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Encyclopedia > Parachute pants

Parachute pants are a style of trousers (pants) characterised by the use of ripstop nylon and / or extremely baggy cuts. In the original loose-fitting, extraneously zippered style of the early 80s 'parachute' refers to the pants' synthetic nylon material. In the later 80s 'parachute' may refer to the extreme baggyness of the pant. They are typically worn as men's wear and are often brightly colored. Parachute pants gained media attention in US culture in the 1980s as part of an increased cultural awareness of break dancing. Image File history File links Parachutepants. ... Image File history File links Parachutepants. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pants. ... Ripstop nylon is the primary material used in Hot air balloons Rip-stop Nylon is a light-weight, water-repellent nylon fabric with inter-woven ripstop reinforcement threads in a crosshatch pattern, so the material resists ripping or tearing. ... This article very generally discusses the customs and culture of the United States; for the culture of the United States, see arts and entertainment in the United States. ... This USPS stamp depicts an 80s breakdancer and a boombox. ...

Contents

Functional clothing

Early break dancers occasionally used heavy nylon to construct jumpsuits or trousers that would be able to endure contact with the break dancing surface, or 'break pad', whilst at the same time decrease friction with the dancing surface, allowing speedy and intricate 'downrock' routines without fear of friction burns or wear in clothing. Some (possibly apocryphal) sources attribute the use of genuine parachute nylon having been cut to make such trousers possible. In the later 80s the term 'parachute pants' was used to describe any pants that were somewhat voluminous and narrow at the ankles, sometimes cinched with a tie cord running through the lower hem (unlike bell bottoms or wide leg baggy jeans), in order to increase mobility for dance moves requiring flexibility. Due to both the usage of nylon in the parachutes, and the large baggy appearance of the parachute pants, the style of pants became known as parachute pants. Often early outfits were of a single color or slightly patchwork in nature as they were sometimes made of found materials. A woman in a ski jumpsuit (what could also be called a one-piece skisuit). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pants. ... A breakdancer performing a one-handed freeze (also known as a pike) in the streets of Paris. ... This article refers to the device for slowing descent through the air. ... Found objects are materials found (such as pebbles, candy wrappers, or leaves) and not made (such as inks, paints, and crayons. ...


When manufactured and marketed as fashionable clothing, parachute pants were often constructed with lightweight synthetic fabrics, making this variety of pants more suitable for fashion than break-dancing.


Fashionable clothing

As fashion cut pants, parachute pants were popularized by hip-hop performers. From this point, they were often woven of loose, light fabric, with a low seat containing many folds, and sometimes printed with complex designs, ranging from neon patterns to prints resembling Middle Eastern pattern embroidery, contrasting the earlier monochromatic heavy jumpsuits and trousers. They were also sometimes seen with many zippers and pockets, although often the pockets existed only in order to apply another zipper or other superficial feature to the outfit, and the pocket(s) would not be large enough to be useable. Parachute pants were then used primarily in choreographed hip hop dancing, with the light, baggy fabric and folds visually enhancing the flowing rhythm of the dancers' moves, while allowing for greater comfort and mobility. Breakdancer in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ...


Decline in use

Infrequent in today's fashion, this garment has received little serious exposure since the late 1980s, and by the early 1990s parachute pants were sometimes mocked in popular culture as emblems of the 1980s, much as flares (also known as "bell-bottoms") are associated with the 1970s. Bell bottoms are trousers that become more wide from the knees downwards. ...


Parachute pants had made a hidden comeback, however, as "Rave Pants." For a short time in the late 1990s/early 2000s, neon, khaki, or olive drab colored heavy duty nylon pants became popular in the rave scene. While these trousers didn't exist for breakdancing, but rather participating in a rave, they were still primarily worn for functional reasons: many pockets for use with concealment of one's wallet/money, water, accessories etc. Often, the pants had a zipper around the calf used to remove the lower part of the leg, or otherwise vent the leg, to increase cooling on hot dance floors; and they were durable and inexpensive. While the surface of the textiles used didn't have the gloss associated with parachute pants, they were much closer to the early 1980s version than the misnomer given to "Hammer Pants." They were made of the same or similar heavy-duty artificial materials, with the same fit, featuring a profusion of pockets and zippers, and driven by functional awareness. Interestingly, one can find adults who have worn both types of trousers during their respective eras, and that person will make no association between nearly identical "parachute pants" circa 1982 and "rave pants" circa 1998, despite identical cut and material. Look up rave in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Use in camping

Having extra pockets or being able to drop them off with a zipper below the knee didn't come out of nowhere. The material was light and yet provided coverage, making it great for outdoors work, like camping. In fact, camping stores are (and continue to be) often the vendor of such pants.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Parachute pants - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (431 words)
Parachute pants (or Hammer pants after MC Hammer) are a style of pants or trousers characterised by the use of synthetic material and extremely baggy cuts.
Due to the use of nylon in parachutes, and the large baggy appearance of the pants, the pants rapidly became known as parachute pants.
Parachute pants were then used primarily in choreographed hip hop and rhythm and blues dancing, with the light, baggy fabric and folds visually enhancing the flowing rhythm of the dancers' moves, while allowing for greater comfort and mobility.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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