Rep. Tom Weathersby, R-Florence Credit: Mississippi House

Sagging, a popular youth fashion, could be a crime under legislation proposed in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Rep. Tom Weathersby, R-Florence, introduced the bill that would make it unlawful to wear pants or shorts in a way that “exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.”

Several local governments, around the country and in Mississippi, have proposed or implemented anti-sagging ordinances. The city of Jackson, Hinds County and city of Gautier have all proposed such laws in recent years, but none have been successful.

Weathersby’s bill would impose a verbal warning on the first offense. The third offense would draw a fine of $20. By the sixth offense, violators would have to pay a $100 fine and undergo psychological and social counseling by state departments of human services and mental health.

Weathersby said he filed the bill at the request of a constituent who encountered a group of young men whom the constituent believes wore their pants too low. When the constituent asked the men to pull up their pants, they became belligerent, Weathersby said.

“Personally, I like to see people dressed when they’re in public and I like to see people with their pants up,” Weathersby told Mississippi Today.

Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.