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.