I was getting ready and putting my pants on, and I thought, why? Why do we wear pants? Pants are comfortable and functional; there are many types of pants for various activities. I was interested in knowing about the history of pants. Surprisingly, I found out that the history of pants was connected to one of my favorite activities, horseback riding.
Before pants, people in many cultures wore skirt-like bottoms. For example, in Japan people wore kimonos, in Scotland people wore kilts, in the Roman Empire tunics were worn, and in China they wore traditional robes. People wore skirt-like bottoms because they were the simplest way to cover up.
Although the exact date is unknown, people started riding horses around approximately 4000 BC. People wore the skirt-like bottoms when they started to ride horses, but skirts were not ideal clothing for horseback riding. Overtime, riders started wearing pants because it was practical and comfortable. People who rode horses were often of higher-status. The new garment spread quickly because the wearing of pants was linked to people of high status.
In 2014, the oldest known pair of pants was found. The pants are roughly 3,000 years old; they were found in Central Asia. These pants were found on a nomadic horseman; scientists think he was a horseman because he was buried with a bridle, bit, battle-ax, and leather bracer. The trousers were made of wool and have a woven leg decoration; they resembled modern riding pants.
Men started to wear pants because of horseback riding, and I found out that bicycling played a roll in why women started to wear pants. Before women started wearing pants they wore long billowy skirts and corsets. Bicycling started to become popular at the end of the 19th century. Women started to ride, but it was uncomfortable to ride bicycles in these clothes. Women traded their long skirts for bloomers, flowy pants that went just below the knee. Bloomers made it easier to ride a bike. Women wearing more practical clothing, like bloomers, started the Rational Dress Movement at the end of the 19th century.
People started wearing pants because of horseback riding. I was surprised to find out that pants-wearing was so closely connected to one of my favorite sports. I also found it interesting that the popularity of bicycling got women wearing pants. Today, I can see how other sports, like yoga, have influenced the types of pants people wear today.