When did pants become acceptable garb for almost any occasion? Of course that answer depends on where you look. However, judging by the International edition of Vogue Pattern Book for August/September 1971, pants had really taken off.
I counted nineteen different bifurcated patterns in the magazine, from pants, to shorts, knickers, culottes, and evening palazzos. Several were by top name designers, including a pair by Pucci trimmed with long fringe. While a few had both shorts and pants in the same offering, one pattern set by Guy Laroche offered a top, a skirt, a vest, and a very skimpy looking pair of hot pants.
As an indication of just who was supposed to be wearing pants in 1971, almost all of the patterns came in a size range of 6/8 to 16, with only two exceptions (one to 18, the other to 20). Larger women and half size women had only one bifurcated choice, Vogue 8081, described as both a “pant jumper,” and a “snappy jump-culotte.” This jumpsuit style dress might have pleased neither those who wanted pants nor those who wanted dresses.
And someone please tell me, were knickers (American usage for loose pants gathered below the knee) really a thing in 1971? I don’t remember them at all. Did women actually wear them or were they an invention of fashion magazines?