A Brief Guide to Parachute Pants
Parachutes have gone through a lot of developments and use. Its purposes are not just escape devices. After the World War I and II more developments to its design lead it to be used for other purposes such as sports and recreation.
Parachutes are safer than they were decades ago, which garnered the interest of thrill seekers and extreme sport enthusiasts. Although the parachute is the main focus, other accessories such as the pants are also equally important. Parachute pants have also been associated with the 80's.
The pants are used to go along with the parachute. Other designs include jumpsuits and wing suits. The design depends on its purposes. Companies make different prototypes that can be used in different kind of sports. They are also associated with the clothing trend during the 80's and MC hammer.
Pants for jumping and breakdancing
Parachute pants are made of ripstop nylon. This type of fabric is water repellent and lightweight. They have interweaving ripstop threads that are reinforced in a crosshatch pattern. This enables the pants to resist ripping or tearing. This type of fabric was also used to replace silk that were originally used in making parachutes in World War II.
These pants can be custom made and are made to fit the wearer. Companies have their own sizing system and use the customer's measurements to make one. Typically, they have standard features such as elasticized waistband, crocodile closing system, zip front fly and Velcro knee reinforcements. They can be matched with a top.
They also became popular in American culture in the 80's because of breakdancing. Breakdancers used nylon to make their own trousers and jumpsuits. This enables them to do fast and intricate routines that they call "downrock" without tearing their pants. It also decreases the friction to be able to do speedy moves. The use of nylon and its large baggy cut resembled parachute pants. It was then later on labeled as parachute pants.
They gained more popularity when they were used by hip hop artists. This time they were light weight, loose fitted, and styled with excessive zippers, folds and pockets. The baggy cut and folds creates a visual effect which enhances the rhythm of the dancer's moves. The pockets are not really usable and are merely used to add another zipper or another superficial feature to the pants. They are designed with bright colors, neon patterns, and Middle Eastern prints which are different from its predecessors made by breakdancers.
These pants went out of style in the 90's. They were rather mocked by people as an emblem of the era of excess which was the 80's. They did make a comeback though but they were used by individuals in the Rave scene. Unlike before they became functional and the many pockets were put to use.
They have a zipper in the calf to vent the leg for cooling in hot dance floors or remove the lower part of the pants. The design and materials are similar to the ones in the 80's but more usable. They were called "Phat Pants."
Parachute pants, along with body position, enhance skydiving and play a big role when competing in sports. There are many companies that manufacture this type of clothing. They can also add drag and play a role in the aerodynamics of skydiving and other parachute sports.