Thanks for your question! I'd never heard of this particular style and
enjoyed learning more about it.
It took some sleuthing to discover that your mystery pants were, for
obvious reasons, referred to as "zip-around jeans". The jeans had
their heyday in the 70s and early 80s, and were mainly manufactured by
a company called Rag City Blues (sometimes written as Ragcity blues).
The zip-around pants phenomenon crops up on several message board and
blogs. Sample comments:
"What's the over/under for how many months it will take before the
"Zip-around" jeans will reappear in a low-rider variety? That would
combine the worst of the 70s (hip-huggers) with the worst of the 80s
(the pants the Hessian chicks wore that had a zipper go all the way
from front to back, allowing friends to share a leg of each other's
jeans). Update that, and you will have me screaming that fashion has
finally gone too far!"
- Becky J. on "A Small Victory" blog, under thread titled "70s Fashion Warning"
< http://asmallvictory.net/archives/007405.html >
Blogger jimbo has fond and vivid memories of the days of zip-around jeans:
"Does anyone out there remember RagCity Blues? Their most famous
product was a pair of zip-around jeans. They also had tie-up jeans and
But, oh yeah, those zip-arounds. Painted-on-tight jeans that fastened
via a zipper that went from the top of the back of the pants all the
way around under the crotch to the front?Ohgoodgod those jeans
tormented my pubescent mind and fueled more than one lurid adolescent
fantasy. Those jeans were a menace I tell you. I used to sit in
Freshman English and just drool on my desk at the sight of my friend
Rebecca wrapped tight in those jeans. They were a menace to her too.
Midway through a presentation the zipper broke?When that zipper failed
the jeans split at the crotch at damn near the speed of sound, and a
fatally embarrassed Rebecca bolted for the door almost as quickly, a
pant leg in each hand."
< http://www.digitalcatharsis.com/archive/2002_12_29_archives.htm >
This entry for "Rag City Blues" was submitted to "Clothes of the 80s"
( http://www.inthe80s.com/clothes/r.shtml ):
"With the zip-a-rounds (aka drive-ins), we'd interchange the legs
...one red leg, one jean leg, etc."
On the "inthe00s" message board, user "Barb" remembers the terms "easy
access" and "seal-a-meal" being used to describe the jeans. In her
message, dated April 2004, she mentions selling zip-arounds on eBay,
but I searched her username and found none listed at this time. You
can view her post here:
My search unearthed no vintage zip-around pants available for
purchase. There's a pair of 1980s Rag City Blues (with photo) listed
for sale at <
http://store.yahoo.com/vintagepimp1/noname3.html>, but they don't
appear to be the zip-around style.
Don't despair, however - the good news is a four-year-old company
called Gypsy Jeans sells zip-arounds for a new generation. They come
in four different designs and can be purchased for about $60 US
through Amazon.com or in select stores. Have a look at their site:
< http://www.gypsyjeans.com/ >
I used the following search strings to find your answer:
70s interchangeable jean legs
jeans interchangeable halves
split leg jeans 70s
zip together jean legs
mix and match jean legs
pants remove legs
pants attach different legs
jeans separate legs
zip around pants
rag city blues jeans
ragcity blues jeans
If you require clarification, please don't hesitate to ask. All the best!