Why the stirrup pants are cool again and where to get them
Strap 'em on
The ‘80s and its oft-times questionable taste have always had their certain allure, so when the dramatic power suit was recently reinvented into the power hoodie (special thanks to Demna Gvasalia and his ‘May the bridges I burn light the way’ Vetements sweatshirt) or the love for Spandex passionately rekindled (also Gvasalia, through Balenciaga’s skintight fluorescent floral boots), it went without saying that anything from the irreverent decade might just be the next big thing. Cue in: The stirrup pants.
A sports gear favoured for its crease-proof utility, the stirrups made their first appearance on the equestrian trails in the 19th century, the skiing range in the ‘60s, then eventually frequenting Jane Fonda’s iconic aerobic videos. And when sportswear was officially dubbed the new streetwear of the ‘80s, the stirrup leggings became an instant fashion hit. If you could wear it to the gym, you could wear it to a house party — ‘till the ‘90s happened, that is. Everyone realised what a sartorial catastrophe the ankle-concealing silhouette was. But why are they making their comeback now?
Firstly, if the gym-gear-turned-street-staple trend sounds all too familiar, it’s because it’s been years since activewear worn out of athletic confines became all the rage. Truth be told, Gigi Hadid and her post-boxing ensemble are no longer hot fashion news. So when Gvasalia and Marni mastermind, Consuelo Castiglioni sent the archaic stirrups down the fall 2016 runway, they restarted a sporty obsession anew — only, you know, less sporty as athleisure always is: Gvasalia rendered them in plaid mannish suit pants and denim, while Castiglioni churned a legging-trouser hybrid.
They were enough to send the street style royalty ablaze with passionate love for the unlikely revival. Donned by Russian It-girl Natasha Goldenberg to Attico co-founder Gilda Ambrosio, these loose-ankle versions reigned supreme on the front row of spring 2017 fashion week shows — and if the style savants' obsession is anything to go by, we're betting our Balenciaga platform boots that the stirrups are in for a cultish riposte. Scroll down to see how an elastic band buckled under the soles are making beating hearts throb, shop them ahead of the curve, and strap 'em stirrups on.
Click on the captions below to shop our stirrup pant picks