Hammer Pants: You Move, And Then The Pants Move, For A Nice Little Flair

 Everybody has seen the flamboyant pants that MC Hammer wears in his 1990 mega-hit song “U Can't Touch This”. You know the billowy pants that droop in the crotch and taper to the lower leg?

Their origin can be traced back to harem pants from Arabia which were introduced to Western fashion by a French designer in the 1910s.

Hammer pants as they are known now, are sometimes confused with parachute pants which are tighter sitting pants made from nylon and they usually have a host of pockets and zippers. Parachute pants were a fad in the US during the 80's and were a popular choice for breakdancers of the day.

It was MC Hammer's search for the perfect dancing pants that eventually led him to wearing harem pants. During the late '70s, he discovered that the easiest way to bring attention to his fluid dance moves was to wear bigger pants. He ended up buying triple-pleated zoot suit bottoms that were so large that they drew an audience all their own.

About a decade later Hammer's dance moves would take him from the discos to club dates and eventually to a record contract. By 1990 MC Hammer's moves would help him move more than 8 million copies of his album, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. Now Hammer had the financial means to have his own outlandish harem pants custom-made. They would become a cornerstone of his music videos, live concerts, and his own contribution to fashion.

MC Hammer once said about his loose-fitting pants, "You can move in 'em. You can dance in 'em ... and it gives you freedom of movement. It's a slight delay. You move, and then the pants move, so it brings a nice little flair."

Eventually Hammer pants went the way of most '90s fads – though they have made periodic reappearances such as being featured in prominent fashion collections from the likes of Dior and Burberry. And most recently in a Youtube video from 1992 featuring a 12-year-old Ryan Gosling's appearance on what he called “some kind of Canadian Star Search”. In 2017 Ryan revealed on The Graham Norton Show, that he thinks Hammer pants are due for a comeback "I don't think we gave that style of pant enough of a shot. We gave up with M.C. Hammer, but we should have kept them going."


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