Sagging Trousers and PJs in Public

By Ron Ross

Trousers worn with the waistbands around the hips so the whole world sees your underpants: bad manners. It is a style overwhelmingly favored by young males and causes them to walk with a bizarre gait and constantly “hitch up” their trousers so they don’t fall to the ground. I have one word to describe this fashion: revolting. That, however, may be why so many male youth wear their pants down, but it is still bad manners.

Women, on the other hand, often wear clothes that reveal too much either by slits, gaps, holes, missing buttons or by wearing clothes that are either too thin or too tight. That too is bad manners.

I’ve seen both men and women wear their pajamas to the grocery store: bad manners. Nightwear is absolutely appropriate if you are sleeping or lounging around your house. But trust me on this: your fellow-shoppers in the grocery store do not want to see you in your PJs no matter how much of your body they cover or reveal. Please take a little pride in yourself and change out of your jammies before you leave your house for anything much more than taking out the garbage. How long does it take to put on a pair of jeans and a shirt? Let me answer that: LESS THAN A MINUTE.

My thesis is simple: Living good manners includes wearing appropriate clothing in public.

High schools across the nation are creating dress codes for prom night as girls and some boys show up in clearly inappropriate dress. If you don’t know what I’m talking about Google “Inappropriate Prom Dresses” and you’ll be shocked. Some schools use posters plastered throughout the school that have pictures of appropriate and inappropriate prom dresses. Others distribute booklets that present the rules and the reasons for appropriate wear. I have just one question: Where the heck are the parents?

Good manners and your personal success require that you dress to fit the occasion. A three-piece-suit at a pool party is just as out of place as a bikini in church. A construction worker going for a job interview should not wear a new suit and an accountant going for a job interview in a bank should not show up in blue jeans and a hard hat.

The problem we face is how to deal with inappropriate dress.

When you see a rootless rebellious teenager wearing sagging trousers that reveal his plaid underpants, or when a female in her PJs walks in to Walmart you have two choices: You can stare and snicker at them or just look the other direction.

When inappropriate dress begins to happen on the job or in a school you can create a dress code and enforce it.

Could it be that some people are so socially unaware they don’t realize there is such a thing as appropriate dress? Perhaps it can be blamed on our dress-down society where blue jeans, wrinkled shirts, sockless tennis shoes and uncombed hair are in style.

But I don’t care if they are in style because first impressions are still lasting impressions. If you want to make a good first impression, if you want to be polite and gain respect from those around you, dress appropriately. Dress like the person you want to become.

Always wear appropriate dress because Manners Matter!

Do you have a story about bad manners? What bad manners would you like me to write about? Send me an email: and tell me your story.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross (B.A., M.Div., D.Th.), author/speaker/publisher.For more from Dr. Ross please visit his site: