Saggy Pants Legal: Your Constitutional Right To Foolishness Has Been Protected

A Bronx judge has ruled that saggy pants are not, in fact, illegal and do not constitute “Disorderly Conduct.” The ruling comes in a case where a gentleman was issued a summons because he was wearing “his pants down below his buttocks exposing underwear [and] potentially showing private parts,” says Gothamist.

The judge didn’t think that saggy pants qualified, and interprets the constitution as protecting foolishness:

While most of us may consider it distasteful, and indeed foolish, to wear ones pants so low as to expose the underwear, as the Court stated in O’Gorman, “people can dress as they please, wear anything, so long as they do not offend public order and decency.”… Moreover, “the Constitution still leaves some opportunity for people to be foolish if they so desire.”

Judge: Wearing Saggy Pants Is Not A Crime [Gothamist]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Emperor Norton I says:

    A judge with common sense!
    Who’d have thunk it?

  2. smo0 says:

    OMFG I hate that look, HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE!

    But I’ll protect your GD right to wear it.

    But still, F**k you.

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      It’s a sure sign that I need to walk on the other side of the street, accusations of racism be d@mned.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I don’t care what race they are, but I’ll still assume people whose pants below their ass are lazy, stupid, and/or incompetent

      • domcolosi says:

        Honestly, if someone tries to rob you with his pants around his knees, couldn’t you just run? What’s he gonna do, penguin-waddle his way after you?

      • Conformist138 says:

        Sagging pants is much more “I wanna be gansta… but I’m failing” and a sign someone is more likely to end up on a list of “stupid criminals” instead of America’s Most Wanted. A real criminal, a truly dangerous person, isn’t gonna risk getting caught committing a violent crime just so he can make a fashion statement to his victim. To me, a guy with sagging pants is like a woman in really high heels: Even if they WANT to try something, they chose to leave the house with a clear disadvantage.

    • smo0 says:

      On a side note, I’d like to see more public retailers enforce a dress code that bans anyone from the store who dresses like this…

      kinna like, no shirt, no shoes, no service?

      Saggy pants with a NO symbol over it.

      • APriusAndAGrill says:

        At my old store, I ejected anyone who did wore pants with underwear visible. I was constantly called racist, and n hater and ect. But it was a bunch of fun.

      • UnicornMaster says:

        We have a lot of clubs here that say you can’t wear clothes like that, white t-shirts, sportswear, work boots, etc. I can’t tell if its good or just profiling.

        • DingoAndTheBaby says:

          I was/am good friends with the manager of a club that had this rule. The bottom line was that, while only certain races tend to wear clothes in this fashion, though exceptions always exist, it was pretty evident – at that club, anyway – that the vast majority of issues dealt with by the bouncers and local police tended to involve patrons who wore clothing in that manner. Once the dress code was implemented, the same kinds of accusations you pointed out were thrown around, but eventually, the BS stopped and the police were called much, much less. I think it was a chicken-and-egg thing: did ruffians looking to cause trouble tend to wear that style of clothing, or did that style of clothing tend to invite trouble…

  3. wrongfrequently says:

    so in summation:

    Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, looking like a (legal) fool with your pants on the ground.

  4. Sayersj629 says:

    So you’re officially allowed to ‘look like a fool with your pants on the ground’.

  5. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    At least he implied they are foolish….unfortunately, even fools are protected under the constitution…we have enough of them holding political office…

    Wonder if the judge played this song:

  6. aintgotone says:

    R.I.P. “Pants on the Ground” American Idol contestant.

  7. Draw2much says:

    Good for the judge. He did the right thing.

    But, ugh, stupid saggy pants! It’s SO STUPID! >_

  8. pantheonoutcast says:

    I can’t believe that this is still a desirable style. Nevermind the fact that it looks outrageously ridiculous, it’s impractical as well (as I suspect most fashion is). I’ve seen kids in my school trip over their own pants and fall down because they were wearing their pants so far below their ass. So aside from the public humiliation due to the finger-pointing, laughing crowds, they then have to suffer through either a two-hour detention or the embarrassment of having their parents come and pick them up.

    Luckily for us, the judge’s ruling doesn’t affect a school with a dress code.

