Skip to content

Wearing the Pants

2013 October 2

Pants, trousers, slacks, dungarees, jeans–no matter what you call them, women love wearing them. Skinny jeans, the great leggings vs. pants debate, wide-leg trousers, colored jeans–pants are still a hot topic and trend. But of course, it hasn’t always been this way. Once upon a time, it was unheard of for women to wear pants.

I came across this article in the Guardian this morning and found it really interesting. From Evelyn Waugh to Barbara Pym to Helen Fielding, writers have used pants as a way to characterize their heroines as bold, fearless, and dynamic. For a long time, in fiction, pants on a woman were a signifier of “bad” behavior.  This jives with my point in my post of a few weeks ago–clothes are an essential author tool for forming characters. Unfortunately, once upon a time, it was considered radical for women to wear pants, so, poof–an easy way for authors to signify strength and a certain stubbornness in their female characters.


What would we do without pants? Let’s all be grateful for our fearless leaders in the trouser revolution for paving the pants way for the rest of us.

–For more terrific vintage trousers, check out the Fashion Passion Pinterest board, Wearing the Pants.

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS