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South Carolina want to make it illegal to wear baggy trousers

'The pants now are being worn below the knees,' says Wendell Gillard, who co-sponsored the bill

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 21 February 2018 12:44 GMT
While breaches would be deemed a non-criminal offence, baggy trouser wearers would be subject to fines
While breaches would be deemed a non-criminal offence, baggy trouser wearers would be subject to fines (Flickr/Tony Alter)

Baggy trousers could be banned in South Carolina if the state's politicians get their way.

A joint effort by both Republicans and Democrats has seen them propose a law which would impose fines and community service punishments on those caught wearing them.

The bill will make it illegal for people to expose their skin or underwear by wearing their trousers “three inches below the crest of his ileum”, which is the top of the hips.

While it will not be a deemed a criminal offence, those thought to be breaching the law would be subject to fines.

Violators would be fined $25 (£18) for the first offence, $50 (£36) or three hours of community service for a second offence, and $75 (£54) or six hours of community service for a third or subsequent transgression.

Democrat Representative Wendell Gilliard, a steelworker and union official who serves on the South Carolina House of Representatives, co-sponsored the bill.

“We have to lead by example. It is necessary because it’s not getting any better," he said.

He added that he first sponsored a law to get young men to “wear their pants properly” while in city council. People assumed he was “crazy” to do such a thing 10 years ago, he said.

Arguing that the situation had greatly worsened since then, he said: “The pants now are being worn below the knees".

Mr Gilliard added that he was in favour of the measure because he is keen for men to be treated the same way as women.

“If a female was to go around in the same fashion, pants down by their ankles or below the waist, we would see that as indecent exposure”, he said.

The bill which was introduced on 15 February is predominately sponsored by Democrats.

Wearing baggy trousers is commonly called “sagging” in the US and refers to wearing trousers which sag so that the top of them is significantly below the waste and sometimes shows the underwear.

In the 2000’s, many local governments, school systems, transit agencies and airlines passed laws against the fashion vogue in the US.

City councils passed "droopy drawers" laws, so-called saggers were kicked off flights and buses, and community leaders established "Stop the Sag" billboard campaigns.

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