Why Were Parachute Pants Popular?

Our parachute pants are the perfect piece of clothing for summer. This is a practical and versatile item that you can wear to the beach, at home, to the office, or anywhere else.

They used to be extremely popular in the past around the 80s, but they are coming back into fashion now. 

Why Were Parachute Pants Popular?

This guide will be covering exactly what parachute pants are and why they were so popular back in the day and what styles were trendy. It will also cover whether people are starting to find this look trendy again and the reasons why! Find out more here. 

What Are They?

Parachute pants are trousers which are nice and open and airy, they are considered very functional clothing options which used to be very popular among breakdancers.

The reason for this is because they need to be able to do their twists and flips easily without being restricted. 

The majority of these pants were made for men, but there are also different colors and materials for women as well.

Even though in the past they were mainly used by celebrities starting these trends, they are becoming very popular again now for yoga classes and everyday errands for comfortability. 

What Were They Put With?

In the past, people loved to contrast the bagginess with something a bit tiger and more fitted on the top. Most people do not just want to be baggy all over if they also want to show off their figure a little bit.

Some men used to wear a vest top with them, but a nice turtle neck or crop top is a good option for women (if you want to know how to crop a sweatshirt, read here).  

There were hundreds of different patterns to pick from which aren’t all coming back into fashion, but were very popular back then.

Some of these include, zebra print, paint splatters and leopard print. Even Though some of these are deemed as popular prints, they can be a bit much in modern society for many.

If you are someone who loves the style now , but you do not want all the bright colors, you can always keep it simple with the solid colors like black, gray or gold. 

Leather Jacket

For people who like to recreate the looks from the 80s, a leather jacket was always a very stylish look for many. This is very popular because it is an easy outfit to put together and you can put any of the different styles of pants with the leather jacket. 

High-Top Sneakers

High-top sneakers are even more popular now then they were back then. However, back then, they used to be one of the easier pairs of sneakers to wear with the parachute pants and they go with everything.

The most popular colors were definitely black and red and they stand and make bold outfits. 


You can either pair sweaters or oversized t-shirts with them because it just adds to the look of being casual and trendy. Teens are definitely grabbing this style now because it is something unique and different to wear in this day and age and people love to stand out.

This is one of the most comfortable ways to wear parachute pants with comfortable tops and sweaters and nothing tight restricting your movements. 

Sports Jackets

when you think of parachute pants, you might also think of vintage sports jackets to create an 80s look (Check out How To Recreate Glamorous 80s Looks). They were always oversized and would match the pants really well.

It was always important to match the pants, sneakers and jacket together to create the right look. 

Denim Shorts

If you are looking for a more edgy look, you can also look at wearing the shorts with the parachute pants. This is something that wasn’t the most popular style in the 80s because it was quite edgy, but it was definitely a trend that was followed. 


What was brilliant in the 80s about parachute pants was you could match them with any type of overalls (Check out How To Style Overalls). When you think of overalls, you might think of a painter, but back in the day, it was definitely in fashion.

This was another way to be very edgy and wear something a bit different to everyone else! Matching them was always pretty easy too! 

Who Were They Targeting?

Why Were Parachute Pants Popular?

Parachute pants were targeting mainly young men who were into the rap scene and wanted to follow the trends of what celebrities were wearing.

However, there were also a smaller market for female pants too which were on offer, but they aren’t as popular back then.

In modern society, they are created for both men and women a lot more equally because they are worn for more casual wear for both and are viewed as something you might stick on for a yoga class or just running down the shop.

People now want comfort in their everyday lives which might be why they are coming back! 

High Waisted Versions 

There was a time in the 80s where different styles of these parts started emerging when you could even wear them low or high. This also became very popular because they became more versatile for people who don’t like to wear low waist clothing. 

Where Did The Name Come From? 

The parachute name came from the material that was used back then to make them. That thin nylon was the most popular look for them. They also did include various zips which resembled a parachute as well. 

When Was The Most Popular Period? 

They were really in fashion in the 80s, specifically in 1984 and 1985. This was because this was when hip hop and R&B was at its most popular across the world. Different trends started emerging from celebrities which were popular among the public too. 

You can look mainly at MC Hammer who wore them all of the time and even gained a nickname because of them. This influenced many young men to start wearing them and was most popular among this demographic. 

Where Were The Influences From? 

Where did all of the influence come from apart from the parachutes for the name? Most of the influence came from places in India which enhanced different styles and patterns than what was originally produced.

This was known as a more unique style and taking this popular trend and making them slightly different with more edge.

Celebrities were a huge part of this popular trend. Everyone knows that when celebrities start trends, most people are going to start wearing them if they like that genre of music because they want to be a part of that style and follow the trends. 

It is the same today when it comes to different styles and trends that the general public will follow and more so due to social media.

Therefore, this is why they are coming back into fashion because people love picking styles from the past to bring back as something new and slightly different. They have started changing the materials and patterns to make them fit into modern fashion.


Overall, are you looking to get back into wearing the parachute pants for more functional uses? Why not! Many people love wearing these in their everyday life because they are just so comfortable to wear and have no restrictions on your stomach or legs.

Sometimes it can be a bit annoying wearing tight clothes because you can’t wait to just take them off. 

People also love wearing them for particular exercises like yoga because it allows them to perform a wide variety of movements they need to do. They are not see through like some leggings and wont press against their belly. 

Hopefully this guide has given you some great insight about why they used to be so popular and if they are coming back into fashion now.

There are many reasons why they are popular and the main reason is, it all depends on who is wearing them and influencing people to see their advantages! Celebrities play a huge part in different fashion being popular, this was the same back then and the same now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Parachute Pants 1980s So Popular?

In the 1980s they became extremely popular in certain genres of music such as hip hop (Also check out 90’s Themed Hip Hop Party Outfits) and rap. This became a trend within this industry, showing a more casual and comfortable look which goes with any sneakers.

Many nicknames have stuck over time for people who wore them frequently and many people are now starting to wear them again now. 

What Are Parachute Pants Called In Rap?

Even though they were parachute pants, people in Hip Hop and rap decided to give them another name called Harem pants.

Most people didn’t like calling them parachute pants because they did not want to resemble a parachute which is why you might hear lots of different names flying around about them. 

Willa Price