How has the appropriation of a male style of trouser by women in western culture marked the growth of female emancipation during the 20th century: a study into the pivotal moments across the century for both couture fashions and ready-to-wear trends.
Women wearing trousers is a very common site in 2018, but less than 100 years ago things were very different for women. This study investigates the development and acceptance of trousers across the 20th century, and how they relate to the growth of female emancipation. Trousers became a symbol of power for women in the late 20th century, how and why this happened will be explored in this study. As this is an overview of the 20th century some pivotal moments have been picked out as focus points. These moments are key to the growth of female emancipation and trousers for women, in relation to couture clothing and ready-to-wear fashion. This study brings together multiple sources to provide evidence of how trousers for women became accepted in society and how they affected the growth of female emancipation. It will investigate how designers made their work popular and will investigate some of the most famous examples of trousers in the 20th century, Le Smoking Tuxedo by Yves Saint Laurent and the development of jeans by Levi Strauss and Co, amongst others. Research into why designers chose to include trousers in their fashion lines for women, and how that links to female emancipation will also be discussed. Connecting trousers for women and female emancipation across the entire 20th century is something that is not widely documented, and further study would be needed to give a fuller answer. This study provides some answers based on the pivotal moments it focuses on.