The only slacks I own are yoga pants. Tights in the winter, bare legs in the summer, I wear skirts and dresses all year long – camping, hiking, bike riding even to scrub the toilet. In the 1970s, I remember fighting my dad to wear slacks to high school and then wore skirts at college.
Rachel Kramer Bussel, a fashion blogger, also owns no slacks. I agree with her reasons:
· Skirts and dresses make me feel good.
· They’re comfortable.
· They work with the shape of my body.
· They’re forgiving.
· They’re versatile.
· I travel frequently, and dresses pack easily.
Of course, women have worn slacks for hundreds of years. According to the website History and Women, “The Wigan pit brow girls scandalized Victorian society by wearing trousers for their dangerous work in the coal mines. They wore skirts over their trousers and rolled them up to their waist to keep them out of the way.”
But slacks on women were still scandalous when Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn began wearing trousers. According to the Fashion Encyclopedia, it wasn’t until 1939 when slacks were finally embraced by the fashion police.
“By 1939 Vogue, the respected fashion magazine, pictured women in trousers for the first time, and many women wore pants for playing golf or tennis and riding or bicycling.”
The tides certainly have turned. Walk any busy pedestrian byway and you’ll see many more slacks than skirts and dresses. Maybe when my husband dies, I’ll wear slacks like my grandma did -- but I doubt it.