According to a new YouGov survey, “sagging”—that is, wearing the pants below the waist—might be the most maligned trend in modern American fashion.
For the survey, respondents were given a list of modern fashion trends and asked “Which of the following fashion trends do you feel are inappropriate in most circumstances?” 80% of respondents selected “sagging” pants as inappropriate, the most of any of the options.
The other choices, along with the percentage of respondents who thought they were inappropriate, were:
- Shirts or tops which show the midriff or belly: 51%
- Ripped or torn jeans or pants: 42%
- Extra-large or baggy shirts: 34%
- “Jeggings” (nylon leggings which look like jeans): 29%
As to be expected, answers varied across demographic groups. Younger respondents were more supportive of sagging or ripped jeans and midriff-baring shirts. Democrats, too, were slightly less likely than Republics to condemn most of the fashion trends (except baggy shirts). Finally, less educated respondents more accepting of all these fashion trends than their more educated peers.
We also asked respondents what they thought about two hypothetical scenarios. In one, we asked respondents whether they thought a judge or another official should be allowed to prevent people wearing inappropriate clothing from entering a courthouse.
50% said that a judge or official should “definitely” be allowed to prevent a person wearing inappropriate clothing from entering and another 22% said they “probably” should be allowed to. 12%, on the other hand, thought that a judge or official should “probably not” be allowed to prevent people from entering and only 9% said they should “definitely not” be allowed to.
A majority of all demographic groups did agree that judges or officials should be allowed to prevent people from entering, but older individuals and Republicans were more definite in their support compared to other groups.
For the second scenario, we asked respondents if they thought airlines should be allowed to remove passengers if their clothing was not appropriate, a case resembling a recent incident where Rock musician Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a plane for wearing saggy pants.
The response to this question was much more mixed than for the previous one. 24% thought airlines should “definitely” be allowed to remove passengers and another 24% said they “probably” should be allowed to. 22%, on the other hand, said they should “probably not” be allowed to remove passengers and 20% said they should “definitely not” be allowed to.
Similar to the last question, support varied across age and political affiliation. A majority of respondents over 55 years of age supported airlines’ right to remove passengers, while a majority of those under 35 thought that airlines should not be able to. Republicans were also more likely to say airlines should be able to remove passengers while Democrats were more likely to say they should not be allowed to.