Hot Pants were introduced to the fashion scene by Mary Quant, born February 1934. A fashion designer and British fashion icon, she became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and Hot Pants, symbols of the social movements brought on by the 70s. Women felt that although the inseam was short, it was still an inseam and Hot Pants gave them more coverage than a miniskirt. By promoting these and other fun fashions she encouraged young people to dress to please themselves and to treat fashion as a game.
Hot Pants came in many styles, from conservative short to short-short. The rage of the fashion runways and top models, such as Twiggy, Hot Pants took the world by storm. At first they were hard to accept as clothing to be worn in the work place until Southwest Airlines adopted the style for their stewardesses in 1970. The Hot Pants fad, rage and craze dominated fashionable society. Hot Pants and miniskirts were also a gage on how good or bad the economy was doing. The old maxim was when women's hemlines rose, so did the economy. When they went down, it was a sign of difficult times were coming. Be that true or not today, fashion is still an indicator of cultural musings.
When I modeled, I did my fair share of print work posing in hot pants. From inside the studio to outdoors, it was the fashion. Great when the weather was pleasant, especially in Chicago, but not very warm in the frigid winters. But the boots helped and where an integral part of “the look.”
The last time I wore my hot pink suede hot pants was in 1982 at an Art Gallery I owned and operated in St. Petersburg, Fl.
Any job in the art world was a perfect environment to wear outrageous fashions. I feel a spirit is lacking in the style world today and that’s why vintage fashion is popular. Not only for young people but all ages, both men and women, who desire to have clothing that is trendy and better still, made in the USA. So next time you peruse a vintage clothing shop, see if you can find a pair of hot pants. And of course, a pair of white vinyl boots to go with them!
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