Zany bright coloured cotton hipster trousers that changed colour from the knee downwards. Could be striped, multi coloured or plain and somehow they had a homemade look about them. Loon pants looked like something that Barbara from the “Good Life” would run up on her sewing machine! (1974), and wow, was this a 1970 classic style!
Loon pants got their name from balloon pants because the trouser hugged the leg until the knee then “ballooned out” into a wide flare. They were often made from lightweight material and often brightly coloured, sometimes featuring two or three colours in stripes or with different coloured pockets or coloured panels on the leg. They were often in one bright colour and red or purple were especially popular.
The cut was pretty distinctive too. In general, loon pants were hipsters and hung low on the waist. It was a sexy look especially if you had a nice flat stomach. The ladies sometimes teamed a pair of loon pants with a cheesecloth shirt tied in a knot at the waist revealing plenty of midriff. It goes without saying that the fashion was to wear your loon pants tight – the only space in these iconic trousers could be found flapping round your lower legs.
An extreme form of loon pants could be seen on the Top of the Pops TV show modelled by the Pans People dancers. They often wore loon pants made of flimsy lightweight material that ballooned out at the knee into flowing wide flares and almost looked as if they were wearing long dresses. This was a dressy version of the loon pant and only for the ladies.
Remember that if you were watching Top of the Pops in the 1970s, nearly half the country was watching with you, and therefore fashion really was a shared experience. The next day people would be rushing out to buy the latest fashion or record and school kids would be practising the dance moves and learning the latest songs in the playground.
Loon pants were also worn by guys, but the guy’s version really looked just like ordinary trousers with a flare so was no way as sexy as the Loon Pants worn by the beautiful ladies from the 1970s.