What it was like Growing Up in the Eighties (1980s)
  • Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

80s Parachute Pants

Parachute Pants

If I say the word “parachute,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? If you were born in the 90s, you probably think of a device that’s used when jumping out of a plane; if you are a Fortune 500 exec, you probably think of your retirement or severance benefits; however, if you grew up in the eighties, the word “parachute” is more likely bring parachute pants to mind.

What are parachute pants? Back in the early 1980s, parachute
80’s parachute pantspants were tight, shiny pants made of synthetic material–the stuff used to make parachutes. These pants were originally created for break dancers who needed pants that could stand up to the abuse of break dancing. They typically featured multiple zippers to add to the edgy feel.

While women sometimes wore parachute pants during the 80s (I did in the 7th grade! — charcoal gray and so cool for stylin at the skating rink), they Rockin’ the Parachute Pants: Richard Blade of KROQ with Mark Studnerwere most often worn by men. It is unlikely that this particular trend will make its way back to the mainstream even if it was seen on the runways last Spring (2009). Every fashion decade has lingering cringe-worthy trends. Parachute pants may very well be the skeleton in the closet of 80s fashion.