Women weren't initially allowed to wear pants and they were confined to wearing skirts and dresses. However, they had to fight for their right to wear what they felt like
When you think of women's clothing, trousers are rarely the first ones to come to our mind. But, in the 21st century, there's no limitation to what women can wear. But did you know, that this wasn't always the case? In fact, a woman wearing pants was unimaginable in the '60s. Women mostly wore skirts, reports PlanetSweetPea. In the 1960s, what men and women could wear was vastly different, and society had set predefined rules that both genders had to follow.
Jan remembers the day when history was made in 1969, and girls were finally allowed to wear pants to school. She recalls being a student at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon, when young women walked into the school halls, towards their lockers, with their head held high as they soaked in the new freedom they were afforded. "It was on this momentous day, at long last, women of every shape and size were allowed to hang up our skirts and dresses and wear pants to school. She says back then girls were expected to look different than boys and wearing pants was considered "un-lady-like". "On cold, stormy snow days were permitted to wear pants under skirts to walk to school. Once at school, we were to take off the pants until the walk home," she noted.
"And I do believe that on this one day," she continued, "this historical day that we were allowed to put one leg in and then another, zip or button up, whether spoken or thought, in the minds of young ladies, courageous and spirited or self-conscious and timid, the question, 'Does this make my butt look big?' was born." She then listed out five distinct dates from the previous century where women made significant strides towards attaining their own choice with regards to what they got to wear. One particular story sticks out to her which she recounted.
"It’s 1896. Mrs. Louise Cranston is angrily reprimanded by her husband Tom after she orders a suit of bloomers, 'You shan’t wear bloomers!' he exclaims. With her neighbor Mrs. Kynaston, they devise a plan to sway Tom’s decision. When he comes home that evening, five women in sporty bloomers stand before him, but to no avail. 'Don’t speak to me of bloomers again[, he snorts, 'you may go to those women’s rights meetings if you want, and you may wear standing collars and men’s waistcoats, but you shall not wear trousers.' Louise agrees and vows to never mention bloomers again. 'That’s a dear, good girl,' he replies and promises to do anything else she asks of him."
The plot was by no means done. So the next evening Mrs. Cranston asked her husband to keep his promise and help her with a task wherein he would put on an unfinished dress so she could finish the hemming. Although Mr. Cranston was quite reluctant, he did decide to keep his promise and decided to dress in women's attire. In doing so, he walked into a trap set by his wife and Mrs. Kynaaston, the neighbor. "But alas Mr. Kynaaston walks through the door and a humiliated Tom is snared in their trap. A bit of humor covers Tom's embarrassment and he declares to Louise, 'If you’ll call my promise off, you may have the bloomers or anything else you want.'" Jan then explains how women have had to fight to liberate themselves even to attain simple pleasures such as wearing pants whenever they felt like it while explaining that they had indeed come very far.