It isn’t easy to find photos of older women in pants before World War Two, although I am doing my best to uncover them. After the Second World War, the numbers climb. We can credit the same explanation often given for younger women adopting this style. Older women also wore pants for their war jobs—see here and here. At least some must have decided to continue this practical mode of dressing in work and leisure situations. It’s hard to imagine the woman above, who looks like she had lots to do on the dock, showing up in a skirt.
This photo of Anne Spencer, renowned writer, gardener and Civil Rights activist, show practical pants in the garden.
The three above are just a sampling of my photos showing women camping, hiking, and relaxing in pants.
What about more public situations?
Obviously this is just a random collection. It’s only in the seventies that older women take to pants in large numbers and photos become much easier to find. But a very slow trend is already emerging in the post war era. It will finally end in someone like me, who owns not a single skirt or dress.