what are your top ten pants facts?
1. When eurasian nomads first started making pants in the first millenium BC, they didn’t cut the cloth to shape, they wove the shapes they needed on the loom. Mostly rectangles, but still interesting.
2. Pants were a very elaborate garment at the time! When humans first started weaving and wearing cloth, clothes were pretty much “giant rectangle that you wrap around your body and sometimes a belt”. Then, people started making tunics and tunic derivatives, which is basically another rectangle, but this time with a hole for your head and sometimes sewn up the side. Now you have TWO pieces of clothes: the rectangle with a hole, and the bigger wrappy rectangle. This covers like 90% of ancient clothes, including the Roman toga and tunica. So pants, which covered your legs individually, were very ???? to ancient mediterranean people.
3. Otzi, an austrian guy who lived ~3300 BC, was found frozen in the Alps, wearing “pants”, consisting of two individual leg-sleeves made of animal skins with the fur inwards, and a loincloth. The legs of the “pants” tied on to a belt.
4. This is a similar setup to European medieval hose, except that hose didn’t have fur, and also had footies. Also, the whole separate-legged pants things is why our modern word ‘pants’ is plural, even though today it’s one garment.
5. Pants enabled a big leap in military technology- chariots to cavalry. Pants means you can ride a horse and still have your genitals intact afterwards. Turns out, sticking people on top of horses is much more effective than having the horses drag the people around behind them.
6. In like ~300 BC, the Chinese were having massive amounts of trouble with the pants-wearing, cavalry-having Eurasian nomads. Then, some guy had the brilliant idea of making everyone wear pants instead of robes, and proceeded to drive back the nomads and unite China.
7. The Romans and Greeks considered pants to be barbaric and feminine. But having muscular legs was very masculine. Some men were known for wearing ridiculously short tunics to show off their thighs. Marc Antony once mooned everyone by accident because he was wearing a miniskirt and no pants. Very manly.
8. Peter the Great decided that Russia had to be more like the rest of Europe, so he implemented some really strict policies, including a beard tax and mandatory pants. Yes, you could be punished if you didn’t wear pants.
9. The fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent was a major factor in making it acceptable for women to wear pants in public, which wasn’t really a culturally accepted thing until almost the end of the 60′s. In 1966, he debuted on the runway the first women’s tuxedo, which was met with a very ‘meh’ critical reception at the time, but is now considered one of fashion’s most influential works.
10. In the UK, ‘pants’ specifically refers to underpants.
bonus fact: it’s really not that hard to put pockets on pants, but so many designers seem incapable of figuring it out.