The most iconic trouser styles for women throughout history


The most iconic trouser styles for women throughout history

There are hundreds of trousers available – from basic jeans to bell-bottom trousers. Some styles have been around for over a hundred years, while others are only just being designed. Throughout history, women wearing trousers has been a symbol of strength and power. Nothing says girl boss like a trouser suit, right ladies?

Of course, some styles are more popular than others, and some trousers will never go out of style. Here are the most iconic trouser styles for women throughout our history.


Back in 1873, Levi Strauss designed the first pair of jeans that eventually became known as Levi’s jeans today. Jeans are worn by men and women and possibly the most popular style of trouser across the world. You can dress them up with heels and a blouse or go for casual jeans and a t-shirt look. It can be challenging to find the perfect pair of jeans – especially for women. However, once you’ve searched through high-rise, hip huggers, straight, skinny and every other style – you are bound to find the perfect-fitting dreams for your shape.

women throughout history

Bell bottom

The bell-bottom trouser is the fashion symbol of the 1960s counterculture in the United States. A flared trouser is associated with being rebellious and bold – just like the 1960s. However, this trouser style was actually introduced a century earlier by the sailors in the US Navy. They did not have a strict uniform in the late 1800s, so they began to design new styles. The sailors liked the flared trouser because they could roll up the bottoms if they got wet at sea.

Capri pants

Cropped trousers, also known as capri pants, were first designed by Sonja de Lennart in 1948. They became the go-to trouser of the 1950s and were worn by fashion icons, such as Grace Kelley and Aubrey Hepburn. Capris are still in stores today and are made from various materials, including denim, cotton, and polyester. They are considered to be a more casual style of trousers and are often tight-fitting.

Cigarette pants

In the 1950s, women ditched their looser garments and started to wear figure-hugging items, like cigarette pants. This opened up a whole new world for women’s fashion, and tight-fitting items are still worn today. Cigarette trousers slowly transitioned into our beloved skinny jeans, and women still adore how flattering this trouser shape can be.

Palazzo pants

Did you know palazzo pants played a role in the feminist movement? In the 1930s, women made a statement with these wide-legged trousers and shocked those around them. Palazzo pants are loose-fitting and often made from anti-wrinkle fabric.

Each style of trouser has its own story and role in fashion history.

Last modified: July 19, 2021