The Case For Parachute Pants


Tanning beds, corn dogs and the cinematic oddity “Return to Oz” are all things that are hard to believe ever existed. That is, unless you lived to witness them. The day will come when all living witnesses will be dead and these sorts of things will be only legend and myth told sitting by fireplaces to future generations.

Today I will speak of one such legend. This, however, is not a myth. No, friends. This is a true story. And if we do not remember our history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Let's talk parachute pants + how to wear them. We're beyond the '80s fashion of the past — now we're making them cool, modern & elevated, promise.

…JK, guys! Today we’re going to talk about parachute pants and how to wear them.

My mom definitely had the above set in teal green and purple in the ’80s. She’s shaking her head now to the heavens and screaming, “Have they learned NOTHING?!”

No, seriously, guys — I’m wearing parachute pants, and just like you can hear this image, you can hear my swoosh coming from 23 yards away.

Modernizing Parachute Pants: How To Wear Them In The 21st Century

Remember when I was all…I’m French and only wear classics and neutrals? HA. What a fickle blogger I’ve become.

But in all realness, we’re not doing this:

Let's talk parachute pants + how to wear them. We're beyond the '80s fashion of the past — now we're making them cool, modern & elevated, promise.

We’re doing something cooler, more modern and more elevated. This I promise you.

A little background: My husband often has to ask “where I hid his cargo shorts.” This is because, when I fold laundry, I’m disgusted that he’s 43 and wears cargo shorts from 2004. So, I hide them. And here we are, knee-deep in a bucket of irony.

Let’s dive in headfirst.

1. Parachute Pants…To Cinch or Not To Cinch?

I present to you: my cargo parachute pants. And guess what? I love them. I like them in boots, I like them with flats, I like them with heels, I like them on cats. I just feel cooler in them. They’re very much traditional parachute-pants material with somewhat of a lower rise and without an elastic waistband. I actually like this because I think it elevates them just a touch.

They have an elastic string at the ankle so you can wear them like this…

These cargo parachute pants from Zara are the traditional material with somewhat of a lower rise & without an elastic waistband.

pants | another similar pair | sweater (L) | boots | hat | coat (XS) | bag

Can I call them parachute joggers…?

OR like this…

These Zara cargo parachute pants feel like wearing pajamas. & all of the pockets allow me to store all of my things right with me, without needing a bag...which I'll probably still carry.

pants | another similar pair | sweater (L) | hat | shoes (also at Nordstrom)

So cute, right? And I feel like I’m wearing jammies. I also can store all of my charms and treasures right on my legs. At least that’s what B tells me when his cargo shorts are in the VHS cabinet.

2. The Dramatic, Wide-Leg Parachute Pants Em Swears By

Remember these wide-leg pants from Backcountry? These are the pants that Emily swears by. When I started to get on this parachute-pants kick, I remembered these, looked them up, and they were on sale for, like, $20.

These wide-leg pants from Backcountry are VERY long, VERY high waisted & VERY wide — a little too much for my 5'2" frame.

pants (S) | hat | similar tank | jacket (XS) | similar jacket | boots

Now, I’m 5’2″, but these are VERY long, VERY high waisted and VERY wide. I’m wearing chunky heeled platform boots with them. I like that they’re different, but these are a little bit harder for a shorty like me to wear on a regular Tuesday.

3. Parachute Pants All Dressed Up

These are my most-worn pair of parachute pants (from Zara). But this is the first time I attempted to dress them up, and I actually love it.

These parachute pants from Zara are my most-worn pair. They're more matte than the traditional versions, as well as different & cool but not too over the top.

pants | another similar pair | tank (M) | similar belt | heels (bought on The RealReal)

They’re different and cool but not too over the top. These are more matte than traditional parachute material and, obviously, brown. They also have the elastic at the ankle; however, these don’t loosen to a complete wide-leg.

4. Soccer-Momming? Wear Parachute Pants

This is me going to a soccer game, trying to be chill but trying to be cool — but, regardless, just trying. And I know it’s not for everyone, but I’m a big fan of socks and sandals right now. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. It’s like some sort of rebellion. Apparently, I have toe angst.

This nylon pair of parachute pants from DICK's Sporting Goods is the most athletic & least fashiony pair. They're also very swooshy & have elastic at the waist.

pants (S) | sweatshirt (M) | blazer (XS) | similar bag | shoes (also at Zappos)

These nylon parachute pants is the most athletic and least fashiony pair. They’re also very swooshy and have elastic at the waist. However, I do still love them, and yes, they are from DICK’s Sporting Goods and you’re welcome. I’m very thorough.

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So, will you try it? Have you tried it? Your mom’s tried it.



Hey, Pinners…

Let's talk parachute pants + how to wear them. We're beyond the '80s fashion of the past — now we're making them cool, modern & elevated, promise.
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After multiple existential crises, I've been an interior designer, a store window designer, a personal stylist (when I want to say something fancier than friend who went to the mall with another friend to "help"), a teacher, an author and illustrator, a graphic designer, NFT creator, a t-shirt designer and cat and Broadway enthusiast. But NOT Cats on Broadway. Just cats, the animals. What have I learned through all of my careers? You can really do a thing and then call yourself whatever you want. No one will check. But before all of this, in the year 2008, I was a blogger. And now I'm back with my favorite blog of all time. Let's go.