The Proud and Illustrious History of Pants, Part One

Throughout the ages pants have dutifully borne the weight of man, but how often do we stop and think about where and when our trusty trousers first originated?

We here at LIVSN are dedicated to bringing pants into the 21st century - and so it is our sacred duty to dig deep into the back pockets of their history. 

Although the original inventor of pants is unknown, the earliest concrete evidence of their use is around 1000 BCE in central Asia as a modified form of loin-cloth leggings.

 
When pants marched into the western world around the 3rd century BCE, they did not find immediate fans in the ancient Greeks and Romans, who found them barbarous when compared to their flowing robes and togas. Emperor Honorius outright banned the usage of pants within the city of Rome in 397 CE, a dark date for the early pants adopters of antiquity.

 


Ancient Romans didn't truly "get it" with pants until centuries later



Yet what pants lacked in social acceptance they made up for in raw utility, as they were undeniably comfortable and provided a far better range of motion and insulation as the materials held closer to each leg. Pants became begrudgingly more acceptable in areas with colder climates and were officially adopted by mounted soldiers around 500 CE.


In time they became a sign of the upper classes, as only they could afford to buy and maintain horses, and from there, pants were off to the races throughout the next millennia.

European fashionistas of the 15th century started experimenting with more intricate designs and luxurious materials, and eventually, the appearance of pants became more important than their practicality. Different fits and cuts were experimented with, some admittedly more successful than others, but the results were useful innovations like buttons and zippers.

It was all a necessary phase

In 1701 Peter the Great proclaimed that pants were mandatory for all men, a glorious moment for long-suffering pants enthusiasts everywhere. This signified that pants were becoming the official dress of the modern world and that their enjoyment was no longer limited to just the upper classes.


The middle of the 20th century marked another important expansion of the global pants party, as women wearing pants became more socially acceptable (notably due to earlier adopters fighting the good fight for centuries beforehand). Among other basic human rights and freedoms, people around the world demanded pants, and the exclusionary forces working against them were unraveling more with each passing year.

Historically, pants make people happy
 

Pants then became a symbol of equality and freedom as they became more comfortable, durable, and globally available and affordable. These are the same values LIVSN strives to uphold, and we are proud to add another chapter to the storied history of pants. 

So tomorrow when you wake up and put on your pants, remember that with each step you are continuing a rich historical tradition that spans over 3,000 years.

Written by Brian O'Dea

 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published