En kort historie om lange bukser - til kvinder

A brief history of long trousers - for women

Today, few people can imagine a wardrobe without trousers of one kind or another. A pair of jeans, trousers for sports or 'jogging' trousers for relaxation, shorts, pajama trousers...

Even if you mostly wear dresses, you probably want one of the ones mentioned somewhere in your closet. Funnily enough, that was also where it started; with sports, pajamas and work trousers, but to begin with the beginning…

Women and pants

The earliest western trousers

In Western culture, women only really started wearing pants in the 20th century. It was even forbidden by law for women to wear trousers in many countries, e.g. USA and France.

Unlike in the west, working women in ancient Greece and China are believed to have worn trousers and in India it was normal for working women to wear trousers even in the 19th century.

Amelia Bloomer

In the 1850s, women's advocate Amelia Bloomer began to wear the so-called Bloomers, these were the loose trousers that sat close to the ankles known from the Middle East and Asia, close in style to the so-called 'harem trousers' of the 1990s (probably not a word we would use today ) She was the first woman to own and run a newspaper herself, and the desire to wear pants must be seen against the background of the many layers and impossible corsets and padding that women were expected to wear at the time. It was impractical for freedom of movement and could be unbearably hot and harmful to health. In the 1800s, other women's rights women began to wear the loose trousers, aptly calling them 'freedom dress'.

Trousers for sports and Haute Couture

At the end of the 19th century, sports began to become popular, also for women. Cycling was the big craze, along with tennis, swimming and riding, and it was also cycling that made more women start wearing loose trousers .

Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel

However, it was the famous fashion designer Paul Poiret who made trousers Haute Couture by being the first to launch trousers for women in 1911, still in the so-called 'harem style'. Today, Paul Poiret is best known among fashion aficionados, but he was a landmark first-mover in many areas, including he was also the first designer to create perfumes for his fashion house. They were called Parfums de Rosine, named after the daughter and still exist today.

Coco Chanel quickly got involved and first created trousers to ride in, her 'garconne' style was made for trousers.

Coco Chanel Serge Lifar

Trousers for women in the 1920s and 1930s

During the First World War, women began to work in factories and the dirty work, together with the safety element of operating machinery, meant that the women here began to wear work trousers.

Prohibition period and the Riviera

In the 1920s after World War 1, Europe was run down and Europe's nobles and rich no longer had money as before, which meant, among other things, that French designers began to orient themselves towards America. In America, alcohol was banned from 1920, and the wealthier Americans therefore flocked to Europe, i.a. the French Riviera, where you could party and drink.

Beach Pajamas

It was in the late twenties/early 30s that the famous 'beach pyjamas', or beach trousers, trousers with plenty of room, became popular. They were young, modern and daring, and among these women the trousers were therefore a big hit.

Marlene Dietrich and Amelia Earhart

It was also in the years after the First World War that sportswear became more modern, also for women. For example, it was also the female aviators such as Amelia Earheart who appeared in public in trousers, and she even created a brand of leisure clothing for women.

First jeans for women

In the 1930s, trousers were still a separate phenomenon, although famous women adopted the trousers; among the most famous are Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn, but also Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1933 became the first 'First Lady' to wear trousers on an official occasion.

It was also in the 30s (1934) that Levi's made the first pair of jeans for women. These were work trousers for women as workers on ranches.

Marlene Dietrich
Katherine Hepburn

Vintage inspired trousers at Mondo Kaos

'Sailor' inspired trousers from The House Of Foxy

These iconic 'sailor' style trousers have been in our range for many years. They are high-waisted and have wide legs like our other trousers, but the very special thing about this style is the six buttons at the front.

They are usually a regular part of the wardrobe of the 'pinup girl', 'rockabilly girl' and other vintage fans as they are a very typical 'vintage statement'.

The trousers have a leg length of 81 cm and a circumference / leg width of 63 cm. As the only trousers we mention here, they have no rise, but are, on the other hand, a bit longer than the others.

