apparently it's annoying enough that more than a couple of communities (one of them in Florida, if I remember right) have at least attempted to pass some sort of city code restricting the sagging pants on grounds that it's some sort of gang identification. How you're supposed to run from the cops with your britches around your ankles escapes me but, whatever.

So to the questions: 

1.) See above for part 1. There should be limits to style, I think. Seriously, could you really imagine that parachute pants and Coca -Cola shirts could have lasted well into the ripped jeans and flannel shirted Grunge era? Even that became annoying and died out. Don't even get me started on Members Only jackets.

2.) Yes, but that's just because I'm an overly opinionated old geezer.

3.) Oh yes. I would probably even point and laugh, too.

4.) Wasn't Roth's highwaters a blatant ripoff of ska culture?


about 14 years ago

Probably referring to bar closing and getting some.


about 14 years ago

My son sagg, and wears skinny jeans /unpossible


about 14 years ago

"Sagging is associated with hip-hop culture, so it could be perceived as racist to hate saggers."

Uhg.  Along these lines I could also be perceived as racist since I hate Will Smith movies.


about 14 years ago

I have always thought that the people who wear their pants like that probably were never "de-pants" in Junior High.


about 14 years ago

The kid's pants probably weren't even sagging.  The old man's trifocals just slipped down his nose.

Barrett Chase

about 14 years ago

The way that old guy feels about sagging pants is the way I feel about ironic hipster garb. Which incidentally, has also been around way too long.

Kelly Boed

about 14 years ago

I saw a guy in the holiday mall a few weeks ago whose pants were hanging halfway between his butt cheeks and his knees. He was gripping them in the front, real low so they wouldn't completely fall down. He had on red jersey boxer briefs. Ugh. I wanted to walk up to him and say, "Dude your ass ain't all that great." Oh, and no way was he hip hop, he looked more like a preppy on top. Weird, just plain weird. I wished I'd had a camera.

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

Yes, Danny. You could be perceived as racist. It could happen.

In retrospect, however, I should have wrote: "it could be perceived as racist to hate sagging."

Don't hate the sagger; hate the sag.

By the way, I think the sagging trend started with Navin R. Johnson in 1979. The lower the pants, the more bad-ass the sagger is, right?


about 14 years ago

There is a certain style that kids are rocking now where they wear big high-tops, tight jeans (which, as Lajasmo points out, they somehow sag), hoodies and over-sized stocking caps.  

I have no idea what genre of music these kids are listening to, but they look like particular assholes.

God I'm old.

Bad Cat!

about 14 years ago

I just don't get sagging pants when viewed in a crime-Darwinist light. So you have your pants around your knees because you're a hardcore gangsta. Cops like to chase hardcore gangstas. It's really hard to run from the cops when your pants fall down, ergo, the best criminals have belts?

In my wilder youth, I never would have chosen a fashion that would result in me getting busted easier.

Hot Shot

about 14 years ago

In response to Cork, I think that's the new hipster/sk8r look. I see those kids in droves at the mall. As if the sagged, oversized pants weren't bad enough, when they're skinny jeans hanging below the ass, it looks exponentially worse. 

Considering skinny jeans are beyond uncomfortable, having them so low they hinder walking must make a whole day in them awful.

Dave Sorensen

about 14 years ago

If us old people understand the latest fashions the kids aren't doing their job. However, though attributed to hip-hop, low-riding pants were actually pioneered by a country/old-time banjo player named String Bean.


about 14 years ago

Don't forget Kris Kross.


about 14 years ago

Saggy pants (as much as I grit my teeth every time I see them) are the new slack -- much the same as long hair in the 60s, or green hair and tattered clothes in the 80s.  It's the latest F U to the man. Apparently we are the man and it's working. I say let your freak flag fly. Meanwhile, the big hoodie, hat and shoes trend seems pretty harmless -- at least they're wearing a jacket!


about 14 years ago

I just wish the kids would go back to the backward pants thing ala Kris Kross.

Brett K Molitor

about 14 years ago

Wait. Who's Molitor?! That wasn't me.


about 14 years ago

I don't know how accurate wiki's are these days, but here is the one on saggy pants. Makes sense to me:

Sagging (fashion)


about 14 years ago

Pants hate goes both ways.  Recently was verbally harassed by young toughs, for wearing outdated fashions. Occurred at TJ Maxx. A discount outlet for outdated fashions.


about 14 years ago

I try to be optimistic. I see the pants as half UP.


about 14 years ago

@pH, shouldn't they be referred to as MAX-inistas?