    • smo0 says:

      It was banned in my HS too… but uh… I graduated 12 years ago, and I think even THEN that like was out of date.

      • Bativac says:

        Yeah same here, this look was outdated in 1997. I can’t believe people still dress like this.

      • dolemite says:

        Back in my day, we were overalls with 1 strap unhinged, baggy mc hammer pants, kept the pricetags on your shoes and hats, the girls wore biker shorts to school (that was the best style ever imo), and if you were extremely cool, as I was, you wore a fanny pack to school.

        • The Gray Train says:

          I used to think fanny packs were lame, mostly because i’d only seen old people wearing them. then i learned that there’s a good chance that old person is carrying a gun in there, and is in no mood to put up with your shit.

    • JMILLER says:

      Name any “style” that doesn’t look ridiculous. Have you watched movies from the 80’s? Women had shoulder pads that make football players cringe. Look at jeans so tight you tell if a guy is circumcised. Look at the 70’s with bell bottoms so big a family of four could camp under them.
      Every generation dress in their way and style. So what. I bet many people think the way you dress looks ridiculous too. “Conformity is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I just never got into “fashion'” in the first place. I wear T-shirts and jeans, nearly all of my dress shirts are either white or black, and I’ve had the same leather jacket since I was 17. Clothes bore me. Maybe that’s why I find it puzzling that someone would dress like they don’t know how to dress themselves.

        FYI, the quote is “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          I wear T-shirts and jeans, nearly all of my dress shirts are either white or black, and I’ve had the same leather jacket since I was 17.

          But that counts as having a style. It may not be trendy, edgy, or avant-garde but it’s a style.

          • JMILLER says:

            Do you wear the same jeans and same style you wore when you were 17? The fact that you wear a leather jacket means you do have some interest in style. I bet if you looked at pictures of your clothes at 14, 18, 25, 35, 45, you would see plenty of differences in style. I bet your hair style would be different. I bet the fit would be different. I bet your suits or dress shirts would be different, I bet your ties would be different. Again, why is it up to YOU to decide what ” looks outrageously ridiculous”.
            Some may say jeans and a tshirt look ridiculous. But from now on, I guess everybody needs to check with you as to what is deemed “ridiculous” or worthy of being worn.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              People who wear their pants hanging down below their ass look like morons, most likely because they are morons. It’s not “fashion” – it’s an accoutrement of thug culture. Come down to the South Bronx one day, and I’ll teach you a few things. People aren’t dressing like this because it’s en vogue – they’re doing it to send a clear message about their attitude and desire to be seen as intimidating. Self-respecting, civilized, intelligent people do not attempt to emulate prisoners, gangsta-rappers, and thugs.

              You’re free to respond, “Well, that’s you’re opinion, man, but people are free to make their own fashion choices, and express themselves, man, and we need to be more tolerant of and respect everyone’s individualism, man,” and then I’d put you in the same league as the pants-on-the-ground wearers.

              • JMILLER says:

                Typical. And all people who have earrings are homos, and all who have long hair are anti american, and women who wear pants really want to be men, and anybody who is black is a criminal, and all hispanics are illegal.
                Yep, judging people by clothing or their looks is a pretty good way to live your life. Why not just admit you are a racist and get it over with now. Glad you clarified your position.

                • Doubts42 says:

                  Talk about typical. Attacking someone as a racist because they don’t approve of a clothing trend is as bigoted and stereotypical as any klansman.

                • pantheonoutcast says:

                  As a former long-haired, current earring wearer, I’d have to give a you a big, “Nice try.”

                  Also, I’ve worked in the South Bronx for ten years in a school that is 99% minority – hardly a place for a racist. My closest friend in the world is Puerto Rican, and the woman I’m currently seeing is from Honduras. And she wears pants.

                  No, the only stereotype I subscribe to is:

                  Anyone who jumps to the type of conclusions you did is an ignorant asshole. Looks like I’ve been proven correct once again!

              • yusefyk says:

                You are enough into fashion that you make fashion-related posts on fashion threads, and tell everyone about your fashion.

        • SuperSnackTime says:

          sure you’re into fashion… why look, you’re commenting and critiquing it right now!

