Sagging sours Plains' image -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sagging sours Plains' image

January 23, 2007

Plains, GA. -- In the hometown of Georgia's only president, they want to do away with those baggy pants.

It's a fad called "sagging" and many store owners and people who live in Plains are concerned about the image it brings to the tourist town that gave birth to the 39th President. 

Store owners in Plains say the sagging pants trend is one they're seeing more and more of, but for a town that hosts nearly 68,000 tourists a year, it's something they'd like to disappear. The younger population in Plains feel their sagging pants are fashion forward.

"We pay for our own clothes," said 20-year-old  Fernando Brown. "I feel we should be able to wear them however we please."

The city council believes this fashion trend isn't all it's cracked up to be. Plains Councilman Eugene Edge says, "It's down to really some times you can see more than their underwear, basically some of them don't look clean, and this is a tourist town. It doesn't look right for this being the home of the 39th President to have with this sort of thing happening here in Plains."

That's why they want to tighten what they call a slack issue. "We're not trying to infringe on anyone's rights, basically we just want them to dress decently, because if you were walking behind someone it would make you feel uncomfortable to see that person's underwear," Edge said.

Store owners and residents tend to agree with the city council after all Plains, Georgia has an image to uphold.  "We definitely have an image here to uphold because we do get tourists from all over the world, every day, and we want to look our best," said Philip Kurland of the Plains Trading Post.

"We don't want everybody to come in and see the kids around with their slouch pants, and all that. We want people to think good about the community as they do now," said Plains parent Kimberly Hall.

While the younger set wants the freedom to dress however they want, council worries what more that could bring to Plains.  "When you don't have rules in a society you're inviting chaos, and the gangster mentality really, and if you allow it to go on you going to have more than that happen in the near future, that's my fear," said Edge.

Plains Attorney Jimmy Skipper has been asked to explore the legality of such a ban. Some schools have imposed dress codes to control trends like this, but elsewhere the bans have been less successful. 

Councilman Eugene Edge said until they've got a legal ruling on the proposed ordinance it wouldn't be enacted, but they are encouraging area parents to encourage teens from wearing the sagging pants.