The fad started when I was in eighth grade, and continued through the entirety of Sophomore year at the all-boys prep school I went to. It stopped abruptly a year or so later. This story, though, takes place at the fad’s peak.
So. Sophomore year. I had, I think, six different pairs of parachute pants. I wore them Saturdays and Sundays, no matter what. During the week? At school? I slowed it down a bit, and wore them once or twice a week. If I felt okay, I’d push it to three. Even though I had six or seven different pairs (One pair I had was red with black zippers that showed the black nylon underneath. They were my most…elaborate pair.) I had my favorites, or most-worn pairs. They were the black/black pair, the dark gray with black zippers, and a blue pair with lighter blue zippers. Those two pairs were the foremost in my rotation. (I also loved my white pair, but those I saved for after school.) My sister used to tease me. “Nice ‘chutes, Cor.” One time I laughed because she said “Hey, nice outfit, Corey. I’ve got an idea! Have you ever heard of Parachute Pants?” Yeah, she could be funny sometimes.
At that time, at that age, I knew I liked girls. My girlfriend and I (the makeup girlfriend) were still going out. But I knew that guys held a certain allure for me. I didn’t freak out, or get depressed or confused. It was like, Oh, okay. I like boys, too. No big deal, though I did keep this secret to myself, and one at-the-time girl who was a “friend.” (Turns out she wasn’t keeping my secret amongst her friends. Found that out years later.) Anyway…
There was a boy in my home room class, and my math class, named Kevin H. (I guess I shouldn’t tell his last name.) Well, he wore parachute pants every damn day! He wasn’t one of the break dancer guys who’d show off their skills in the hallways during lunch periods. No, I don’t think Kevin was a break dancer. He was a little more masculine than me. He played on the basketball and swimming teams. But there was also something soft about him. He had beautiful olive skin and a stunning, beautiful smile. Unfortunately, though we were both aware of each other, we never became friends, or even conversed with each other. Kevin wore his PPs fitted, like they were meant to be worn, and so did I. He had that body that could carry it off, too. Certainly, I know that while I got teased by preppy kids for wearing my parachute pants, they liked Kevin, and left him alone. I can’t figure out why, except that Kevin was more popular than I. Boys. Am I right?
In home room, he was seated across the room from me, so I couldn’t really see him too well. Since it was the second period of the day, I’d always check him out to see which of his parachutes he was wearing that day. (My favorite of his was a white pair, with gray zippers that were placed in slightly different places than the usual Bugle Boys. He effin’ rocked those pants! (?) since they were tight, they totally showed off his (slightly more prominent than mine) package.)
I’ll never forget math class that year. I was seated one row away from him, in the last seats. I would bow my head, but out of my peripheral vision, I could see his nylon-covered ‘package’ when he was seated. It always looked like he had an erection, but that wasn’t true. I knew because it always looked that way, and when he got called to do a problem at the blackboard, he wasn’t at all stereotypically hunched over to hide his boner. No, he was just blessed with a perfect bulge. When Kevin was at the front of the class, his back turned to the room, I would gaze at his perfect ass. It was gorgeous. Perfect. The smooth, shiny ripstop nylon covering his ass was to my mind, the hottest image ever.
Good god! If I didn’t know I also liked guys, Kevin H. certainly proved to me and my raging hormones that, like it or not: I liked guys. And girls. But if I had to say which sex I leaned towards or preferred; I would have to admit (as if you can’t tell by my posts) that I found myself fantasizing about boys rather than girls. And even all these years later, I can still picture Kevin H in my head. The way his long, thin legs looked walking in parachute pants. His ultra-confident swagger. The way his bulge looked when seated at his school desk. And, of course, those nylon-clad legs when at the chalkboard. But even though he must’ve had a bigger collection of PPs than I did, (at the time), the white, with gray zippers, are the pants I’ll never forget. It’s been many years, and I haven’t gotten them out of my mind.
[If you’re out there somewhere: Thank You, Kevin. You have no idea what you did for me. And more importantly, did to me.]
I would love it if more guys looked back at their clothing from that period, and stopped saying things like “It’s embarrassing to admit, but I wore parachute pants.” Please guys, don’t be like that. Obviously, at the time, you must have thought they looked cool, and you really liked them. (I can’t imagine anyone’s parents saying “I don’t care if you hate them, you’re going to wear parachute pants. And you better convince people you like them or I’ll make you wear them every day!”)
Be proud. Share pictures! (Please!!) It’s probably asking too much, but…buy a new pair and rock them, just like you did in 1985.