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Um…I think that’s, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”. Sorry, I’m a quote weenie.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Low rise jeans are another distasteful fad. Every woman looks fat and has a muffin top in them. What’ sad is that women obviously don’t know how stupid these jeans are and how they are unflattering on everyone.

        • MTFaye says:

          Well, its not so much that they CAN’T look good on anyone, its just that 90% of women wear them in a size too small. If you actually get them your correct size, then you won’t “muffin top,” but so few women are secure enough in their self-image that they can admit to themselves what their real size is.

      • Murali says:

        Well said.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I was going to ask if you pointed and laughed at them, but then I read that you did. Good job. I’ve alway done the same.

  9. Cameraman says:

    Gosh darn those activist judges!

    Seriously, having morons self-identify so you know to avoid them should be encouraged, not penalized.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Exactly. I see it as an “Idiot Indicator.” If someone is wearing their pants below their ass and walking as though they just defecated themselves, then there is no earthly reason to talk to them, listen to them, or have anything to do with them.

      • Fidget says:

        But you’re discriminating against the 1% of people whose pants sag after drastic weight loss!

        Wonder if something with the low triangle crotch is easier to sew, though…

    • Jimmy60 says:

      Much like whenever I see a man in a suit and tie I just assume that he is about to lie to me.

  10. AngryK9 says:

    Okay, not disorderly conduct. But…how about indecent exposure. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Then again, if they outlawed wearing their pants down like that, think of all of the people that won’t be showing up on “America’s Dumbest” because they can’t outrun the cops when their pants fall to their ankles

    • JoeDawson says:

      Thats a good point… but i dare say i can walk out the house wearing just boxers and a T and not get arrested. Showing your boxers is not indecent exposure, not actually exposing anything… briefs are another story however…

      • Stan Horaczek says:

        So, to sum things up: You think men walking around in their briefs is obscene, but your avatar is a professional wrestler; a man whose job it is to prance around in tiny briefs. Got it.

    • dolemite says:

      What are they exposing? I’ve got boxer briefs I could wear to Walmart. What are they going to charge me with?

  11. Jemaine says:

    The judge must have been drinking some crazy kool-aid! No one wants to see other people’s underwear or butts. I was in the store the other day and to guys had on basketball shorts with another pair on but these were on their knees and they were walking like they had CP or something. Just stupid.

    • full.tang.halo says:

      I don’t agree with you opinion and think you foolish for having it, thankfully you, like them are protected from having your free speech censored by the Constitution. Oh the irony, protected by the thing you despise others having :P

    • EllenRose says:

      Nobody wants to see others underwear or butts?

      Of course. That’s why they wear their pants that way. Epater les bourgeois!

    • dolemite says:

      Did you see their privates? If not, whats the problem?

      I go to the beach and I have to see 350 lb men and women in thongs, and I basically CAN see their privates. Not breaking the law though.

  12. SkokieGuy says:

    It’s not possible to legislate good taste.

    And there is obviously no obscenity issue unless someone is wearing saggy jeans without underwear. A thong bikini or even a Speedo is far more revealing.

    Frankly, the low rise jeans, typically worn tight, are far more pornographic. I’ve seen then worn so low that is was obvious that the wearer had shaved their public region (and yes, witnessed this on both men and women).

    The real issue is that in America, we are terribly frightened by casual displays of flesh and must treat all sex as dirty and depraved, (see opponents of breast feeding mothers, condoms, sexual education, Janet Janet’s nipple, gay marriage, pay per view porn in hotels, etc. etc. etc.)

    • full.tang.halo says:

      “casual displays of flesh” OH GOD WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

      /plays MW2 with their pre-teen son

      Foolishness, it’s not just for wearing your pants on the ground….

    • dvdchris says:

      “shaved their public region”

  13. jessjj347 says:

    I saw someone ticketed for this before. The cop claimed that he thought the boy would flash someone.

    • dolemite says:

      Until he does flash someone though….no crime. “I dunno, guy was walking funny…I thought he might trip and push someone into a wood chipper. Charged ’em with murder.”

