Thursday, November 5, 2009

No. Just . . . no.

OK, so I have to tell you that I don't see myself as particularly controlling when it comes to clothing the urchins. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I feel firmly that they should be clothed. And I am all for clothes that are appropriate for the venue: school clothes aren't good at the beach; church clothes are not for raking the yard. I think we can all get behind these universal truths.

Although I will also tell you that the youngest urchin showed up once at her big brother's basketball game wearing a tutu and cowboy boots -- and I felt pretty good about that. She was not nude, and it had been a really long day, so don't be a hater.

The urchins might offer a differing opinion about my controlling ways, offering as examples days when I may or may not have said, "We are not leaving until you change out of that hideous shirt," or, "When has it ever been OK to wear sweats to church?!" -- or words to that effect. I would argue that I have allowed urchins who shall remain nameless to wear clothing that other mommies might frown upon: leggings have been worn to Mass. Spaghetti straps have appeared in public. These concessions on my part are gracious and magnanimous, which is to say that I am too lazy to argue the point.

tangent: The tall boy serves as a Master of Ceremonies in our church's altar server program, which means that when he serves he stands right up on the altar with the priest -- in a cassock and surplice (very conservative priest-like garb). He has also been known to wear a pair of black and white checked Vans to church. A couple of times we have arrived at church to find that the Master of Ceremonies on the schedule has shirked his duties. The tall boy, being a responsible sort -- and being nudged and goaded by his mother -- has then stepped up and volunteered to fill in for the missing M.C. From the congregation's point of view it is hilarious to see the tall boy dressed like a baby priest, with the checkerboard shoes peeking out from under his cassock. From the clergy's point of view the shoes are problematic, although they do follow the priesty color scheme.

I'm guessing the Pope wouldn't have that much on it.

But people! The clothing trend that I cannot abide is the "saggy baggy pants" look. I have grave moral misgiving about any attire that is designed to display one's skivvies (Linsday Lohan, I 'm talking to you), but what I really don't get is just the basic physics of the baggy pants. I'm serious: how do they stay up? And by "up," of course, I mean "precariously perched on the lower hip region, below the butt cheeks, bunched in such a way as to suggest a diaper that needs to be changed." I regard the whole phenomenon as a gravity-defying miracle.

I have researched this fashion trend vigorously, where vigorously means I googled the phrase "baggy jeans." From the data I gathered (read: pictures on other blogs) it appears that the baggy jeans are an homage of sorts to the beloved song stylist Li'l Wayne. Tony Bennett, eat your heart out.

Hey! How cool would it be if teenaged boys all over America started wearing tuxedos to school as a shout-out to Tony Bennett?! Get started on this, people!

The whole thing reminds me of that Little Golden Books favorite, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, which my urchins remember fondly, but always made me crazy because the elephant so clearly just needed to pull his pants up!

What do you think?!

Image Credits:
Billy, Eleanor, and Enyeart: Orville Wright (yes,
that Orville Wright) 1898/Library of Congress
Cowboy ballerina: Heidi Malott 2008
Saggy skater: courtesy of
Tony Bennett: Kevin Winter 2004/Getty Images


  1. If we start a tuxedo trend, we will be paying very high dry cleaning bills.

  2. When my godson, and nephew was about 15 I would give him a hard time about his baggy pants (thankfully a short lived phase) ~ He is tall, then just short of 6 feet tall, and very thin. I would comment with enthusiasm, when he wore those gravity defying pants "WOW D, you have lost soooo much weight! I can't believe how big your pants are!? Wow, how did you do it? Atkins?" He would give me this look...and we would both laugh. I still think it is a ridiculous look but perhaps I am just jealous as my pants get tighter and tighter with each passing week!

  3. Loving this post! I remember, at the hospital one day when a group of "youths" came in. Their pants were so baggy that they had to walk with their legs spread out wide just to hold them up! I asked if their mother knew that their underpants were showing. They said "No, ma'am" and immediately hiked up their pants.

  4. That's an insightful trip around the world.

    While I thought the baggy phase would be behind us by now ("pun"-ishments needed) I don't know what's emerging, the moon shines bright on the old Ky home! :)

    I have family in Botetourt County (near Roanoke), VA. That part of the state is lovely! I want to spend some time up in the Shenandoah Valley one day.

    The mandolin is a joy, do you have one? Just get one, you can get started fairly inexpensively, email me for a recommendation or go to Elderly Instruments!and search mandolins.

    Thanks so much, I just love "effusiveness"! :)

  5. I let my kids wear play clothes to Mass the entire time they were growing up. When my son made his first communion, he wore black Nikes and one of the moms turned to my friend and said, "I feel sorry for the kid who doesn't have dress shoes." I was kind of surprised that anyone noticed. He didn't own a pair of dress shoes until he was 16.

    I agree about the baggy pants. I wrote a blog when the town of Riviera Beach tried to outlaw ghetto low pants. Someone actually got arrested for wearing pants that defied gravity and showed the tops of his underwear. How funny is that, to be able to say you have a police record for wearing saggy pants!

  6. You must have seen my son, recently! He tends to let his pants ride a little low. He does hike them up when I mention it, though.

    I love the tuxedo idea! I think parents across America should sneak into their sons' closets on Saturday night and replace all of their clothes with tuxedos! I would love to see my son wearing the tux Joe Pesci wore in My Cousin Vinny. Of course, he'd probably like it.....

  7. And I'm on the opposite end of teenage dysfuncional wardrobes. My preteen wears the super tight skater pants. Granted, they stay up on his waist, but Lord child! Can you breathe? LOL! He would wear a tux. He's in to the whole James Bond look. That however would be too costly at the rate he's growing (5'5", 124 lbs, and he's only 11).

  8. I would prefer tuxes to baggy jeans...I would gladly pay the dry cleaning bills.

  9. I HATE that look. Makes me want to go and pull them up for them. Thanks for the laugh. Very funny!


  10. I applaud parents who are secure enough in themselves to let their kids go out in cowboy boots and tutus! Childhood is the one time in our lives when we can truly exercise our full creativity in everyday dress without being stared at disdainfully or getting arrested. I agree with you about the baggy pants trend ~ Ewww! I don't get it. I also don't get the teenaged girls who wear the "way too tight" jeans and the "way too short" tops so that their lingering babyfat muffintops over the sides of their jeans. It's not that I have a problem with young women embracing their curves and being self-confident, but exposed midriff flesh in abundance is just not cute, tasteful, or attractive. What ever happened to a little modesty? Yeah, I say bring back the Tony Tux for boys and the Audrey Hepburn/Jackie O dress for girls ~ CLASSY!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.