Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento will enforce a new dress code beginning Nov. 1 that restricts the way people can wear hoodies and sag their pants.
Arden Fair Mall’s new dress code is in response to a robbery that occurred in February. A person robbed a kiosk – a small cylindrical structure positioned in the middle of the mall – selling cell phones.
According to Steve Reed, security and guest services manager of Arden Fair Mall, the mall has a half a million dollar security camera system, but security was unable to identify the suspect because of a hoodie. Each time the person went under a security camera he hid his face with the hood.
This incident led mall management to place restrictions on this particular garment. Visitors can wear sweaters that have hoods, but with some limitations.
“A hoodie cannot cover any part of the person’s head because the person can easily pull the hoodie over their head if they want to commit a crime,” Reed said.
Sagging had nothing to do with the robbery in February, but it is included in the dress code in response to hundreds of complaints against sagging. Sagging is not banned, but people must make sure that their underwear or rear end is not exposed.
According to Reed, the mall is private property and it can enforce this type of dress code. If people violate this dress code, they will be asked to conform to it. If they refuse, they will be asked to leave the mall.
Reed does not believe that the dress code will hurt sales.
“It’s 90 to one in favor of the dress code,” Reed said. “We have had very little complaints about it.”
On Oct. 8, Reed said that a woman who saw him on the news approached him in Sears and gave him a hug because she supported the enforcement on sagging.
He believes that customers who have complained about excessive sagging did not return to the mall, but will return due to the new dress code.
“It is common decency to have some restrictions like a dress code,” Reed said. “I want this mall to continue being an A-type mall.”
Clothing stores in Davis do not have a dress code for their customers, but KetMoRee, a nightclub and bar in Davis does.
According to Sandip Dahal, manager and VIP coordinator, KetMoRee enforces a “casual chic” dress code to maintain an upscale, modern environment and attract patrons.
KetMoRee dress code rules include no jerseys, no plain white T-shirts, no hoodies and no excessive sagging. The bouncers of the club judge whether or not a person is violating one of the rules.
Similar to Arden Fair Mall, the hoodie rule at KetMoRee aims to deter crime from occurring. The excessive sagging rule upholds an elegant ambiance in the club, said Dahal.
“The dress code is not meant to discriminate anyone; it is meant to allow customers to have the nicest experience,” Dahal said.
UC Davis Professor of textiles and clothing Susan Kaiser believes that the rule restricting hoodies and excessive sagging provides order, especially since it does not ban what people wear, but how they wear it.
Kaiser said it is a quick-fix to the cultural anxiety produced by the different ways people wear their clothes. Even though dress codes negate trends like wearing hoodies and sagging, they can provide a sense of security and comfort. Dress codes create a new look to symbolize what the people who enforce dress codes want to express, she said.
“Dress codes attempt to address social class, ethnicity, age and gender,” Kasier said. “They’re not productive because they can reinforce stereotypes. Dress codes don’t address fundamental problems.”
Arden Fair Mall, in turn, will place restrictions on hoodies as a safety precaution, and excessive sagging as a way to relieve anxiety customers may feel when they visit the mall.
HELEN TREJO can be reached at email@example.com.