Hot Pants: One Of The Hottest Fashion Style Of the 70s

The term Hot pants or short shorts is used for pants that are extremely short and cover the bottoms up to the navel. Although they had been worn since the 1930s and in the 1970s, they became very popular among teenage girls. Initially, they were designed for sports beachwear and leisurewear, but later they entered into mainstream fashion. Unlike biker shorts, Bermuda shorts, booty shorts, hotpants has its breed and culture. They are lineup with a movement of women who broke out of the accepted forms of women’s dress, embracing all their curves for the first time.

The style emerged when classic Hollywood actresses wore them in the 50s and 60s to accentuate their curvaceous bodies. As women began to wore hot pants occasionally and on streets, especially hippies and teenage girls, the style received immense criticism due to their disregard for accepted dress code. At the end of the 60s, midi-skirts were introduced as a replacement for shorter options to remain within dress code standards. In the late 1960s, Mary Quant popularized hot pants and became a British fashion icon. The style spread like wildfire in the 70s. The term was first used by Women’s Wear Daily in 1970 to describe shorts made in luxury fabrics. While hotpants were generally marketed to women but they are unisex, and some men also tried this fashion. David Bowie and Elton John were some of the adventurous men who attempted this style, but it remained limited to women.

By the mid-70s, hotpants became associated with prostitution and the sex industry, which contributed to their fall from mainstream fashion. Hotpants remain popular costumes for cheerleaders and dancers.

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Written by Orla Morris

Full-time dress and costume designer, Half Persian half Italian. I still don’t know how to write, but i'm writing and you are reading :)

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