I'm looking for a term that describes (by association) individuals whose fashion (not the fashion itself) is perceived as distasteful by the community they live in.

An example of such fashion is sagging, which has been outlawed in certain jurisdictions and had received presidential quasi-condemnation:

"Brothers should pull up their pants"

While sagging in particular has been associated with young black men, I'm looking for a term that doesn't necessarily imply racism.

  • Why has this been down voted? Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 3:32
  • Sartorially challenged? Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 4:34
  • 1
    Having more carefully re-read the wording of the OP, I can see why this might be a consdiered a loaded question. I would therefore invite the OP to consider an edit, a rewording that would remove the suggestion that a sartorial fashion within a community has been made illegal. The OP's use of the words "outlawed", "jurisdiction" & "quasi" suggest illegality and a level of opprobrium that might be unjustified and misplaced. Moreover, a citation for the presidential quote would help matters. To conflate "sagging" with an implication of "racism" in the OP is misleading and insensitive. Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 7:56
  • How about "Klinger-esque"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 12:50
  • 1
    Disrespectful and obnoxious come to mind, especially dressing informal in a formal setting.
    – Stu W
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


If I have understood your question correctly (a big if)...


(I would only say this with a small subset of people that I think would understand it -- comes from lumpen proletariat)

More commonly I would say


Google's definition is "people or activities characterized as being disreputable and often criminal."

For example, if I'm mentoring a young man of a certain age and style, and have been asked to provide a ride to a job interview, I might say:

My friend, do you mind if we stop at my house on the way to your job interview? I noticed your pants have a loose fit and are on the saggy side. My son has a belt that I think will be the right size for you. We don't want the HR person thinking you're some sort of lowlife! And you know what they say, "Dress for success!"

Yes, it's a touchy subject, but sometimes the touchy thing needs to be said.

  • Nice! I like it more than "hoodlums", which is gender specific. Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 17:51

I understand you to be thinking of dress styles which are chosen deliberately to offend or to show membership of a small group within society rather than ones which arise as a result of poverty or poor dress sense. A good example from the 1970s would be the Punk style including chains, slashed clothes held together with safety pins, safety pins inserted through body piercings, bizarre hairstyles and so on. A modern example could be the Goth and Emo styles.

If that is the case I would suggest "Challenging", "Counter Cultural" or even "Revolutionary", although the last one is possibly a little extreme.

  • I think "counter cultural" has neutral connotations. The term I'm looking for would denote opprobrium by the larger community (though certain not by immediate one). Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.