This Trend From 1986 Is The Summer Style Hack You Didn't Know You Needed

by Shelby Ying Hyde
via @theshelbyying

A drastic change of lifestyle forces you to adapt and adjust your wardrobe accordingly. Now that you're likely less interested in wearing well-tailored slacks and jeans all day, you're more inclined to opt for comfortable options working from home. But to preserve your personal aesthetic (and love for getting dressed in the morning), that may mean thinking beyond sweatpants. Wearing stirrups pants with sandals has become the summer style hack to secure backless footwear in place.

Stirrup-style pants — inspired by the hardware used to keep horseback riders' feet in place — date back to the 1900s. As women switched from riding sidesaddle in a dress to riding facing forward, they needed trousers detailed with a strap under the foot (similar to that of menswear styles) to keep their pants neatly tucked into their boots. From there, other sports like skiing began integrating stirrups into their uniforms, where they've remained a mainstay for decades. The style first rose to popularity among the fashion subset in 1947, when according to Fashion 101: A Crash Course In Clothing Emilio Pucci designed a pair for his girlfriend. It wasn't until the '80s that the leg-lengthening style gained major momentum thanks to the rise of fitness culture and stars like Jane Fonda helped attributed to the rise of the athleisure look.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

If you're looking to embrace the trend today, you'll want stretchy, yet pliable fabric, seamless fronts, and elasticated trims. These details not only feel modern, but ensure that you'll be able to move freely, and minimize the risk for splitting seams. For fans of Reformation's denim collection, the sustainable brand has an all-black pair of stirrup pants on offer that's made for the same second-skin fit. Off-White's high-waisted leggings on the other hand, are designed with modern details you'd come to expect from the brand (like a ring-zip fastening along the front and its signature text on printed on the upper thigh), that allow for more simple parings. Regardless of your personal preference, the intended primary function stays the same — to keep one's pants tucked into their shoes.

For those interested in dabbling in the '80s stirrup trend and are on the hunt for fresh new ways to style them, just ahead I'm sharing a few modern-day tips to get you started.

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Stirrup-Pants Outfit: Color-Blocking

If your personal style is a bit on the bold side, try color-blocking your stirrup-pants outfit to embody the '80s feel. Model Elsa Hosk opted for bright, but complimentary shades, but throwing a neutral hue top into the mix works just as well.

Stirrup-Pants Outfit: Tucked Over Sandals

To keep your backless sandals in place, try pulling the heel-strap over your shoe. Also, don't be afraid to play with your outfit's proportions — adding a top like Frankie Shop's highly coveted Muscle tee helps emphasize your elongated silhouette.

Stirrup-Pants & Sandals Outfit: Dressed Up With A Blazer


To get the most bang for your buck, take a page out of Hailey Baldwin's style book by opting out of looping the foot strap under your heel (or shoe, for that matter), all together. However, the secret to pulling this particular look off, is ensuring that you find a pair of trousers that will allow you to switch up the styling in a subtle way. Baldwin smartly wore the strap, discreetly, in front of her ankle. Complete the polished take with an oversized blazer and heels.