Jersey Shore's Wildwood bans saggy pants on the boardwalk

Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:54pm EDT
 
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By Victoria Cavaliere

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The bottom line on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey: Pull up your pants.

The Jersey Shore city voted on Wednesday to ban saggy pants on its two-mile stretch of boardwalk. Offenders whose pants hang lower than three inches from the waist could be fined up to $200, and the statute also requires shirts to be worn on the boardwalk between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said the city was addressing dozens of complaints from visitors over the years, but the American Civil Liberties Union said the new rule infringed on freedom of expression and it might try to block it in court.

"We would get 100 emails and 98 would say they were offended by it," Troiano said of jeans or trousers slung far below the waistline, exposing the wearer's underpants.

"We're just asking people be a little decent to those who are offended. I've had kids say ‘I have a right to wear my pants like this,' and I respond ‘I have a right not to look at your rear end,'" Troiano said.

The low-slung trend has been criticized as everything from an eyesore to a promotion of prison culture, where the fashion originated among inmates who are not allowed belts.

Beachgoer Courtney Healy, 20, of Philadelphia said she supports the ban.

"It's completely gross and distracting," she said. "It's about time."   Continued...

 
Pedestrians wait to walk across a street near Times Square in New York in this August 28, 2007 file photo. Wildwood, New Jersey voted on June 12, 2013 to ban saggy pants on its two-mile stretch of boardwalk. Offenders whose pants hang lower than three inches from the waist could be fined up to $200, and the statute also requires shirts to be worn on the boardwalk between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files