Low-Slung & Baggy Pants
Advice, discussions, and reviews from the
Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults >
Low-Slung & Baggy Pants
Does anyone have advice for a frustrated parent of an older
teen girl who is wearing her baggy pants pulled down where
daylight should not show? I'm embarrassed for the way my
daughter looks and the message it is sending to others around
her. She is somewhat overweight and this style (if you can
call it style) is not helping her assets. No matter what I
suggest, she is determined to do her own thing. She is a great
girl in all other ways and I am at a loss how to help her past
this. Thanks in advance for any of your thoughts.
I think you have to just bite your tongue and not say anything
unless you are asked for advice. There are surely a lot of parents
who've suffered through their teens' fashion crazes. I don't know
how many middle school boys' butts and underwear I looked at over
the years and they all eventually got older and quit doing it thank
goodness. The one line I would draw is a family event where a
certain level of dress code is needed, such as a funeral or
If it makes you feel any better, your daughter has a lot of
company. I see lots of plump young women around here wearing
low-slung pants and midriff shirts. In a way, it's kind of a
positive thing. In my mother's generation women all wore those
horrible girdles so everyone would look flat-bellied and
flat-butted in their pencil skirts. I think it's kind of
refreshing that young women don't feel they all need to have the
same body type now!
mom of boys
7th grader wears his pants very VERY low
Please post this question anonymously: My son is a 7th grader at a
Berkeley public school. He is a normal kid and follows fashion
i.e. he wears his pants very low. In fact, very VERY low. His dad and
I, harking back to our own sartorial statements in middle and high
school have been pretty cool about it but it's getting harder. The
pants now seem to be bordering on the obscene. How are other parents
dealing with low slung trousers? Help!
I take the attitude that you have to pick your battles. (I remember wearing
However, I have told my son, if at any time I can grab his pants legs and
pull his pants down, then they are too loose and too low. I have disguised
this guideline by telling him it is for his own good as protection against
possible pranksters. We both know this isn't so, but humor helps. By the way,
I never have tried to pull his pants off. He is very careful to keep them
tightly belted and wears equally baggy t-shirts over the pants.
i bought some fun-looking boxer shorts for my son,
so if i had to look at his underwear,
at least it would be something colorful.
My son is 14 and I've notice the pants are drooping lower than last year
and I mean lower. I can see just about everything. I've expressed my
feelings on how it's disgusting and forever having him pull them up. It
didn't work. This is the style as they say. I've decided after one
year, I could no longer take it. In my house and call the shots. Pants
must be up, anywhere else he can do as he pleases. So far this works
but can't say for how long.
Clothes and hair are 2 of the ways kids express themselves, explore who
they are both separately and as part of a group. In general, I think it's
best to stay out of it. I've seen kids run across the street and have their
pants fall completely down to their ankles. It's their butt that shows!
They look rediculous to our eyes, not to mention how hard it is to get around
while you're busy hiking them up all the time. But it's their thing. Your
disapproval or laying down rules will only make a power struggle out of it.
I recommend humor. "Hey, those pants look plenty big" or "I like those
polka- dotted boxers you're wearing." When I was a teenager, my father once
commented when my friends and I were about to leave the house wearing the
almost white iridescent lipstick of the mid-sixties, "Going out for a night
at the cemetery, girls?" We thought we looked really cool. That's what
mattered. That and knowing I was loved even if I looked like a ghost.
I'm a desperate teenage mom, has a Sophomore son, and seeking advice
of the teenage parents. My son wears baggy clothes, which is my
reason asking for your input. I can not stand his clothes anymore. I
want go through his clothes and throw away the ones I don't approve
of. Is it a bit too extreme? I sat on this issue for awhile, but I
got to the point that I need to show my action.
I certainly know where you are coming from, my son, went through a period of
babby clothes and even worse a period of grunge clothes, during his middle
school years. Now a Freshman at Berkeley High he has really cleaned up his
clothes act - no more baggy - no more grunge. As far as to say I sometimes
catch him ironing his clothes of all things - and that is definately not
something he got from me his mother. My son is now 14 - my advice is to let
him get it out of his system - show your disapproval of course - I used to
tease my son not excessively but enough to let him know I didn't like his
fashion code at that time. When it came to buying some decent clothes and
finally getting rid of the grunge stuff - I promoted it - and bought him a
nice expensive jacket - geeing him along with some statements such as "how
handsome you are" "so happy the grunge phase is over" and not forgetting the
hugs and kisses, mind you only done when the friends are NOT around. On
note I think your son will grow out of it.
It's not just a style issue. It's also a question of where this
"style" comes from. THese baggy pants which almost fall off are
emulations of what felons in prison wear. In prison, it is one size
fits all. There are no belts, no buttons, no zippers, and so the
pants basically do not stay on well. Anyone who wants to see the
original style can find out the dates of the criminal calendar in
Superior Court, and observe the "style" of those in custody.
For myself, I do not want my son emulating felons in a prison, and so
since it is my money, and I am paying for his clothes, he does not get
to wear these pants. I have a 13 year old boy.
Yolanda, a lawyer
To help keep a sense of humor about it, watch the movie "Highschool
High." There's a scene where someone is talking in the foreground
while two boys wearing baggy pants try to climb the stairs in the
background. They make it up a few stairs and then tumble down. This
happens over and over again. In the end, one boy slings the other
over his shoulder and hops up the stairs. My baggy-pants boy was
I came across an interesting article called "the history of baggy pants"
that has some thoughtful things to say about baggy pants. Here is an
"As a style, baggy and loose fitting clothing has always been
associated with the derelicts and bohemians of society. Hobos,
transients, and the homeless are usually portrayed as having baggy
clothing. Jesters and clowns are also associated with exaggerated
clothing. Clowns wear larger than normal shoes and baggier than
normal pants. Whatever the case, baggy clothing has always been
associated with the fringes of society. Baggy clothing can be seen
as an affront to polite society.
"Capitalism has absorbed the initial shock and baggy clothing has
finally made it to the mainstream. So what now? What is the future
of baggy pants? Will it be a by-gone trend? For now, it appears that
baggy pants are here to stay in all of its bagginess. The cultural
phenomenon of baggy pants has diversified and grown into specific
sub-types of baggy clothing. For example, hip-hoppers, B-boys,
ravers, club kids, skaters, and snowboarders all wear baggy pants,
but the manner which they wear them is different. Raver pants are
huge, usually covering the shoes or completely draping the
ground. Skaters wear a variation of baggy pants in the form of
shorts (which were previously pants that were cut above the ankle)
so that the cuffs won't interfere with skating. Another variation of
baggy pants which has been recently reincarnated are
bell-bottoms. Most of our parents thought that they would never see
them again, but they're back."
The full article can be found at
I just want to thank Ginger for sharing the article she found about
the origins of the current fashion of baggy pants. I was very tired
of hearing the worn-out explanation that this style was emulating
prison garb. My son knows nothing about prison (thank goodness).
I just had to pass along this story my middle school
daughter told me the other day, in case anyone needs
reasons that might persuade their sons to wear less
baggy pants: at lunch, as 2 boys playfully wrestled,
one boy's very baggy pants AND his boxers slid down to
his ankles, completely exposing him to the entire
lunchroom! She thought it was "very gross", but since
no teacher saw this, he just pulled them back up and
this page was last updated: Oct 17, 2011
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network