“PANTS HAVE COME A LONG WAY“
“Who wears the pants in the family?” was taken in the literal sense in the name of patriarchy. Pants once represented the symbol of power and authority, more than a clothing necessity. Although, women through stages have rebutted the ‘pant- related’ patriarchy, shunning the rights and wrongs of the society, even if they had to go to jail for it. Would you imagine women wearing pants were considered ‘useless’ and it was a crime to do so?
A woman named Elizabeth Miller, who dared to wear a bloomer in 1851 (pants that were gathered at the waist and ankles) is credited as being the first woman to wear pants. Women’s fashion bloomed in the early 1900’s .Coco Chanel made a fashion statement in her runaways with sports clothing and suit trousers and Paul Poiret’s jupe- culottes or harem pants with an incredible comfort quotient to it. This era also witnessed a significant rise in beach pajamas and leisure pants.
The revolutionary change in women clothing, came about during World War I, where not just the fashion enthusiasts or protagonists, but women who worked in factories wore pants. This became more prominent in World War II where women replaced men at the workplace, finally ‘wearing the pants in their family’. The trousers used then are an integral part of formal wear today.
In 1934 Levis introduced their 1st line of jeans for women, which initiated the rise of all varieties of jeans that we see today. In the 1950’s capris and cigarette pants which were high waisted body fitting mid-calf length pants emerged vastly. The 1960s saw jax pants gaining popularity because of its figure hugging shapes and rear end zippers. The 1970’s marked the rise of the hippie movement and bell bottoms ruled these movements.
In the 1990’s, wide legs made a comeback with different variations, especially in jeans. Emerging Hip hop culture introduced big baggy pants for fashion, which remained in and out of fashion too. In the 2000’s, track pants (made out of velour and terry cloth) were the show stealer. In 2010 leggings gained popularity, as athleisure wear. Even artists like Demi Levato wore leggings to their gigs.
Recent years have seen a mixture of blast from the past, with a modern touch. For example, Bell Bottoms have largely boomed in the past 5 years. Harem pants and culottes went through changes, materially. Pants are still a symbol of women empowerment, in the backward and less educated part of our country and they are still considered worth breaking barriers for. Pants today have become a symbol of aura or mood for the women, wearing it. We at August co, believe the same. Our women (literally and symbolically too) do, ‘wear the pants in their family’ – A bunch of strong independent women, who support each other.
So, next time you wear your pants, don’t forget to remember the struggle your pants went through, to fit comfortably between your legs.