1980s Fashion History, 1980s Outfit Ideas, 1980s Women's Clothing

1980s Pants in Fashion

The 1980s have also been a decade associated with bold styles. People believed, the bigger, the better. Although it was still a colorful decade, fashion changed much well. It was not about the hippy looks anymore. It was all about designer pants that took fashion to another level.

Some top the trend despite having many brands and varieties of pants (trousers, breeches, or jeans) styles in the ’80s.

History of 1980s Pants Fashion

The existence of pants could be older than Moses. The Bible affirms this in Exodus 28:42. Although older versions mentioned breeches or undergarments, newer Bible versions were clear enough to mention trousers.

Nevertheless, the oldest trouser based on known history to man was traced in China. It was specifically found in the Yanghai cemetery in Turpan, Sinkiang, around the 13th centuries BC. In the middle ages, some parts of Europe wore breeches, an informal type of modern pants. Still, it was solely for men. It was an expectation for every woman to look feminine with petticoats. To give them a distinctive figure different from men and dress to conceal their sexuality.

However, as time goes by, societal restriction becomes looser. Many reformers start to pave the way for pants and fashionable wear for women. At some point, women wore something similar to pants. For example, women wore loose pantalettes as an inner dress but as a single piece of cover.

In the mid 19th century, the Victorian dress reform movement gave pants some popularity but no widespread change. Until the 20th century, after WW1, women saw a relaxation in societal rules and standards. From the ’60s through the ’70s, fashion begins to transform into what it is today. The likes of André Courrèges, a French designer, begin making long trousers/minis for women as a fashion piece. Then, European designs greatly influence American fashion. What was socially unacceptable before became comfortable workwear for women. Women became bold enough to wear and flaunt varieties of the 80’s pants and other fashion styles.

Types of 1980 pants

Men’s fashion shifted from the unconventional hippie look to a more modest one. Common pants were straight-leg jeans and tracksuits. For the women, slightly tapered pants, jumpsuits, designer jeans, and stirrup pants were in vogue.

On a general note, 80’s pants generally included various pants styles. The likes of harem pants, tapestry pants, parachute pants, and metallic jogger pants were common.

  • Parachute pants

1980s Parachute Pants

The 80s parachute pants typically were of nylon material similar to a parachute, hence, the name parachute pants. It has distinctive features of being wider at the hip and thigh, narrower from the knee, and tighter at the ankle.

America saw a surge of popularity in break dancing in the ’80s. It was for this reason that parachute pants became even more popular. Artists like MC Hammer wore it for flexible performance and its lightweight material. With the likes of Bugle Boy Company, parachute pants were much available to both genders.

  • Harem pants

1980s Harem PantsSome persons may find it hard to differentiate between harem and parachute pants. However, if you have ever watched Aladdin by Disney Movies, you will understand better. The pants Aladdin and Princess Jasmine wore are typical examples of harem pants. It is wider from the hip down and only tighter at the ankle.

Harem pants were also popular in the 80s and usually worn in belly dancing. However, you can rock it with any top that fits.

  • Stirrup pants

1980s Stirrup PantsBefore this time, stirrup pants were only suitable for sports. Women wore it as sportswear for horseracing.  However, its recognition soared in the ‘80s. Instead of serving as sportswear, women turned it into street style.

The reason was that it was convenient, comfortable to wear, and made of breathable material. It has a close resemblance to leggings. Unlike it, it has a strap worn beneath the foot arch, which holds it firm without pulling up.

The 1980’s pants were fashionable but even more fashionable now with their modified styles and design.


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