Sagging, the practice of wearing pants with one’s shorts-clad ass hangin’ out, continues to be a controversial fashion trend despite the fact that it is favored by a small, otherwise unremarkable, segment of the population. Detractors will not readily admit to equating low waistbands with low standards, low IQ’s and low man on the totem pole, yet they will cheerfully caution against the hazards of lumbering along with a denim crotch slung around one’s knees: one can walk in sagging pants —but not run. This friendly warning is often expressed by well-meaning citizens wearing high-heeled shoes. Who, they ask, would hobble themselves thus to quietly suffer self-inflicted lower back, hip, or knee trauma?
Moral and aesthetic arguments aside, I would like to address the physical-damage concern: preventing baggy pants from succumbing to gravity requires constant hitching and a straddling gait – habits that become an integral part of the wearer’s swagger. This in itself however, does not necessarily condemn one to joint and muscle strain. Stilettos too will affect walking style, and yet stereotype-defying Alexander Technique teacher Chyna Whyne has effectively shown that it is quite possible to don kick-ass pumps with poise, flair and joie de vivre. Moreover, she successfully teaches surprising numbers of eager women to strut their six-inch-elevated stuff without hurting themselves. Though strictly a flat-sole gal myself, Ms. Whyne has my sincere admiration and has inspired me to offer guidelines promoting good use for the belt, suspender and cummerbund averse.
For those bold individuals who bravely conform to the fashion dictates of their peers, here are some basic suggestions that may help you stay hip-healthy, healthy and hip.
1. Body-mappers will be quick to tell you that your waist is not a real, anatomical body part. Map it anyway. Then be sure to lead with your head, not your navel.
2. Direct your head forward and up even when your baseball cap is facing back and down.
3. Assume a monkey position when reaching into a low-riding pocket or suggestively clutching your groin: this will afford length to your arms and won’t make you any more apeshit than you already are.
4. If you are favoring a particular leg weighted by a weapon (real or imaginary), think up on the dip and try not to land on the shoelaces of your opposing foot.
5. Finally, if you experience any tension running obliquely across the front and upper part of the thigh, anywhere between the anterior superior iliac spine down through the medial surface of the tibia – refrain from any grinding, krumping or dry humping on the dance floor until you have chilled in a semi supine position, preferably with a book under your head, if you have a book.