Hot for Hot Pants

Whenever someone says the words “hot pants” I am sure images of tight, short shorts a la the 1970s come to mind, which makes sense because that is where they got their start. But, these hot pants did not remain stuck in the 70s for long; they have evolved over the years and have made their way onto the Spring 2012 runways.

Hot Pants are technically defined  by Dictionary.Com as a very brief and usually tight-fitting shorts for women andgirls, first popularized in the early 1970s. But, Hot Pants were, and still are so much more than that.

Hot pants were a symbol of the changing times and the social movements brought on by the 70’s. Hot pants are also to blame for the very first extreme dieting fads. (Although you can’t blame the women who dieted to fit into the shorts, when you are virtually pant-less, you want to look your best.)

Hot Pants were introduced to the fashion scene by Mary Quant, a welsh fashion designer who also popularized the mini skirt during the mod movement. Women felt that although the inseam was short, it was still an inseam and gave them more coverage than a mini skirt.

For a brief time, hot pants were even acceptable to wear to the office, weddings, and even as a SouthWest Flight Attendant.

SouthWest Uniforms in 1970

Hot pants soon dissappeared from the mainstream fashion scene but were still worn on the street and were most commonly associated with disco.

But, because hot pants were considered empowering to women back in the day, they have come full circle. Now more commonly called “short shorts”, or thanks to The Dukes of Hazzard, “Daisy Dukes” these shorts can be seen on college campuses, out on the streets, and on the Runway’s once again.

Spring 2012 designers like Dolce and Gabanna showed a plethora of short shorts mixed in with silhouettes from the 1950s. The  patterns of the shorts, along with the cuts gave these hot pants a fresh, fun facelift for spring.

Dolce and Gabanna S/S 2012

Dolce and Gabanna S/S 2012

Even big name bloggers like Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller was seen wandering around the streets of New York City virtually pant-less in preparation for Spring’s short short trend.

Other designers, like Jason Wu who have been considered more “prim”, “reserved” and “propper” by the fashion industry also jumped on the bareley-there shorts for spring.

Jason Wu S/S 2012

So, for all of you who just don’t like to wear pants, consider this a gift from the fashion God’s.

Although the average women would not be caught dead in public in these micro-mini shorts, they are back for spring and as temperatures start rising so will the hemlines on most shorts. These iconic short shorts were a 70’s staple and have been revived and brought back to life once again.

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2 thoughts on “Hot for Hot Pants

  1. Pingback: Bermuda Shorts are back, and so am I | Fashion Dissection

  2. Hot pants are so associated with the 1970s that it’s easy to overlook the fact that the style goes back much further in time. There’s a 1933 video on YouTube called “Cotton Club Dancers Bust Some Moves” which features a dancer wearing early hot pants.

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