Trousers are an article of clothing extending from the waist to the ankles, covering the crotch and both legs separately.
There are two paths for a civilization to develop trousers: up from socks and down from briefs.
From loincloth to briefs
The wraparound loincloth was supplanted by a loincloth that passes between the thighs. This became more tailored, resembling briefs or the Roman subligaculum. Ancient Jewish priests wore a miknas, essentially boxer shorts, under their uniform.
From socks to briefs
Hose, stockings, or socks are pieces of clothing worn on the legs and feet. Over the course of the 14th to 16th centuries in European men's fashion, these became longer until they reached the waist and joined over the back side. As hemlines on men's coats rose, hose began to be worn with a codpiece, or jockstrap; this later became part of the hose as the "fall", a flap for urination that buttoned at the top. Sometime in the 16th century, the hose separated at the knees, forming "upper hose" and "nether hose", which became breeches and socks respectively. The fall rotated into the fly.
From briefs to trousers
As men entered areas with cooler climates, they made their briefs longer and thicker to provide more protection from the elements. First, these extended past the knee and became breeches; later, they fell to the ankle and became trousers.
Despite that trousers fit the shape of a woman better, trousers have traditionally been associated with men. This could be because men do more of the manual labor that needs the extra mobility that trousers allegedly provide compared to a long skirt or tunic.
The domination of trade by trouser-wearing European men through the 18th through 20th centuries spread trousers throughout the world. Now it is almost universal for men in the G-20 countries to wear trousers, except in Saudi Arabia and perhaps the less-industrialized areas of places like India and Indonesia.
Alexis Madrigal believes that men wear trousers because men rode horses. This continued into the twentieth century as the diamond-frame bicycle obsoleted horseback riding. But the horse left a seemingly indelible mark on Western men's fashion. Even the Spanish word used for menswear sections of department stores, ropa de caballero, literally means "clothing for one who rides a horse".
In the twentieth century, especially starting on the home front during World War II, it had become acceptable among the general public for women to wear trousers. Apparel manufacturers introduced trousers specifically cut for a woman. By the end of that century, some progressive-thinking men began to realize how boring it can become to always wear trousers when women have the choice. So on the first Friday in May, try putting on a kilt or a thobe. At least it's more modest than what some people who observe No Pants Day do.
And until sometime in the twentieth century, little boys wore dresses. Even President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wore one.
Some elderly people prefer a nightshirt or nightgown instead of pajama separates due to easier access.
Some fundies among Jews and Christians believe that Deuteronomy 22:5 prohibits women from wearing trousers and men from wearing skirts. This position has been labeled trouser tyranny by people who read the verse to include distinctly feminine trousers as feminine and distinctly masculine skirts as masculine.
In the early 2010s, scientists set out to approach this scientifically. One study showed that wearing a kilt improves sperm quality. Therefore, trousers are obsolete, and at least one commentator is under the impression that in a perfect world, pants would be illegal.
LIFEHACK: Once you give up pants, you can break off the spring clips of trouser hangers and use them to hold salty snack bags closed.
In some areas of what is now Noen, hemlines on men's coats never rose, and long tunics for men remain to the present day a fairly common fashion choice even after Noen established contact with other parts of the world. And as in some parts of the real world, knees are still widely considered a private part, so loose breeches that tie at the waist and both knees continue to be worn in warmer climates.
- Women need less space for their genitalia than men. See, for example, various pages on kiltmen.com.
- Alexis Madrigal. "Q: Why Do We Wear Pants? A: Horses". The Atlantic, 2012-07-11. Accessed 2012-07-12.
- Peter Turchin. "Cultural Evolution of Pants" (also part II). 2012-07-07. Accessed 2016-07-08.
- Chris Bucholz. "5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be the Exact Opposite". Cracked, 2012-04-24. Accessed 2012-04-24.
- "Age Before Lewdy". Not Always Right, 2013-03. Accessed 2013-04-10.
- EJO Kompanje. "‘Real men wear kilts’.. The anecdotal evidence that wearing a Scottish kilt has influence on reproductive potential: how much is true?". Scottish Medical Journal, 2013-02. Accessed 2013-10-21.
- AuntieMeme et al. 18 Widely Used Technology You Didn't Know Is Obsolete". Cracked, 2013-10-21. Accessed 2013-10-21.
- J. F. Sargent. "6 Mistakes You Will Make When Buying Your Next Car". Cracked, 2014-07-01. Accessed 2014-07-01.
- Amanda Mannen. "The 5 Least Effective Life Hacks People Apparently Use". Cracked, 2015-04-09. Accessed 2015-04-09.
- Jenifer Fenton. "Cover-up campaign hits Gulf streets". Al Jazeera, 2012-06-14. Accessed 2012-06-23.