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September 18, 2007

Cracking down on baggy pants

 It might be considered fashionable and a sign of the times, but wearing baggy pants might get you arrests, jailed or fined.

Talk about the fashion police….

Across the country, laws are being passed, and enforced, that target baggy pants wearers. Read more in this story.

Seems a little harsh to me. It appears that this trend is targeting young African-American males. I’m not advocating baggy pants, but I believe in equal treatment for all.

What do you think? Should people have the freedom to wear what they want?

Posted by John-John Williams IV at 8:33 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Baltimore City, Trends


How can decrying a mode of dress be targeting a racial group? Do the laws say that only white people can have their pants around their knees?

I don't mind the laws, primarily because I think the baggypant-showmeyourboxers look is dumb, but I'm not certain it'd hold up in court.

A freedom to express yourself doesn't
mean that I can't think you look silly doing it.

I don't know that it's targeting African-American males specifically; I've seen plenty of Caucasians, Asians, Latinos and whoever else wearing clothes the same way. Not to mention, as the article points out, construction workers and plumbers.

There are also lots of women out there who manage to display the "whale tale" of the thong tops when they bend a certain way. Will they be subject to the law as well?

People are going to dress however they're going to dress. And anyway, that's the way clothing trends work: "How can we dress that will most irritate the previous generation?" Besides, if someone dressed like this is running away from the cops, aren't they more likely to trip?

We've got plenty of problems in this town. I like Helen Holton but her priorities are waaay out of whack on this one.

Hi steegness,

This is John-John. Having an opinion about someone's clothing usually does not result in them going to jail or paying a fine. That, to me, is a little harsh.
Are there any laws against wearing long trench coats? Remember Columbine? That clothing style to me is more of a threat to the public than seeing someone's boxer shorts.
Once again, I must stress that I'm not a fan of baggy pants that show underwear. I think people are fooling themselves if they think they will be able to advance in the working world dressed like that. With that said, I think that people should basically have the right to wear what they want. And lets face it, police are not going to crackdown -- excuse the pun -- on plumbers or construction workers. The ACLU is not worried about these groups of laborers for a reason....

Hence my comment about it holding up in court; I doubt that a given government could reasonably display that such outerwear is harmful to public interests. MAYBE they could get away with calling it an extension of some "don't walk around in just your underwear" ordinance, but that's about it.

Still, I don't see the inherent racism in the law itself (even if it does hit upon constitutional rights of expresstion). If there's an issue with enforcement, that's another story entirely, no?

I teach in a City school.. many a young man has walked/tripped through my classroom door with pants... mind you, they are still buckled.. around his thighs or knees.. luckily, a tee shirt is pulled even lower to cover it all, but I must say that these boys are pushing the limit of "decent exposure". It is only a matter of time before something is gonna hang out in the wind, and at that point please know that I will be calling a parent.

really great sites, thank you,

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