What is the Parachute Pants Style Called?

pantalon parachute

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, trends come and go, but some styles leave an indelible mark on the industry. One such style that captivated the fashion scene in the 1980s was the parachute pants. These distinctive pants, characterized by their baggy silhouette and gathered cuffs, became a symbol of urban fashion and self-expression. But what is the parachute pants style called? Let’s delve into the origins, influences, and enduring appeal of this iconic fashion statement.

Origins and Influences:

The pantalon parachute style, commonly referred to as “parachute pants,” owes its name to the resemblance of the fabric to the material used in parachutes. Made predominantly from nylon or synthetic fibers, these lightweight pants offered wearers both comfort and a unique visual appeal. The shiny, often iridescent, fabric added an element of futuristic flair to the style, making it an instant hit among fashion enthusiasts.

Hip-Hop and Breakdancing Connections:

The parachute pants style gained significant traction within the hip-hop and breakdancing communities. Artists such as MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, renowned for their music and dynamic performances, played a crucial role in popularizing parachute pants. The loose fit and flexibility of these pants perfectly complemented the energetic dance moves associated with these genres. As a result, parachute pants became synonymous with the urban music and dance culture of the time.

Distinctive Features:

Parachute pants boasted several defining characteristics. The baggy silhouette, often tapering down to gathered cuffs at the ankles, created a unique visual impact. This design allowed for freedom of movement, making parachute pants ideal for dancers and individuals seeking comfort without compromising style. The pants were frequently adorned with zippers, pockets, and exaggerated detailing, adding to their edgy and urban aesthetic.

Resurgence and Evolution:

While parachute pants may have peaked in popularity during the 1980s, fashion is known for its cyclical nature. In recent years, we have witnessed a resurgence of retro and vintage styles, bringing the parachute pants style back into the spotlight. Fashion designers and brands have reimagined this iconic trend, blending it with modern elements and catering to the preferences of contemporary fashion enthusiasts. Updated cuts, materials, and details have breathed new life into the parachute pants style, ensuring its continued relevance in today’s fashion landscape.

Alternative Names and Interpretations:

Although the parachute pants style is most commonly known by that name, various other monikers have been associated with similar designs. “Hammer pants” pay homage to MC Hammer, who popularized the style through his music and performances. The term “harem pants” is also sometimes used to describe loose-fitting pants with a different silhouette but a similar level of comfort and expression.


The parachute pants style, known for its baggy silhouette, gathered cuffs, and futuristic fabric, has left an indelible mark on the fashion industry. Its influence within the hip-hop and breakdancing communities, as well as its association with iconic figures like MC Hammer, has solidified its place in fashion history. Today, the parachute pants style continues to inspire designers, undergo modern reinterpretations, and captivate fashion enthusiasts seeking a blend of nostalgia and contemporary flair. Whether you call them parachute pants, hammer pants, or harem pants, this iconic style remains a testament to the power of self-expression and the enduring appeal of urban fashion.


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