Parachute Pants-How MJ and MC Hammer Brought Along the 80s Trend

parachute pants

There is confusion as to which pants are parachute pants? There are two ways to go about it. One is the pants that Michael Jackson rocked in songs like Bad and Billie Jean. These pants showed the quality that resembled actual parachute cloth material. The other one was the pants that were made popular by MC Hammer in songs like You Can’t Touch This. These “Harem” pants resembled parachutes due to large amount of room they had in the crotch area.

In this blog, we shall taking a bit more about what are parachute pants, and what makes them so popular even till today. We will be talking about how they came to be known, who wore them, and what do they look like.

Here are 3 facts about parachute pants:

  1. The Who: Frankly speaking, these pants came to the limelight with two specific people, Michael Jackson and MC Hammer. While the former is one of the greatest pop singers the world has ever seen and will ever see, the later is the reason why these pants are also called “Hammer pants”.

To be more specific, remember Michael Jackson walking down a glowing path while talking about Billie Jean? The black shiny pants that he wore, those were parachute pants. Also, the jet black costume he wore in Bad, singing on top of his voice, those were the parachute pants 1980s. He also rocked in them during his stage performances around the world.

On the other hand, we have Stanley Burrel, better known as MC Hammer (his stage name), one of the pioneers of pop-rap. We all have heard his famous records “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit”. The flashy dance moves and the choreography set new standards and it was right then that he brought along his “hammer pants”. Huge, spread-out and loose, these could be said to have helped him makes his dance moves swifter and they slowly spread like wild fire and was the talk of the town in the 80s and 90s.

The pants these 2 wore were different in looks, but both are today called parachute pants. One was due to its quality (MJ’s), the other due to its looks (Hammer’s).

  1. The What: The parachute pants worn by MC Hammer were big, allowing more room for him to make his moves. It makes dancing a lot more comfortable. They came with a lot of zippers and pockets and other sort of fasteners to make them look unique and stylish. Most of them were only added for the looks without any function.

The parachute pants 1980s worn by Michael Jackson resembled regular pants. But their material appeared like the one taken from a parachute. Hence, the name “parachute pants”. These also had zippers, again for looks only. However, it was their shiny feature that made them look so cool. And perhaps even cooler with Michael Jackson wearing them and asking “Who’s Bad?”

  1. The Why:The main reason what made parachute pants so popular was hip-hop and breakdancing. Parachute pants were scientifically perfect for breakdancing. (We are talking about MC Hammer’s , not MJ’s) The space provided the legs to be moved faster and easier without any trouble. Moreover, their build made the movements appear swifter and complete, thus adding to the overall dance. Both men and women chose to put them on and shake to the beat. The parachute pants perfectly suited the larger-than-life style that we all remember 1980s by.

So, now that you know what are parachute pants, why not go and grab a pair yourself? They maybe old-school but sometimes, it is the old-school that works the best. So, if there’s a party coming up in your neighborhood, you know how to rock the stage.