Saggin’ for swagger … or just going for comfort?

Photo: Kaydee Miller

By Kaydee Miller

New fads come into high schools all the time, and keeping up with the different fashions can sometimes be difficult. But once people find something that suits their personality, they stick with it. Take the saggy pants trend, for example.

For years, guys have sagged their pants for fashion. Some people like the look while others hate it, and theories abound as to why the saggy pants trend has staying power. Some guys believe it’s fashionable, some think they look tough or cool, and other guys just want to express themselves.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said English teacher Tricia Taylor. “And when you consider the origins of the fashion, I feel it’s offensive.” She’s referring, of course, to the theory that the phenomenon started in prison as a way for an inmate to show he was “available.”

Fashion or accident?

Some guys don’t consider saggy pants a fashion; they think of it as something that just happens. “My pants are either too big or they don’t have a drawstring to keep them up,” said senior Sam Francis.

Junior Brent Bay has a similar opinion. “Guys are just too lazy to pull them up when they fall down,” said Bay.

Although the saggy pants trend continues, some guys just don’t like this fad. “When your pants are sagged all the way down, you look like a fool,” said junior Tim Trummer.

Junior Victor Scarpelli wonders why young men have decided to sag their pants. “Maybe guys just wear colored boxers and they want people to see them,” he said.

Adults are annoyed; girls have mixed feelings

Since many teachers and administrators don’t like this trend, they also don’t understand why it’s so popular. “It seems like it would be a pain to hold your pants up when you walk, or to pull them up every other step,” said Fairmont teacher and coach Andy Aracri.

West Unit Principal Mike Nienaber also doesn’t understand it. “I think they’re trying to make a fashion statement that’s different, but they’re just copying someone else they’ve seen,” he said.

Other teachers who don’t like this look make sure their students are aware of the situation. “If their pants are well below their waist and their butt hangs out, then I ask them to pull up their pants,” said Taylor.

The girls at Fairmont have mixed feelings about this fad. Junior Sarah Moore doesn’t like the idea of guys sagging their pants. “I think it’s annoying and it makes guys look trashy,” she said.

Other girls look at this trend from another perspective. “I like it when their boxers show a little on the top, but I think it looks bad when their pants are past their butt,” said junior Libby Ganz-Sarto.

However, some guys argue with Ganz-sarto’s logic. “I sag my pants to show off my cute little butt for all the honeys out there,” said junior Chase Loges.     

Normally, guys are the culprits behind this saggy fashion, but a few girls are to blame as well. “It’s the same thing,” said East Unit Principal Hank Jackoby. “I don’t want to see underwear, bottom line.”

Are you judged by your pants?

Francis and senior Rob Shoemaker agree that sagging their pants is very comfortable. Even though comfort could be important, Central Unit Principal Andrew White believes it isn’t appropriate for the school and work environment. “It doesn’t fit our school’s handbook,” said White.

White disapproves of this fashion in the work environment, but also in his own life. “From a conservative standpoint,” he said, “I think it’s just disrespectful.”

Besides being disrespectful, Jackoby believes saggy pants set people up to be judged. “When people look professional, other people will think better things,” he said. When someone looks unprofessional, Jackoby believes it may give others the impression that the person is not as trustworthy as someone who looks sharp.

Whether good or bad, right or wrong, judging plays a role in teens’ lives every day. “People assume how you act based on how you look,” said Jackoby. “It’s not right, but that’s the way it is.”