This posted started with me looking at pictures of women in suits, thinking that I would have a section in that post with women in trouser suits. Then I thought that it would be better to make that into a post on its own, but when I started looking I realized that I would need to split it up. Ordinary women versus the movie stars. Women did wear trousers in the 30’s and 40’s, but they were worn for leisure wear. A Marlene Dietrich or Katherine Hepburn might have gotten away with trousers on all sorts of occasions, but for your average female, you wore them for sports, the beach or for lounging around in the home, not for formal occasions. In Sweden, which I’m sure held true for other countries as well, some workplaces and restaurants forbade women to use trousers well into the sixties. Not all women wore trousers either. My grandmother Greta, who you can see on the picture below, obviously wore trousers for a picnic in sometime in the late 30’s. She was a very fashion conscious girl and her roommate complained because she spent every penny that didn’t go to food and rent, on clothes. However, her mother who was born in the 1880’s could never get used to the idea to don a pair.
Showgirls in Florida.
Woman in zoot suit 1944.