  14. marlathetourist says:

    Clearly sagging pants was only acceptable for about 15 minutes back in 1990 but where do the clothing laws stop? Next will we start handing out tickets for camel toes? Personally I think that is much more offensive than seeing someone’s underwear.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      I find women who can’t accessorize correctly offensive. And for god’s sake, why are men legally allowed to wear capri pants? Please get a law passed immediately!

      Popped collars? Felony.

      • marlathetourist says:

        If you ran for office with the platform “Outlaw Man-pri’s” you would immediately get my vote. Everytime I see a man in capris a piece of me dies.

      • full.tang.halo says:

        I’m gonna have to ask for some compensation for irreparable damage due to you bringing up the fact that men have been wearing capri pants, and thus causing me to see things that can not be unseen….

      • The Gray Train says:

        i have a hard time suppressing my boot-to-the-head reflex every time i see a douchecanoe with a popped collar. it gets harder the more popped collar shirts he’s wearing

        • EtherealFlame says:

          Oh dear god. Best douchey insult, EVER! So wait, they wear more then one?! They sure as hell don’t live in Texas then. Anyone pulling that crap in this heat and humidity would be locked away immediately and force fed anti-psychotic drugs till they thought there were the Easter bunny. Most days I want to peel my own skin off and lock myself in a standing freezer. Ugh.

  15. tedyc03 says:

    Of course the Constitution protects foolishness. It’s the only standard under which the Republican and Tea Parties can exist, and Bush was allowed to speak on television.

  16. Mecharine says:

    He done act a fool.

  17. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Are there even rappers still doing this? Why has this lasted so long?

    • Cameraman says:

      Prison, where you aren’t allowed to have a belt.

      • phrekyos says:

        Jeez, I almost never wear a belt and my pants don’t fall off my body. If you need to cinch your pants to your waist to prevent them from falling down, you are wearing the wrong size pants.

        • ARP says:

          I don’t know that prison gives you precisely sized clothing.

          • phrekyos says:

            Those guys on MSNBC’s Lockup seem to have fairly well-sized pants.

            In fact, a lot of them seem to have pants with elastic waists, which wouldn’t require a belt unless they were really oversized.

        • JMILLER says:

          In prison you are given what size is available with no belt.

    • dolemite says:

      Also, have you priced belts recently? The cheaper ones are close to $20!

      • Jeff_Number_3 says:

        I wear a belt to keep my pants up, but my pants have loops to keep my belt up…..

        Who’s the real hero in this situation?

  18. heyhowareyou says:

    I would never wear saggy pants… but to look at it as some sort of crime, indecent exposure, cultural enemy gets me really upset. Everyone wears their clothes differently, funny how the ones worn by a certain group is more discourage against than say…short short, crazy tight jeans, or even long, tailored cottons in 90 degree weather. To me, its not practical, but wearing your pants one way also representative of the person and cultural, whatever that may be. That’s all, thanks.

  19. EverCynicalTHX says:

    Good for the judge, I like the ability to identify fools and idiots from a distance..

  20. JulesNoctambule says:

    Just the other day, I saw a young man dressed like that. He tripped over an uneven area of the sidewalk, caught his feet in his jeans and gave us all a clear view of his skinny ass. I felt sorry for the people in front of him.

  21. MustWarnOthers says:

    The whole look originated in Prison, as far as I know it was for two reasons:

    1) You aren’t allowed to have a belt, for suicide reasons.

    2) “Easy access”, as in homosexual behavior.

    Either way, it’s just one of the not cool things that Hip Hop culture (What’s left of hip hop culture that is) that dumb kids still do.

    Baggy clothes also had connotations to hand me down’s, or the more “Street” reason, that you had bigger brothers who will come to your aid if there’s a fight.

  22. jeff_the_snake says:

    i’m pretty skinny and shaped in such a way that 2″ of underwear hanging out tends to be the default setting on my pants even with a belt. i hike them up constantly but i’m glad to know that the occasional glimpse of boxer briefs is not something i need to worry about being arrested for.

  23. Zarile3 says:

    My brother does this…I constantly hound him for it…at one point, I mocked him by doing the same thing and realized that not only do you look like a fool, but it’s really uncomfortable too…I just don’t get how people can walk around like that.

