I was in my car, on the way back from a shopping trip to *cough* Whole Foods, when I spied a man and what seemed to be his female partner and their little kid. They were young, and he was wearing his jeans past his you-know-what, and that little litany began in my head, "why...?" Then, I realized something about fashion. Now I would say that I never really liked what is called "fashion," and I've never been one to be fashionable (I thought.) I realize what's true is that I don't like fashions from other people's subcultures.
We are tribal beings. We forget this all the time, but millions of years of evolution of primate behavior is not going to be erased in a few hundred years. I remember being at a geeky-activist-crunchy-granola lovefest last fall, and I was noticing people's shoes. And I was thinking, "wow, there are some cool shoes here." You know the types, Keens, funky Converse sneakers, Doc Martins, etc. It's natural for us to want to know that we belong to our tribe. Is the (mild) mohawk I now sport, or my "Eat More Kale" t-shirt any different than pants down the thighs? No, not really. My choices in clothes and shoes, though I tend to shop only when I am in pretty desperate need of a replacement to something, are all, really, a reflection of the fashions of my chosen subculture(s). I wear what people around me wear, and what people I want to emulate wear, even if I'm not exactly aware of that wish to emulate. That man's choice of how he wears his pants has everything to do with what tribe he belongs to, and what makes people of that tribe recognizable to each other.
Of course Fashion (with a captial 'f') is a bit of a different thing - but it is likely influenced by some subcultures, and influences others. But fashion (with a little 'f' - our clothing choices, if we are in a position to make them) is something that we all engage in, even subconsiously. So I'm going to stop that litany every time I see someone with their pants around their thighs, and just remember my mohawk.