Hopeful sorority members dress accordingly to fit in with the sorority culture, sharing their #OOTDs (Outfit of the Day) on #BamaRushTok. During many OOTD videos, the brand the Pants Store is a name that often comes up.
To some, the Pants Store is a new phenomenon that only gained popularity within a few years. However, the brand’s history goes much further than Bama Rush.
What is the Pants Store? The Bama Rush favorite has been around for decades.
Scrolling through #BamaRushTok requires hearing about the Pants Store. On the hashtag, multiple sorority hopefuls wear the brand on the first and second rounds of Rush and other events like the much-talked-about philanthropy days.
While college students are well-adapted to The Pants Store, millennials on TikTok, like @flydogdigital, admit they had no idea the brand existed before TikTok. Like other brands, the girls shout out, like Gold Hinge or David Yurman, the Pants Store wasn’t popular in the early Aughts or even the 2010s. But according to Inc, the brand has been around since 1950.
The Pants store is a “third-generation family business” owned by brothers John and Michael Gee. In an interview with Inc, Michael said the business started in the trunk of their grandfather’s car and eventually became a wholesale warehouse in Leeds, Ala.
The brand was achieving success before it became a TikTok phenomenon. Michael, who learned of the craze from his then-14-year-old daughter, said he had no idea it would be one of the must-have Bama Rush companies.
"It went wild," Michael said of the brand’s newfound success in August 2023. "It was crazy.”
The Pants Store CEOs are taking advantage of their popularity on social media.
Since its rise in sales, the Pants Store has seen a surplus of online sales, which Michael said has skyrocketed to “more than 600 percent year-over-year.” The company also saw a boost in online sales from many college towns — not just The University of Alabama.
While Michael admittedly didn’t have enough staff before the small business went viral on TikTok, he said they updated their employee number in time for the August 2023 #BamaRush events.
“We've got a much fuller staff," Michael explained to Inc. “We have better inventory."
In addition to hiring more staff, Michael credited the power of social media for his brand’s increase in revenue. One crucial choice he made was to hire his younger employees to create social media content for the Pants Store.
The two-person social team posts multiple times a day and is active on the app that started it all for them — TikTok. During the August 2023 Bama Rush week, the social media team reposted TikToks from girls wearing mini skirts or shorts to the events.