parachutists have an important role in keeping our environment safe and secure, and parachute pants are just some of the materials used for this purpose. Parachute pants, like all military and parachute gear, have come a long way in their development and use over the years. While originally only worn by special operations forces, nowadays they’re a common part of most parachute competitions and activities. This article takes a look at some of the more popular varieties, how they work and how the materials they’re made from can help keep our environment safe.
The term “parachute pants” is sometimes used interchangeably with” parachuting pants,” which is technically incorrect. parachute pants were initially a slang term for military trousers similar in design to harem pants – tight, loose-fitting pants that serve a dual purpose: they keep the body cool while retaining mobility. They were often worn by members of airborne units and gliders before eventually becoming a standard item for most military personnel, though the name “parachute” itself didn’t originate in this form. In fact, the term parachute pants came into use during World War II as a code word used by United States military personnel. The tight, warm pants were created to be worn in extreme cold weather conditions; they quickly became a popular item in high-altitude and cold climates all over the world.
Although they still remain a popular piece of military gear, parachute pants didn’t gain popularity among the general public until the late 1990s. Although the fashion for them had always been sporadic, their appearance on the fashion runway helped to make them more mainstream and popular. During that time, they were featured on several popular fashion shows, including the “So You Think You Can Dance” fashion show on MTV. The resulting images of paratrooper-style trousers with a fun, wacky attitude helped to popularize the style, making it an instant fashion hit.
Today, they remain a staple piece of hip-hop and fashion wear, offering a unique take on an already fashionable clothing item. This wide-range of uses for these trousers is part of what makes them such a popular fashion accessory. While many people think of them as just being a fashion statement, the history of parachute pants reveals much more than meets the eye.
The first major fashion designers who popularized the idea of parachute pants were African-American men who wore them to protect their lower legs from the sun, and later to protect their hips from heat exhaustion after a long flight. They were designed to minimize sweating and allow for adequate airflow so that excessive heat was kept at bay. The baggy, loose fitting pants made for summer were also ideal for comfort, allowing soldiers and pilots to wear them comfortably on long flights or in hot climates.
The baggy, loose fit proved to be much too attractive to the white collar white shirts that were all the rage in the early years of the popular hip-hop culture. Thus, they were given the name ‘parachute pants’ and were instantly popular. By the end of the seventies, rap and rock stars were sporting similar, baggy pants as well. Today, rap artists are often seen wearing these same style of hip-hop clothing, as well as sports-oriented attire.
Another group that became known for wearing these particular outfits were skateboarders. The ‘urban’ skaters of the time preferred nylon pants and not the bulky and cumbersome ones which were being mass produced during the decade. This preference for the lighter, less bulky material was eventually adopted by manufacturers producing denim apparel for the masses. The name ‘parachute’ soon came to represent the lighter fabric that these urban wear was often made from. Nylon pants, which had been all but forgotten by the time the ‘urban’ generation of skaters hit the block, were suddenly once again a hot seller in department stores.
Of course, the original intent behind the creation of these trousers was purely practical. Because the fabric is less slippery, parachute pants were invented to provide better balance as one skated down the runway or tried to maneuver their chopper into a base camp during air-to-air combat. Because the fabric is so light, the pants will ride up when a fall is sustained and will return to normal position fairly easily. However, due to its increased elasticity, these pants are also very comfortable as they will not restrict movement during a high Adrenalin rush.