Vintage style Marlene pants from The House Of Foxy

These pants are the epitome of vintage cool. They are inspired by Marlene Dietrich's iconic 30s look and daring play with masculinity. The high-waisted trousers sit beautifully up to the waist, which can even be further highlighted by wearing a thin belt through the trousers' straps. These pants are the only ones with belt loops.

The trouser legs have plenty of width which falls straight down and gives them the classic vintage look, with a flattering silhouette. The trousers close with a zip and a button at the front. There are also hidden pockets on the sides.

They have a length of 78 cm and a top that can be laid down for tall girls (approx. 177 cm +). The leg width / circumference of the trouser leg is 53 cm. The material differs further by being in a Cashmere wool blend, which also makes this model slightly more expensive than the others.

Marlene Dietrich trousers

Swing pants from The House of Foxy

The beautiful swing trousers from The House of Foxy, like our other trousers, have wide legs and a high waist. They are inspired by 30s / 40s fashion, and close at the side with 4 beautiful white buttons which give the trousers a beautiful detail.

These trousers are a classic in Mondo Kaos and are available not only in the classic black but also in beige, navy blue and red.

They have a length of 78 cm and a top that can be laid down for tall girls (approx. 177 cm +). The leg width / circumference of the trouser leg is 55 cm.

Hepburn trousers from The House of Foxy

Another 1940's inspired pant made from a genuine 1940's vintage pattern tailored to the modern woman's figure.

The trousers are inspired by the iconic Hollywood star Katherine Hepburn who was one of the 'pants front women' in the 1940s.

They have pockets on the sides, close with a zip on the side and a single button at the top of the waistband, and then they have nice bright contrast stitching.

The trousers have a length of 78 cm and a hem that can be laid down for tall girls (approx. 177 cm +). The leg width / circumference of the trouser leg is 55 cm. The material in these pants is a bit stronger than our aforementioned sailor & swing pants.

Our beautiful wide leg trousers in vintage style from The House Of Foxy.

Gray Marlene trousers with wide legs vintage style
Riviera trousers with wide legs vintage style
Green pants with wide legs vintage style
Marilyn Monroe vintage jeans

Pants and the Second World War

The 2nd World War meant that women in the 1940s had to work, e.g. in factories, as ambulance drivers and as an active part of the war effort, and in general by taking over many of the men's jobs. As in the First World War, this meant more practical and safe clothing: trousers and pantsuits , as well as shorter hairstyles.

It was also here that jeans gained traction. It was durable work clothes.

Trousers in the 1950s.

In the post-war period, the focus was on women having to be 'women' again, i.e. wearing fine and feminine dresses. This was not least the fault of Dior's New Look, when he put the swing dress and a few seasons later the tailored pencil dress/wiggle dress on the agenda.

But the trousers were here to stay: slacks for 'the nice' and jeans - especially among rebellious young people.

In the 1950s, jeans for teenagers became popular culture thanks to actors such as James Dean in 'Wild Blood' (Rebel without a Cause) and Marilyn Monroe in "The Misfits".

Also icons such as Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, who themselves grew up on a farm, made jeans a symbol of youth rebellion.

Our Jeans in 1950s style from Lady K Loves.

YSL and Le Smoking

Although trousers up through the 1950s and 1960s remained the exception in the women's wardrobe, that was to change again with the help of a French designer. It was in 1966 that Yves Saint Laurent presented Le Smoking, a tuxedo for women, and again seriously focused on trousers for women. Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minnelli, Lauren Bacall and Bianca Jagger became ardent followers of the new style.

From the late 1960s it had finally become more normal for women to wear trousers, even in their regular wardrobe.

Helmut Newton YSL Le Smoking

We love the new styles, and hope to have given you plenty of inspiration to jump into trousers .

Best wishes,

Team Mondo Chaos

Read more:

Fashioned in the 1950s

Guide to body types

Fashioned in the 1960s

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