Can’t Touch This…

Categories Laughing, Wearing

Remember M.C. Hammer?  The song “Can’t Touch This”?  Then you surely remember that great late ’80s fashion craze called “Hammer Pants.”

I have lived through many fashion mistakes…many many fashion mistakes.  I am certain that yesterday was yet another.  I was surprised, though, at the speed with which My Sister suggested that my Hammer Pants phase was my greatest fashion faux pas to date.

To be accurate, the pants in question are not actually M. C. Hammer style rapper pants.  The genuine article is more commonly known as “baggy gym pants” or “Zubaz pants.”  For a walk down memory lane, I hit Google images, typed in my search term (go with “80s baggy pants” for the best variety) and was treated to dozens of pics of these stylish gems.  As I scanned the photos, twenty years rolled back off the calendar and it was 1990 once again.

Go ahead…take a look.  I’ll wait while you reminisce and laugh.  After you get off the floor and back on your chair, set Pandora Radio up with the appropriate bakground music and come back.  I’ll be here.  It’s OK.  I know.

If you’ll recall, these baggy gym pants came in every color and pattern imaginable – and I do mean every. Wearers could choose from neon solids, camouflage, stripes, polka dots, checks, plaids, lightning bolts, animal patterns, paint splatters, and so much more.  I owned easily a dozen pairs of these in various colors and patterns as well as – please take a minute to prepare the visual – matching solid-color T-shirts to ensure coordinating outfits at all times.  Please give some credit; this was at least a popular, if not necessarily fashionable fashion trend.  Lots of people flaunted it.  Granted, most of those flaunters were bodybuilders and athletes.  Others of us were just regular.  And we thought we were cool, perhaps, but the sad and embarrassing truth is…those pants were ugly and we all looked ridiculous.

OK, maybe M. C. Hammer, Boy George, and the Miami Vice guys looked kind of cool in them… Maybe.

But I have a theory about those pants – Hammer, Zubaz, parachute, harem, or baggy gym what-evers.  I know why they were so bizarrely popular and so widely accepted as clothing suitable for public wear and display.

They were just plain old comfortable.  These, folks, I believe were the early ’90s version of yoga pants.  If you owned them, you know.  You understand.  They were worth having in every color and flavor.  Remember the comfort of the elastic waistband…the beauty of the gathered ankle…aaahhh, yes!

And so it is with great fondness and embarrassment that today we pay homage to the Hammer Pants.  For better or worse, they served us well.  They helped us express ourselves.  They made us feel comfortable.  They screamed “I am alive and well and buying into the 1980s neon culture!”

Those pants…those beautiful pants…were simply “too legit to quit!”

This post brought to you courtesy of MamaKat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

27 thoughts on “Can’t Touch This…

  1. So when I was in NYC this summer these pants were once again all the rage. So I give it about 18 months before the “coolest of the cool” in our area are sporting the hideousness that is the hammer pant. So sad…or yay? Not sure if I should rejoice or cry. Pretty sure I have to go with they were bad in the 1980s and are going to be even worse now. I’ll stick to my yoga pants and just be unfashionable 🙂

  2. Did you really write that those pants were “too legit to quit?” Can’t believe you went there. I’d like to point out that you also went through a scrunchies and slouch socks phase…

  3. I had 2 pair of these pants, and felt that I was uncool, as many of the girls in my class had a drawer full. There are many things I would like to think that were cool and trendy, but I really giggle at my fashion choices at that time in my life. Thank goodness the photos I have are few and far between! Thank you for sharing!

    Stopping by via, Mama Kats! Have a great weekend!

  4. I never had the Hammer pants (thank God!) I did have the hair scrunches, slouch socks, blue eye shadow and big hair.

    I LOVED your last line……..Those pants…those beautiful pants…were simply ”too legit to quit!”

  5. Oh, my gosh. I had completely forgotten ( also known as….put these out of my mind with extensive therapeutic intervention)! Thanks for visiting, May!

    1. I think mine were technically the parachute variety. But Hammer Pants sounds so much cooler, doesn’t it? After a full day of errands, I am about to put my yoga pants back on. Aaahhhh… Kidzilla, too. We start ’em early!

  6. Hammer pants always made me feel the same as when I wore tights or pantyhose that didn’t quite fit, and the crotch sagged and all I wanted was for my pants to fit me right.

    And I guess I just admitted that wore Hammer Pants.

    Also, I continually wore a scrunchie around my wrist just in case I needed it to pull my hair back, even if my hair was only chin length. The scrunchie always coordinated with the Hammer Pants.

    1. It’s OK. You are among hammer-pant-wearing friends here. We all understand. You may be the most fashion-forward, though, considering the matching scrunchies and all. Thanks for coming by, Andrea! 🙂

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