Table of contents:

Chausses, culottes, breeches, or How men's fashion has changed over the centuries
Chausses, culottes, breeches, or How men's fashion has changed over the centuries
Chaussies, culottes, breeches and others …

Men's fashion is no less fluid than women's. And the clothing patterns can be quite bizarre. Men's clothing is generally practical. But sometimes this quality was neglected in order to present oneself in a favorable light. And it concerned even the most important piece of clothing - pants.


What came before the pants?

Farmers, plowmen and even foot soldiers in Europe, in fact, wore the same thing as their distant ancestors - one or two pieces of cloth with holes for the head and hands. This is how the toga looked, in particular, among the Greeks and Romans. The primitive cut is explained by the fact that the first clothes of people, before the advent of weaving, were the skins of animals they had hunted, which are easiest to use in this way - in the form of ponchos.

The Huns were the first to wear trousers

Later, these clothes had sleeves, which already made them more comfortable. The first who brought the prototype of trousers to Western Europe, in particular to Scandinavia, were the Huns. In the south, the fashion of wearing pants came from the Arabs and Turks. Why exactly are they "accused" of dressing men in trousers? Because these peoples were nomadic, and it is extremely inconvenient to climb on the croup of a horse in a dress.

In hot Muslim countries, both men and women wore harem pants. Moreover, in some states, men's pants acquired bizarre shapes - the armhole was located below the knees.

Afghani has recently become fashionable again among dancers performing breakdancing, and through them - into the youth environment.

Modern Afghani pants

In those European countries where the cavalry army was not honored, the soldiers wore skirts. In Greece, for example, or in Scotland, you can still see these outfits on a strong half of humanity.

Elite Greek infantrymen - Evzones

Men's stockings and tights - trousers prototypes

At first, the trousers looked like stockings, which were called “chausses”. This piece of clothing was made of leather and worn wet. When the skin was dry, it tightly wrapped around the legs. The owner had to suffer, but beauty requires sacrifice. The hem of the shirts became shorter, and, finally, it was transformed first into a skirt, which was sewn to long track shoes, and later into a kind of fluffy shorts.

It was not so easy to bring the highways back into shape

Chaussies also underwent a change - they were made from fabric, sewn at the top and worn over a loincloth. When the puff shorts appeared, in the front, their tailors left an armhole for the male genitals, and the genitals themselves were hidden in a codpiece pouch.

In Italy, highways were called underpants. They began to be sewn from less dense leather, for example, from elk (hence the name "leggings"), and then from fabric. In this case, the codpiece turned out to be an unnecessary detail, the tight-fitting clothing became a little looser and the military began to use it. Leggings became leggings.

Leggings on the hussar

Revolutionary Pants

The puff shorts were getting longer. Thus, breeches appeared in England, which in France were called "culottes". These pants were worn only by men of noble birth. Poor estates and peasants were instructed to wear trousers up to the middle of their shins, with loose trousers, in contrast to the "noble" culottes, where the bottom was formed with cuffs.


Poor people began to call themselves sans-culottes, that is, "culotteless", and not at all pantsless, as many believe. It was this part of society that rebelled against the monarchy, giving rise to the Great French Revolution, and the pants of the sans-culottes, gradually lengthening, became our usual trousers.

How did breeches and flared trousers come about?

The word klesh itself comes from the French word "cloche" - a bell. They appeared in the 19th century, first among French sailors, and then spread throughout the world. They were even worn in the USSR Navy.The legs widening downward made it possible to quickly get rid of the trousers, which saved the lives of many sailors when they found themselves in cold water. One of the advantages of this model was that the fabric did not wrap around the boots and legs, thus not restricting movement.

Soviet sailors

There is a legend according to which the general of the French cavalry Gaston Auguste Gallifet did not appear because of a twisted or sore hip. A friend suggested a model that hid this flaw (or did not cause excruciating pain, as did tight pants).

In fact, the idea of ​​creating breeches belonged to the general himself, whose name they later received. However, he was guided by considerations of practicality, developing a new military uniform. Such trousers could be quickly put on during a surprise attack by the enemy. In addition, they fit well into the narrow tops of cavalry boots. Also, in these pants, the riders sweated less, which during the war in Mexico and Algeria was very convenient for the cavalrymen.

And here is what the ladies' underwear of the second half of the 19th century looked like - "immoral" cambric pantaloons.

Popular by topic