Fashion, Trends

An ’80s pants Trend is back

Nostalgia for the win.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Dec 31, 2021

While it may be the last day of 2021, fashion is cyclical. It has a way of repeating itself every 20-30 years, with new generations (cough, cough TikTok) feeling as if they are the first to discover the trend. Why do you think Y2K is trending so hard right now?


You can’t scroll past Instagram without seeing cow prints, flare jeans, bucket hats, and accessories from the early ’00s clouding your feed. The latest throwback obsession is ’80s stirrup pants. And for good reason too.


Stretchy pants became a staple in many wardrobes worldwide the last two years. These ’80s stretchy pants can be layered under a roomy sweatshirt, underneath a cardigan or blazer, or with a button-down and combat boots for a more formal look.


What are stirrup pants?

So what are stirrup pants? Originating in Central Asia, stirrup pants had its first viewing at the 1936 Winter Olympics, but were made truly popular in the ’80s. Stirrup pants are similar to leggings as they are stretchy, comfortable, everyday pants.


Traditionally, they were worn by woman to kept bottoms in place for high-level physical activities like skiing or horseback riding. The pants have a hole in them at the foot that was used back then to allow the boots to go into the pants as to not get caught on anything.


It was the pants of choice for aerobics and all other mobility desires. Back then, you saw people belt and loop the stirrups with different shoe styles like loafers and boots.


But today, in 2021 (or 2022 depending on when you read this), the ’80s favorite does not discriminate against genders. In fact, you’ll see retailers of all price ranges compete for the market, creating stirrups in different colors, fabrics, and materials outside of the traditional black color.


How do you wear them?

The great thing about stirrups is they feel as comfy as house pants but have a much more polished appearance, making them great to wear on date night, for office appointments, traveling, and everything in between. They are the bold piece every man needs in their wardrobe to close out 2021.


You’ll be surprised with how versatile they are and how fashion-forward of an ensemble you can create with them by your side. Stirrups, once worn for physical activity only, is now seen as the new it-utilitarian apparel of choice.


So what do you think, will you hop on this pant trend or are you okay with your regular house shoes and sports pants?


Since it’s the last day of the year, revisit NFT, the 2021 Word of the Year.


Photo via Tracksmith