For many years, parachute pants have been a popular style of pants, usually characterized by their use of high-density ripstop nylon, in particular the more modern “perforated” nylon styles. In the late 1980s, the term “parachute” began to be applied to describe any type of pants that had at least one or more small openings in them, where someone could easily remove a few zippers or buttons to gain access to the inside of the pant. “Parachute pants” quickly became a generic name for any sort of tight-fitting pant used in active military or civilian fashion; though the term “parachut” itself is French and originally refers to the trousers made by the military. Today “parachut” identifies any sort of pants with small openings. These days, the term is commonly used to refer to any kind of pants, though it’s most often used to describe the military style pants that have small openings in the front.
The original tight-fitting pants with the open fronts were called “parachut” or “pantaloons” and were designed to be worn by Army Air Force Pilots during combat missions. This type of pant was designed so that when a pilot was not flying a plane, he could still wear the pants and use them as a parachute if his parachute was not accessible. Originally, these panties were just large enough to be comfortable, but changed later to include additional features, including open fronts and even cargo pants with cargo pockets. The new style was called parachute pants and remained the most popular style up until the 1990s.
After the early 1990s changes in the fashion industry, parachute pants underwent a few changes that helped make them much more popular. One of these changes included colorization – the old school colors (blue, black, white) were still available, but some manufacturers began to produce pant styles that were specifically designed for men. Also, the nylon material that was used to create the original pants was often dyed in bright colors to make the garments even more attractive to potential buyers. These changes helped open up the market for the product and helped it gain a wider following.
Although the nylon material was extremely durable, the early 1990s also saw a significant decrease in the weight that was attached to the parachute pants. This reduction in weight allowed for greater ease of movement, which in turn, made the trousers much more comfortable. Also, the decrease in weight also decreased the amount of wind resistance that the fabric encountered when it was being worn. Prior to this change, the heavier the item was, the more wind resistance it encountered. Therefore, the lighter the item was, the better weather conditions it would retain, making it even more appealing to prospective buyers.
The term “parachut” is derived from the French phrase “pastes de Chapeau” or “old socks”. The earliest use of the term “parachut” is dated to the late nineteenth century. Since then, the term parachute pants has become used in a generic sense to describe any type of pants that are worn by parachutists. In popular usage, the term parachute pants refers specifically to military style pants that are designed to be worn under a parachute during an air drop. These pants have become extremely popular in sports fashion, especially since the mid 1980s.
Today, you can still find many older people who are wearing parachute pants. The older generation is drawn to the retro look that comes with the original pairs of these particular pants. The modern male population is attracted to the rugged durability that is inherent with the nylon pant. There are even fashion boutiques that are devoted to offering men retro military style parachute pants and other such clothing items. It will be interesting to see where this style of apparel takes over in the future, as it was a fashion trend that was quickly embraced by both men and women.