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The History Of Trousers Wearing For Women

By Sarah K Howarth

There have been many social constraints for women to come out as an independent entity, and this has been going from the time of our existence. Though women are now seen to be involved in almost every social and professional aspect, but this was definitely not the case, if we trace back to the history of women.

Although trousers for women did not become fashion items until later in the 20th century, women began wearing men trousers for outdoor work a hundred years earlier. In the 1960s, Andre Courreges introduced trousers for women as a fashion item, leading to the era of the pantsuit and designer jeans and the gradual eroding of the prohibitions against girls and women wearing trousers in schools, the workplace, and fine restaurants.

The first feminine garment, similar to pants, were “bloomers”, a full skirt reaching just below the knee, with full-cut trousers underneath.

In the past, pants were referred to as breeches, trousers and trews. Today, women can choose from full leg, straight leg, Capri’s, gauchos, jeans, and tailored suits. History tells us that there is record of 4th Century Persian women wearing pants, but that trend did not really travel to the Western World at that time. The first big rumblings of women wearing trousers occurred at the end of the Victorian period. Ladies got a bit tired of heavy full skirts, whalebone corsets, cumbersome padding, bustles and those multi-layered petticoats.

It was in the 1950s – 1960s that Andre Courreges started manufacturing long pants and trousers for women. It became a fashion item, and women of all ages started wearing trousers. Various types of pants and long trousers were introduced, and women started wearing them to a number of different places such as schools, parties, work and restaurants.

Then in World War I, women had to go into the factories to work as replacements of the absent men. They pulled back their hair and took off their skirts. Loose pants and trousers, similar to riding pants, became part of their work dress.

It was Eastern culture that inspired the French designer, Paul Poi ret (1879-1944), to become one of the first to design pants for women. In 1913, Poi ret created loose-fitting, wide-legged trousers for women, called harem pants. Thus, there is no recorded history of women adopting the fashion of wearing trousers like their men folk until the 20th century.

Still the major fame and acceptance of the trousers for women came in the 1960′s when trousers for women were introduced by Andr Courrges. Since then, trousers are a necessary part of every western woman’s wardrobe.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Howarth, Sarah K. "The History Of Trousers Wearing For Women." The History Of Trousers Wearing For Women. 4 Jul. 2010. 15 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Howarth, S (2010, July 4). The History Of Trousers Wearing For Women. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Howarth, Sarah K. "The History Of Trousers Wearing For Women"

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