The credit for making wearing pants fashionable for women goes to Coco Chanel. In the 1920s, Chanel popularized pants for women as a practical and comfortable alternative to the restrictive and formal women’s fashion of the time. She famously said, “I gave women a sense of freedom. I gave them back their bodies: bodies that were drenched in sweat due to fashion’s finery, fabrics imprisoning them, corsets constraining them.” Chanel’s influence on women’s fashion extended far beyond pants, and her legacy continues to be felt in the fashion world today.
The modern trend of women wearing pants can be traced back to the early 20th century when pioneering women such as Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Smith Miller advocated for women’s rights to dress more comfortably and practically. However, it was the Hollywood actress Katharine Hepburn who popularized wearing pants for women in the 1930s and 1940s. At a time when women’s fashion was dominated by skirts and dresses, Hepburn’s on-screen persona and off-screen fashion choices helped to make pants fashionable and acceptable for women.