Citing an irrepressible crime wave, Charleston City Councilman Francis Fussbudget suggested a first line of defense on Sept. 1, proposing a ban on popped collars.
"It started with the kids raising hell at the Yacht Club," he told his fellow council members. "Then they were stealing polo shirts from the Banana Republic. Now, they're nothing but cokeheads and Oxycontin pushers."
To punctuate his point, Fussbudget brought out a mannequin with a pink polo. The collar was popped for everyone to see; a pair of Ray-Bans were wrapped around the back of the dummy's neck.
Officers say they have not drawn the connection between popped collars and law breakers, but Fussbudget says the ordinance goes beyond fighting crime. It's also about self-respect.
"If your collar is up, your depression is up," he said.
Rumors suggest the popped collar trend began in prison with Thomas Ravenel, who was convicted of handing out drugs to his friends. Ravenel's greater crime may have been in passing along not-so-savvy fashion advice to his fellow inmates.
Fashion experts say they're just glad kids aren't walking around in Al Parish's clown costumes. "When they're driving around in leopard-print convertibles, we've got a problem, darlings," said fashionista Nina Garcia.
If successful, Fussbudget says his next targets will be hooped skirts, ascots, Member's Only jackets, any tourist T-shirt, and that "Jennifer Aniston hairdo."
Asked about his popped collar, one College of Charleston student who did not want to be named said he didn't want his mom seeing a hickey on his neck.