What are sailor trousers? The elementsSailor trousers are defined by:
- A drop-front panel with a double row of vertical buttons.
- A wide leg, more or less bell-shaped.
- A medium to high rise.
Hobbs Keeva Trousers / Miu Miu printed silk crêpre de chine Blouse / Max and Co. jacquard car Jacket / LK Bennet Mikaila suede flat Shoes / LK Bennett Bella Suede Clutch Handbag / Anton Heunis Sophia emerald Earrings / Tom Ford Lipstick in Violet Fatale / Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Show Me the Pink.
A bit of historyAt the beginning of the 19th century most genteel trousers reached the knee and had a flap in front called a "fall front"could be held in place by two or three buttons at the top or at the sides that could be easily undone when nature called.. As no belts were worn, trousers (then also breeches or pantaloons) were held up by tight-fitting waists, adjusted at the back by gusset ties. Seats were baggy to allow a man to sit and rise comfortably.
In the case of American sailors, their trousers were not knee-length, but long and bell-bottomed. Nobody is absolutely sure of the origin of the cut, although it is suggested that the idea was to set sailors apart from civilians before the introduction of uniform regulations. In any case, it had the benefit of keeping trouser legs dry after they were rolled up above the knees during shipboard duties.
In the second half of the 19th century, crackerjack trousers were help up by buttons that replaced the previous string tie at the waist and had the flap, or "broadfall", held in place by seven additionally - and easily replaced - buttons. In the final years of the century, six buttons were added to the flap, resulting in a symmetrical design that allowed answering the calls of nature and prevented the the unwanted unveiling of the wearer.
Historical Surveys of the Evolution of US Navy Uniforms
Jane Austen's World, an informative, delightful blog about all things Austen.
This post contains no affiliated links.
This post first appeared on The Red Lipstick: Own Your Style, on March 25, 2016.