I supervise and teach 6-9th graders. Nearly all the boy students sag their pants. I recently made a new realization about sagging that made me see it as beautiful. Sagging is kind of a paradox because it really goes against certain high fashion principles and what is considered the right way to wear clothes and wearing clothes is more or less utilitarian because they are such personally customized items and are made to serve a specific function. I mean there is really only one way to wear a sweater (unless you’re Erwin Wurm). And same with pants, they make the person look good when they fit not too lose and not too tight by highlighting the form of whatever is underneath (ass, legs).
Sagging visually articulates, “I don’t give a fuck.”
You don’t give a fuck about how someone else thinks you look,
you don’t give a fuck about what the “high” fashion industry says about how you should look and wear clothes,
you don’t give a fuck about how your parents and other authoritative figures tell you to look and wear clothes,
and you don’t give a fuck about how people of influence wear clothes. You also want to wear it differently than all other people in the world. Because you can and nobody can make you not, but some wish too. It also connotes a sense of carelessness akin to not giving a fuck.
And another reason they sag is because it’s sort of forbidden and bad. They can actually get a ticket for sagging too low in school these days! So if someone breaks the rules, that is just so compelling and exciting because that’s just the nature of doing bad things.
The “I don’t give a fuck” attitude is found in hip hop and rap a lot because that is the prevalent, easily detectable spirit of those genres. This attitude is not only found in hip hop culture, but in all great artists, because in order to make something great and novel at some point you really need to block out everyone except yourself. (Ex. Besquait, Warhol, Pollock.)
PS. After 30yrs old the coolness of sagging diminishes. (40 if you’re a rapper).