80 Years Of Women’s (Wardrobe) Liberation

Levi Strauss & Co.
November 21, 2014

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published on LinkedIn, where LS&Co. leaders periodically share their perspectives and expertise on business trends, industry issues, careers and the workplace. Have thoughts or reactions to this piece? Head on over to LinkedIn to share them.

This year, women around the world will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first pair of women’s jeans. It’s not what we think about first when we hear the word liberation, but just a century ago, a woman wearing pants was indeed considered revolutionary.

Today, society’s ready acceptance of the jean-clad female comes thanks to the hard work and long history of inspiring women who dared to question their generation’s “acceptable” fashion mores. And as the “inventor” of the woman’s blue jean, Levi Strauss and Company is proud to have played a role in women’s march toward empowerment and equality.

Freedom from constrictive garments was tied to women’s rights as early as the late 19th century. In 1851, a select group of women was inspired to ditch their long skirts and petticoats as a matter of function – they were simply too heavy and restrictive. Women’s rights pioneer Amelia Bloomer (yes, she coined the term) began to promote a new system of dress. And in 1881, the “Rational Dress Society” rallied to “protest against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movements of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health.”

Read Tracey’s full post on LinkedIn for the full history of women’s jeans.