Stirrup pants had their start not in the fashion industry, but in sports – specifically, horse racing and skiing. These tight-fitting pants had a strap under the foot to keep both the pants and footwear (usually boots) in place. By the 1960s, stirrup ski pants were the standard for the sport.
But it wasn’t until the 1980s that this style found its way into the mainstream. But just like other sportswear (leggings and sweatshirts, anyone?), when the nineties came around and trends changed, and we all agreed to leave stirrup pants behind.
That is, until last year. So why is this style suddenly becoming popular again? And is it just this week’s hottest wardrobe item, or is it here to stay?
It’s no surprise we’re getting into stirrup pants, especially considering our long love affair with leggings and yoga pants. Stirrups are generally made out of a stretch or breathable material, like cotton, so they’re quite comfortable and flattering, whether you’re petite or plus size. But they can also be made out of other materials like wool or corduroy.
With the right outfit, they can be quite sleek, elongating your legs and adding a bit of edge. Not convinced? Just check out how these celebrities and designers are rocking the stirrup look.
Stirrup Style Inspos
Luxury brand Balenciaga channelled the true eighties vibe with this 2016 runway ensemble. A tailored stirrup is balanced out by a fun, oversized ski jacket and neon pink heels.
The picture that started it all. Posh Spice herself gave the go signal on this trend. These ‘barely-there’ stirrups blend seamlessly into Beckham’s pointed booties, creating a look that’s both subtle and chic.
Busting the myth that they can only come in black or grey, Versace highlighted stirrups’ versatility with its coloured suit-and-boot combo. Just goes to show that there’s a lot of room to play with this style.
You don’t have to dress up to work a stirrup. In fact, dressed down might be the way to go! Adidas kept it simple with a branded hoodie, their original black stirrup leggings, and a pair of trusty sneakers.
How To Style Stirrup Pants: The 7 Best Stirrups In Australia & Where To Buy Them
1. Ponte Stirrup Pants By FRAME
When in doubt, go black. You can’t go wrong with dark stirrups on black boots. You can go for a more casual, leggings-like feel with a stretch fabric, or you can dress it up with Ponte. You’ll get the right amount of stretch without sacrificing a smooth silhouette. If you want something more eye-catching, pair these black stirrups with a bright-coloured or even neon boot – we guarantee it will turn heads!
Get FRAME Ponte Stirrup Pants at Shopbop.
2. Ballet Stirrup Leggings By LIVE THE PROCESS
Can’t muster up the courage to add stirrup pants to your regular wardrobe? Ease into the trend by using them as workout pants. The jersey fabric gives you more freedom to move around and work up a sweat. Step up your gym game and grab a pair of these rose-coloured stirrups. Now you can do those squats in style.
Get LIVE THE PROCESS Ballet Stirrup Leggings at Shopbop.
3. Fleece Lined Stirrup Leggins By Plush
Don’t be scared to break out your stirrups in cold weather. Plush’s line of fleece-lined stirrup leggings and tights add some much-needed warmth. You can stay cozy no matter what the weather and still make the most out of this trend. Pair with an oversized men’s jacket or coat for that ski resort realness.
Get Plush Fleece Lined Stirrup Leggins at Shopbop.
4. Still Mind Tight By Lululemon
The undisputed king of trendy athleisure wear, Lululemon wows us once again with simple yet stylish yoga pants-esque stirrups. Not a big gym person? That’s okay, you can wear these stirrups as pajama pants. They’re soft, lightweight, and sweat-wicking, so you’ll be comfy and dry whether you’re at home or on the treadmill.
Get Lululemon Still Mind Tight at Lululemon.
5. Tech-Jersey Stirrup Leggings By Gucci
If you like a bit of colour, you can’t go wrong with the classic, deep red of these Gucci stirrups. The tech-jersey fabric is still super breathable, but you won’t have any trouble pairing this with a smart blazer for work or a dressy top for a night out.
Get Gucci Tech-Jersey Stirrup Leggins at Net-A-Porter.
6. Wool-Blend Slim-Leg Stirrup Pants By Alaia
Great for work or a weekend lunch with the girls, the Alaia wool stirrup pants hit the right balance of comfort and sophistication. While more loose-fitting than other styles, the high waist still adds the illusion of length. Stand tall, proud, and confident in this trendy pair.
Get Alaia Wool-Blend Slim-Leg Stirrup Pants at Net-A-Porter.
7. Jes Skinny Stretch-Cady Ski Pants By Erin Snow
You can wear Erin Snow’s women’s stirrup ski pants anywhere. These white bottoms are made with a special Swiss fabric that is wind and water-resistant so you can stay comfortable zipping down the slopes or just sauntering down the street.
Comfort, Style & Versatility
Comfort. Versatility. Style. Stirrups have got it all. But despite that, some people in the fashion industry are still hesitant to embrace its comeback. Whether you love or hate the stirrup trend, you should buckle up. With fans like Victoria Beckham and Balenciaga, it looks like it’s here to stay.