Eight Basic Styles of Pants, 1964

California Stylist, March 1964

California Stylist, March 1964

Have you ever wondered what to call pants of different lengths? The March 1964 issue of California Stylist provided this helpful chart for eight different styles. (Click on the image for a bigger version.) How interesting that they measured the length from the waist. I would have thought measurements from the ground or the inseam would have been more accurate. Obviously none of these markers would have helped the very tall or very short.

The subtle distinctions between styles surprised me—the Bermuda short four inches longer than the Jamaica short, for example, and the Pedal Pusher three inches longer than the Deck pant. Note also that the full length slacks do not come anywhere near the floor. Capri pants are described as the best selling style. The longer length, in a bell bottom, was a “novelty look.”

Although this doesn’t have any direct relevance to older women, it adds another element to consider when evaluating what they wore. Did older women wait to switch to pants in the seventies in part because they got longer?

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7 Responses to Eight Basic Styles of Pants, 1964

  1. Rhoda K says:

    Great timing on your post. I was thinking the other day about all the different lengths of pants/slacks/shorts and how they’re labeled. I prefer what you show above – guess that’s because I grew up in the 50s 😉 Thanks for all you do here – always good information.

  2. I remember most of those names, but I’ll admit I haven’t worn “slacks” in a long, long time.

  3. eimear says:

    i always liked those types of articles in magazines, how-to guides for the fashion world – or is that women wanted to be sure they asked for the right garment in a shop? (wish i could pull of the slacks look like the illustration…………..).

  4. We called “deck pants” clam diggers” as well. Actually, I’d never heard them called deck pants until reading this post.

  5. Pingback: Mid 1960s Nautical Ensemble | The Vintage Traveler

  6. Jen O says:

    I think that older ladies started wearing pants in the 70s because pants finally evolved into being made from stretchy knits with elastic waists. Before that time, there was still a strong fit to pants that an older figure would have found difficult to wear, never mind selecting the right top. But the evolution of tunic tops with matching pants? Those were a big hit (and easy to sew, making them very affordable). When I was pregnant during that era, I bought my maternity pants off a rack of ladies pants, and they served me well as my belly grew!

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