Challenge Alert

Lock in $15,000 with your donation now by 6:30 p.m.

Donate now

Mayor: Wildwood’s saggy-pants ban likely to be approved

Visitors to the Wildwood boardwalk this summer could get caught with their pants down. The city’s commissioners will be voting tomorrow on an ordinance to ban boardwalk visitors from wearing saggy pants.

Wildwood Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr., who introduced the ordinance, said the measure came about as a result of families complaining about what they considered an indecent fashion trend. The ordinance would also require all visitors to wear shirts and footwear while on the boardwalk. 

As for the pants, the proposed law states that waistbands cannot be more than three inches below the waist. The Mayor said while the police won’t necessarily be pulling out measuring tapes it’s something that can be enforced. “The bottom line is—we know when you’re wearing your pants down too low, you know you’re wearing your pants too low,” Toriano said.

The Mayor and Wildwood’s two other city commissioners will be voting on the measure Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Troiano said he expects that the ordinance will pass, and if it does, it will go into effect after a 20 day waiting period.

Wildwood’s saggy-pants ban has been critisized as clamping down on an individual’s right to free expression. But the mayor said he and others have rights too: the right to not look at offensive clothing (or lack thereof). “This is your ass hanging out. This is your butt hanging out,” he said.

While the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has declined to comment on the issue, thought the ACLU has taken stances against similar laws in Mississippi and Florida.

“We want these young kids to have a good time,” Troiano said. “Just have a good time with your pants up.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.