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09 May 2012

Guest Post - ‘Great’ Moments in the Evolution of Pants

There was a time when few wore pants.  Insane, right?  Skirts, kilts, kimonos, togas and burkas were the rage.  Twelve-year-olds were getting married.  Glue hadn’t been invented.  It was a very dark time.

Luckily, however, in mankind’s continuing struggle for improvement, someone looked at human physiology and realized we have TWO LEGS.  Imagine what would happen if we tailored clothes to say characteristic?  Magic, that’s what.

In honor of National Blue Jeans Month*, below are Great Moments in the Evolution of Pants.  Without these critical benchmarks in the annals of fashion, we might be permanently sporting Snuggies…

Pantaloons

One small step for pants, one giant leap for… pants.  The ancestor of today’s khakis and cargo pants, pantaloons were worn under hoop skirts; consider them the gateway drug of the free leg movement.

Knickers

We have a great deal to thank the founding fathers for, not the least of which is freedom.  They also wore pants, however, known as knickers.  Knickers went great with buckled shoes and the blood of Redcoats.

Jodhpurs

Popular in the 1920s and 30s, jodhpurs lost some of their panache after becoming fashion staples of 40s fascists.  Now they’re most often seen at horse shows and on the chauffeur in “Downton Abbey.”  I’m rooting for them to make a comeback, delivering a much-needed win to pear-shaped women everywhere.

Blue Jeans
  
Blue jeans are where pants really hit their stride.  What would we do without denim?  Revert to pinko Communist Russia, that’s what!  Blue jeans are Mom, apple pie, baseball and Hillary Clinton all rolled into one.  Everyone has a favorite pair.  Skinny jeans, boot cut, boyfriend, bell-bottomed, low-riding, high-waist – there’s something for everyone!

Chaps
 
Once confined to cowboys, chaps have progressed leaps and bounds, and are now acceptable for cowboys and bikers.  Generally – unless you’re in certain clubs in Vegas or LA – chaps require an additional under layer.  This makes them no less pant-like, however.  Just ask this guy.

Capri Pants

Why wear a pair of pants when you can wear ¾ of a pair?  Too bad they’re not priced accordingly.

Parachute Pants

  
Please Hammer – don’t wear ‘em.  Representing a very dark chapter in the chronicle of slacks, parachute pants are just asking for a TSA pat down.

Jeggings

The most recent craze is a blend of legging and jean.  Most popular in Europe and with a certain alcohol-soaked “actress,” these painted-on pants are flattering on anyone who weighs less than 90 pounds.

I made that up.  If Hallmark can do it, so can I.


By Guest Blogger -
Katie Fetting-Schlerf is a blogger who lives in sunny Seattle. She is thankful to live in world of jeans and penicillin. You can follow her on Twitter, but she rarely tweets.

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