The town of Senatobia, Miss., must be a pretty safe and trouble-free place, because town officials there seem to have little better to do than regulate how people wear their pants.
Becoming the latest municipality to slap a ban on the practice of “sagging,” that is, wearing pants low around the hips so that one’s underwear is visible — assuming one is wearing underwear — Senatobia police will now be on the lookout for residents or visitors who wear their pants more than three inches below their hips.
The odd fashion trend is sometimes called “low riding” or “slabbing.”
Police say they’ll respond to citizen complaints as well as look for violations themselves. However, don’t look for cops in this Memphis suburb of just over 8,000 residents to be trading in their nightsticks for tape measures any time soon.
“We’re not going to just start going out here and just stopping people on the road and seeing if we can measure them for three inches,” Senatobia Alderman Don Clanton said. “That’s not going to be the case.”
The new ordinance passed the board of aldermen unanimously. Violations carry fines of up to $150 and eight hours of community service.
Numerous other municipalities have passed laws or instituted restrictions that limit the practice of partially exposing one’s underwear or buttocks by wearing pants too low.
Opa-Locka, Fla., became the first to do so in 2007, but the ban only applied to men and boys. Earlier this month, Opa-Locka town officials extended the ban to women and girls as well.
Thibodeaux, La., also introduced an anti-sagging ordinance this week, which is expected to come to a vote Dec. 3. But even its supporters understand that the ban is difficult to enforce.
"It's not a cute sight to see, but it's something the guys are doing everywhere," said Thibodaux native and sagging-ban backer Sharon Saulsberry. "It will be hard to abolish. A lot of tickets will be given, a lot of money will be made, but I think it's something they'll never, ever be able to stop.”