  24. kylere1 says:

    I have no sympathy for idiots walking around showing me the crack of their heinie. Just arrest them for indecent exposure and be done with it.

    • JMILLER says:

      Yes, because crime of all crimes is being exposed to an ass crack. I will have my plumber arrested the next time he is here.

    • InnerRayg says:

      Only if we can arrest you for whatever idiotic behavior you also undoubtedly take part in as well. Everyone does stupid shit. It’s like human nature or something. Yeah, you better believe I do too.

  25. Absinthe says:

    I do not like this new saggy bottom boys trend of rather tight pants that are also sagged. Back when it started in the late80’s/early 90’s, at least the pants were baggy. they could at least walk with a normal gait with an occasional hitching of the britches. Now, they walk like effin’ penguins. The old baggy draws were often worn over basketball shorts or sweats. The new skinny ones don’t have room so now it’s boxers or boxer-briefs. I saw one guy with two pair of boxers. He sagged his pants almost at his knees and then sagged his “show” boxers a little too. perhaps I will take up the hobby of trying to make ’em run & film it for youtube.

  26. Emerald4me says:

    If they see some girly magazines and suddenly get a rise, then we have a case of indecent exposure. Until, the mall cops on Mall of America show will have little to do.

  27. biggeek says:

    Every time I see some guy wearing over-sized saggy pants, I think of Dick Van Dyke doing the penguin dance in “Mary Poppins.”

  28. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    If people want to look like idiotic douche bags, it’s fine by me. Around here, the saggers always wear printed boxers, so nothing shows.I don’t think it’s at all indecent, just dumb. As much as I hate it, it’s important that people’s right to look like idiots is protected.

  29. InnerRayg says:

    A victory for the first amendment is always a good thing.

  30. NarcolepticGirl says:

    My boyfriend’s ass is always showing. Even when he wears a belt. I think it might be because he doesn’t really have an ass to hold up the pants.

  31. Murali says:

    I’d say it is not even foolish or moron-ish. Hey, as long as there is something that is opaquely covering one’s private parts in a structurally unrevealing manner, why is it even foolish?

  32. The Marionette says:

    I personally don’t care if people wear their pants like that. I mean in a country that’s so wound up on freedom this, rights that we sure like to shun those who want to freedom to wear their clothing how they choose.

    • The Gray Train says:

      only when they look like a dumbass hanging their underwear out for the world to see. maybe we have the right to not have to look at people’s unmentionables?

  33. ss60 says:

    what’s ridiculous about these is if he had just wore the underwear, there would be no argument to it’s legality as they become outwear

  34. Paul in SF says:

    What happens to us when we get old? Back in the ’60s the old folks went nuts about us young ‘ens having long hair. Now those same folks who so gleefully wore those long tresses in their youth have their panties in a bunch over saggy pants. It made me sick when I read a while back that some cities have passed laws outlawing such low slung levies. Get a life, folks. If you can’t do that, at least stick with “Get off my grass!”

  35. lawgirl502 says:

    What idiot thought this might be a Constitutional issue? Perhaps they should’ve thought of a better charge than disorderly conduct…such as indecent exposure…or some other je ne sais quoi. If there is a private part exposed, butt crack, etc, that may qualify. Many local ordinances exist that prevent certain garments such as thong bikinis, if a crack or something shows.

  36. peebozi says:

    I like seeing whale tails…or even just a little bit of string. I find nothing wrong with most women walking around showing their thongs…and even just the strings is nice!

    America is too full of prudes!

  37. Kimmakimma says:

    I don’t really see what difference it makes. It’s a style and maybe someday it will go away.

  38. maztec says:

    Saggy pants are expressive conduct. Expressive conduct is free speech. Saggy pants are free speech. Thus, unless the government has a narrowly tailored compelling governmental interest to ban saggy pants, they can’t ban them.

    See how easy that was?

  39. PupJet says:

    I never liked ‘saggy pants’. Seriously…

    Granted it helps the police catch the idiots when they do something stupid, the point blank fact is that I get tired of walking down the street and seeing an idiot wearing their pants like that and looking like they are grabbing their crotch. Isn’t that constituted as indecency?