Trousers ending above the knee; SYN. knee breeches, knee pants, knickerbockers, knickers.
Form of trousers that extend only as far as the knee. Prior to the introduction of trousers in the late 19th century, men wore breeches with stockings as part of their everyday dress. Since the 19th century breeches have been worn mainly for riding or other sports, such as golf, field sports, and walking.
ETYM French pantalon, from Italian pantalone, a masked character in the Italian comedy, who wore breeches and stockings that were all of one piece, from Pantaleone, the patron saint of Venice.
Trousers worn in former times.
(Usually in the plural) A garment extending from the waist to the knee or ankle, covering each leg separately; SYN. pants.
Garment designed to fit the body from the waist to the bottom of the leg with separate tube-shaped sections for each leg. Straight ankle-length trousers were introduced in the 1800s, but were not considered acceptable attire for men until the late 19th century. Prior to this date men had worn stockings and breeches.
An attempt was made to introduce a version of trousers for women in the 19th century, but they did not become fashionable until the 1920s when Coco Chanel introduced loose, baggy trousers for leisure activities. Women working in factories and on the land during World War II wore trousers but they did not become generally popular for women until the 1960s. By the 1970s trousers had become an acceptable part of formal and casual wear. Examples of trouser designs are Oxford bags, pedal pushers, and flares.