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The Story of "Hot Pants"

The Story of "Hot Pants"

Funny, I know, who uses the term "hot pants"?  Lately, in this hot and humid weather we have all felt the need to wear them.  Do you know why they are called hot pants?  Or better yet, when they were invented?  Ironically enough, we are seeing a surge in the "hot pants" trend.  While resting in the air conditioning and enjoying a cool beverage, why not learn about the story of "hot pants"?    

First, this is what I think of when I imagine "hot pants"...

 Shorts are on fire!

Shorts are on fire!

This is what "hot pants" actually looked like and sorry no flames...

 Steamy!

Steamy!

 

The term "hot pants" was coined in the 1970s and refers to extremely short shorts for women that were designed in luxury fabrics like velvet and silk.

In 1976, Women's Wear Daily coined the phrase "hot pants" to describe fashions innovated by the French ready-to-wear company founded by Dorothee Bis.  Celebrities wore them for photographs as early the 1930s, but they weren't official until the 1970's.

 www.wwd.com

www.wwd.com

A by-law that was later repealed in 1942 passed that banned women from wearing them.  "Hot pants" were originally worn for sports and active purposes such as cycling.  

 

Both terms "hot pants" and "short shorts" have become interchangeable, particularly in women's fashion.  However, extremely short men's shorts can be called "hot pants" and are popular for both men and women today.  "Hot pants" have made a surge in today's fashions and have seemed to stick around for a while.  Designers such as Free People, Joie, BCBG, and French Connection have versions of "hot pants" on the market.

This story, seems so interesting during a time when women were expected to dress in conservative fashions.  "Hot pants" seem so risqué during this time period, imagine the stories of revolt and riskiness.  I might not wear them to my daughters tumbling class but I have a new found respect the short story of "hot pants."  

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