They're usually confused with the pants M.C. Hammer made famous in the very early 90s in his U Can't Touch This video.
Break dancing popularized parachute pants, which were tight synthetic nylon that felt just like a parachute to the touch.
Although they were around as early as the late 70s, Bugle Boy successfully marketed parachute pants to teenage boys, taking them to their height of popularity in 1984. Soon they were replaced by the new trend...two-toned jeans.
But parachute pants are forever doomed to be mistaken for Hammer pants. One more time, for the record...parachute pants: