Bans on Baggy Pants and “Urban Thug”

October 4th, 2013

Recently, I saw this sign in a window at a (delicious) Colombian restaurant here in Houston. It says in English and Spanish “No tank tops” and “No Urban thug.” I’ll let the picture speak for itself.



The Houston Chronicle recently reported on a McDonalds that banned baggy jeans.


A similar sign was posted at a Bar Louie restaurant in Memphis. A patron objected, and wrote this comment:

Memphian Garrett McQueen found the dress policy offensive and posted a review on YELP. The review caught the attention of the manager at Bar Louie … resulting in a discussion, one McQueen hopes goes beyond the Overton Square business owners.

“If restaurant or clubs or bars want specific dress that in a way that doesn’t exclude people or put out negative ideas about what I would consider black cultural clothing,” explained McQueen.

I can imagine someone challenging the legality of these signs on some sort of disparate impact theory of discrimination.