80s | 90s | Life | Fashion

Stirrup Pants Are Back In Style And We Don't Know How To Feel About It

We've all been there, the mall with our moms impatiently waiting to go to the toy section. She wants us to buy some new pants for school because we tore three holes in them last week.

She says you have to try things on because you are growing too fast and she isn't sure what size you are, but honestly, there is nothing you want to do less than that. You rush through everything quickly, finding the size you need and then it isn't until years later when you look at the pictures of your childhood that you realize what happened.

Stirrup pants. They happened. We all wore them, whether we realized it at the time or not, these ridiculous leggings with the straps on the bottom would become our nemesis.

For some reason, these equestrian-style leggings became all the rage. We were all wearing them even though so many of us had never been on a horse. I will admit, that when I did go to my aunt's farm and had to put on boots to ride her horses, these pants made it very easy, however I take issue with wearing them elsewhere.

I didn't just wear them on the farm, I wore them everywhere because they were what I owned. The only thing was that I didn't really understand what I was doing fashion-wise because I was a child, and half of the time I just thought the foot straps were annoying so I would unhook them.

Maybe I am the only person to have committed this fashion faux-pas, but I would walk around with these leggings with the straps dangling in the back, or resting on the top of my bulky running shoes. It's reasons like this that I get a little jealous of how cool kids these days dress. We were all such messes!

I get that some people liked them, I am sure there were times that even I liked them, but the fact is, they were a confusing fashion trend at the time. But get ready for it, because stirrup pants are back in style...

I know what you're going to say. "It was only a matter of time," or "everything eventually comes back," but hear me out, we could try not doing that?

Now, this is where I am going to contradict my initial response. So, I thought stirrup pants in the 80s and 90s were one the worst things ever, and while I am not super into the idea now, I am starting to get it.

Skinny jeans are so popular, and I'll admit it, I wear leggings about 99% of the time anyways, so why not have them secured down? Well, I still don't think I would find it comfortable, so I am probably not going to bother with it, but I can almost understand the thought process.

Personally for me, it doesn't seem like something that needed to come back, but I also thought that about leggings at first and look at me now! Am I crazy? Are these actually the best things ever? Here are a few of the options I've seen online, what do you think?

Option #1

So I don't know if it is the fact that they have them styled over top of the heels that gets me, or if it's just the flash backs to feeling annoyed by them bunching up in your shoes. I guess this would solve that, because at least they are underneath, but what if you want to wear flats? Not an option I guess...

Option #2

So not only do they have stirrups, but they are very shiny. They are actually called the "wet look" which is not something I have ever heard leather described as. It's definitely an interesting choice for your day-to-day, but if you are going to be dressing up as Catwoman, it would work perfectly.

The leather look isn't the problem here though, it's those stirrups. I just am still on the fence...

Option #3

The main issue I have with stirrup pants is actually displayed quite well in this picture. So you have these pants that are being pulled tight around your feet, but what it does is create a weird tenting effect on your legs. This models legs look like have a straight straightness to them that almost looks robotic?

Option #4

Okay so you could also try this route... It's a little bit different, that's for sure. The vintage jeans have the strap on the bottoms because I guess jeans ride up too? I don't think I can support this choice though...

Option #5: Go Big Or Go Home

If you're going to do an 80s/90s inspired look, you may as well go all out right? These ones I actually totally get. The velvet texture is weird, but in a way that I am totally here for, and the stirrups are honestly almost necessary to help anchor these pants down. They look like they have the ability to suddenly turn into a kite so locking them in place is probably wise.


Of these options, I think either the simple black ones or the crazy 90s ones are the best. However I still don't know if I am ready to invest.

They aren't the only iconic 80s and 90s gear that have come back in style though. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

These are a few of the other trends that have come back to some skepticism (including by me) but were eventually accepted:


The first one is obvious, but leggings came back however many years ago and once again became more than athletic wear. Sure, you can call them yoga pants or 'athleisure' if you're fancy, but these spandex pants are really no different from the ones we wore as kids in the 80s.

When they started coming back I was firmly against leggings as pants, mostly because I kept seeing people wearing those awkwardly see-through ones, and that's not a good look for anyone. But if you get a good thick pair that is comfortable, I am now all for it. I flip-flopped hard on these and now I feel bad that I ever hated them.


Okay, scrunchies are one of those hair accessories that went away because I guess people thought they were too loud, but honestly, now that they are back I am so annoyed I didn't think of them sooner.

Now I wear one every night to keep my hair out of the way, but because it's a lot less restrictive than a regular hair elastic it doesn't leave those annoying bumps! They come in all kinds of fun colors and you know what, I don't care if some people think they are tacky, I love them.


Beetlejuice Geena Davis
Warner Bros.

Perms were something that cause a lot of controversy. Back in the 80s and 90s, a lot of people got perms but they were these huge frizzy nests that lived on our heads. As a kid at the time, I thought they looked so fluffy and nice. I had pin straight hair at the time and wanted nothing more than to have curls. My mother was smart enough not to let me get one.

Lola Kirke Perm

However, now perms have changed. Gone are the days of the tight poodle curls, and now perms are more often just a nice beachy looking wave. I know what you're thinking, what if it goes wrong? Well, then you just rock that poodle hair with confidence because you're an adult now and you don't have to care what other people think of you.

I think what we've learned here is fashion is not only cyclical, but it's subjective. Everyone is going to like different things and there is no right or wrong answers.

But what do you think, are stirrup pants cool or should they stick to the stables?