Sagging Fashion: History of Sagging Pants

Sagging Fashion Trend: History of Sagging Trousers

Sagging Fashion: History of Sagging Pants
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Sagging as a fashion trend came into prominence in the late 80s. Over the years sagging pants have gotten lower revealing a significant portion of underwear. Considering how fashion trends unfold, the chances of saggers wearing jeans, pants, slacks or shorts further low is expected in the future. This space brings to life a detailed perspective on the history of sagging pants.

Sagging is referred to the manner in which a trouser is worn.  Although this fashion trend is hugely popular with men, over the years women have taken a liking to exhibit their own take on sag, helping the ‘whale tail’ gain prominence. While there are different ways of wearing sagging trousers, the popular method is wearing the trouser way down below the waist revealing a significant portion of innerwear. Though lose slung trousers have became a fashion statement, it wasn’t meant to be that way. While it’s true that sagging was brought into prominence by the hip-hop artists of the 90s, the roots of sagging emerge much earlier. While it’s difficult to pinpoint sagging history, the earliest form of sagging is believed to have stemmed from the streets. where homeless people living on the streets would wear old oversized trousers given to them by as alms.

Sagging as a form of dressing originated in American prisons and came into theatrical prominence as a fashion trend later.   

History of sagging pants- What lead to the sagger movement?

The concept of sagging or low-riding has its origins in prisons from the United States. Inmates were prohibited from wearing belts and shoe laces. This was done to prevent inmates from using those items as potential weapons to attack, kill or commit suicide by hanging. With these restrictions inmates had no choice but to let their pants sag below their waist. The theory of sagging also came into practice because of oversized prison uniforms available at a given time. Gradually inmates took a liking to this style and started wearing trousers below the waist outside prison upon completion of their term/sentence.

The sagging trend resurrected new heights when hip-hop artists and rappers promoted the clothing style in music videos on MTV. Suddenly the world took notice of sagging pants emerge from Gangsta neighborhoods in the West Coast and East Coast. Sagging trousers became a fashion statement among neighborhood gangs.  The rustic charm of this revealing street fashion caught on with the masses. Sag attire became a rage in the 90s with teenage fans emulating their hip-hop idols. Sagging trousers brought about an attitude in fashion that gave mainstream a kick in the rear, quite literally. With time this trend became a symbol of expression. Rebellion, hate, love, openness and freedom are associated with sagging clothing.

Theories and Bizarre associated with sagging pants

Though sagging pants became popular in the 90s, it was not accepted by all in society. Several critics took sagging down to the lake of fire calling it disrespectful and insulting to mainstream culture. Sagging was an African-American fashion creation that many considered a new beginning to freedom fashion.  Numerous theories emerged and the grapevine got bigger. Here are some of the theories and bizarre associated with sagging.

 Smuggling of weapons and Drugs

Another bizarre association with sagging trousers was smuggling weapons and drugs. While this theory could hold true outside a jail, it seems least likely that jail inmates could manage to smuggle weapons and drugs in a monitored environment with their pants slung below their waists without belts.

Associated with strip search

Some theories suggest the roots of sagging pants stemmed from strip searches and frisking carried out by cops during raids and drug busts to check if a person was hiding drugs. Rumor has it wearing sagging pants was a way to retaliate against strip searches carried out by police.  

Reaction to emergence of sagging trousers

Like with other fashion styles, the school of thought differed with sagging pants too. While one group of the global community spoke in favor of this fashion another called it a mockery of mainstream. Yes, for many sagging was a fashion trend that was stylish and comfortable, and for many others it was gibberish, objectionable, disrespectful and indecent. While many considered sagging trousers an expression of freedom fashion, purists and critics from mainstream took the sagging trend to the whipping post. Many schools, government bodies, and administrative departments in the US have banned the practice of wearing low slung pants citing indecent exposure.

When sagging trends became a rage with teens, many schools and colleges enforced laws in regard with dress code violation. Many states in the US have enforced laws and implemented bans on wearing sagging pants. Several airlines in the US have passed laws that prohibit persons from wearing sagging pants on a flight. The ban on sagging pants in some parts of the world has led to a verbal duel among those in favor of the sagging style and those against it. In 2011 Green Day front man Billy Joe Armstrong was asked to get off from an Oakland to Burbank Southwest Airlines flight because of his refusal to pull up his sagging pants.

Sagging pants despite all the controversy that surrounds it will remain a popular garment in the years to come.

Is a ban on sagging in some parts of the world justified?


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