I work for a co. that owns the largest apparel trade show in the world...the saggers are SO out of date. This used to be considered an alternate lifestyle/urbanwear genre. Now it's just stupid.

The skinny jean, hoodie/sweater, stocking cap look came out of Japan about three years ago. Most of them sported high end premium contemporary brands so they could pull it off. Think jeans that retail at $225+ & Mr. Rogers sweaters at $75+

What's next? Fitted jackets in all styles & fabrics for women paired with jeans, leggings, longer skirts & for men paired with jeans or tailored trousers. Pomegranate and dark olive are the big winter colors.


about 14 years ago

It's my understanding that boys wear their pants down low to let girls know they are ready to breed.


about 14 years ago

I agree Cork, the skinny jeans are unacceptable, but look at the bright side. Surely they are a fad as skinny, tight jeans are the most uncomfortable piece of attire one can wear.  In most cases, these d-bags won't be able to reproduce a new generation of d-bags due to low sperm count.  

As for the "saggers," well I see a lot of them in my neighborhood, and I can't think of a better way to make yourself look like a piece of shit. Success and "sagging" seem to have absolutely no connection with each other, so I can only assume when a person takes on this look they have given up on any chance for a productive life, happy to look like a d-bag, under the delusion of being a badass.


about 14 years ago

Forget Wiki, check out urbandictionary.com for the real definition of the term. Whatever its called I hate it! Was riding an esclator the other day looking right into the shorts of the guy ahead of me.  Ugg!  Atlanta put a ban on this style of dress a few years ago. I could totally be the guy who yanks up somebody's pants.


about 14 years ago

So, saggers and hipster/sk8r types frequent the mall?  Reminds me of the famous quote by Lisa Simpson: "So you're rebellious in a conformist sort of way."


about 14 years ago

Then again, my dad had this saggy-panted boxer shorts look back in 1974, and we didn't have malls in St. Paul at the time.

Tony D.

about 14 years ago

Cork: How long did you wear that stocking cap?


about 14 years ago

1) As long as their britches are clean.

2) What, is Common writing for the :Chaska Ledger:

the younger man refused to pull up his pants
saying his pants would not fall down til 2 a.m.
the older man tackled him to the ground

3) Kriss Kross has been my Pandora station for two weeks.

C) Tony D. — zing!

5) I trade my sunglasses and hoodies with girls.


about 14 years ago

A few years back working at HCMC in Mpls during my lunch hour, I wandered over to a park in the Stevens Park neighborhood. There I witnessed a pick-up full court BB game that included a couple "saggers" doing their very best to hold onto their trousers while playing. Ridiculous, comical, and dangerously frightening all at once.


about 14 years ago

What's funny is that they are so easy to trip.

Wes Scott

about 14 years ago

I just consider them "wasters." You assume that instantly. Who else would they be? You can't have a good job if you're a sagger? Or can you?


about 14 years ago

I find it ironic that in the photo you found to illustrate this, the guy seems to be wearing a belt. It goes against the "my pants are like this because I'm not allowed a belt" origins.


about 14 years ago

I can take the sagging but please no hiking way up of the pants which leaves your belt too high. Also, I'm really tired of sweat pants or jammy pants while shopping!!! Skank.


about 14 years ago

On the one hand, it is so silly it is hard to care. On the other, as alluded to above, if this is the fashion of our criminal class then we ought to have them all rounded up pretty quick as you can't ditch the cops with your pants falling down.  

I had an altercation with some mouthy punks in saggy pants. After I slapped the one guys face off of his head I told them all if they wanted to be tough guys they need to get a belt cause you really can't kick much ass when you need one hand to hold your pants up. Having over-sized high-tops with no shoe strings doesn't help ass kicking much either.


about 14 years ago

I live in the thick of "the hood" in North Minneapolis.  People around here tell me that sagging originates from prison culture in which the sag is an invitation for prison sex.   I've heard this numerous times from different sources.   Not certain if it is true or not, but it certainly seems to be what folks believe to be true around here.


about 14 years ago

The prison "sag" is a result of institutionalized clothing that is not tailor-fit. In our great culture, some marketing genius figured that getting urban teens to look like they just got out of prison would sell. And they were right.


about 14 years ago

While having lunch at a food court in a mall in Colorado Springs a few years back, it occurred to me that sagging, baggy clothes are pretty much the ideal way to hide a weapon.  Especially when you're at a shopping mall in the middle of the day instead of a) at school or b) at your job*. 

And I concur with others that this fad gets its origins from prison culture, along with the tied-on do-rag, and oversized shirts that match bottoms with contrast stitching.  It's prison-issue.  I think those guys are soooo cool*.


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