Redcliffe Pier

Sunday, May 8, 2011

FIRST WOMEN TO WEAR PANTS IN LONDON

Its a good day to remember my mum, Florrie. She was born in 1912 in Lankashire and died in 1999 in Brisbane, Aust.

Florrie was the daughter of a mine manager and the second youngest of 8 siblings. When she finished school in Yorkshire at Thorn's House, she went to London to study nursing in 1930. She made friends with a girl called Charlie. They had lots of fun together and often went on country walks. My mum was very fashion conscious and wore up to date clothes all her life. (I never got those genes, unfortunately). In those days it was frowned upon for women to wear slacks/pants. It was thought vulgar.


"Following the war, in the 1920s, women exposed their arms and legs, flattened their chests, bobbed their hair to look boyish, and got the vote; but pants remained taboo, except in the realm of sports.
When diva film star Marlene Dietrich appeared in slacks with flared bottoms in her United States debut film Morocco in 1930, she signalled the emergence of women's pants from sportswear to high fashion. Wearing them both in films and private life, she popularized the pants look."
(from the net) 


Mum saw Marlene in the movies and decided to wear pants but there were none in the shops. So she and Charlie bought mens pants and wore them on one of their walks. Naturally, it caused a stir, as this had been thought a vulgar thing to do. However, a newspaper photographer thought it would make a good story. So he photographed them and the caption was:


 "First Women to Wear Pants in London."


Charlie in front and Florrie at the back.

27 comments:

  1. COOL! Great way to get in the news.

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  2. What a nice story and a lovely photo of them. Look how happy and brave they are walking in their pants! Those woman made the way free for us.

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  3. way cool story, love it lots. that picture is priceless. my dad was a baptist minister and pants were a no no for adult women until the mid 60's in the south. we teens wore jeans, but never pants too school. i graduated high school in 63 and we were still not wearing pants to school. in mid 60s they invented pant suits and working at Sears we could wear matching pants suits but not pants and that was in the 70's. we did not wear pants to church until the 70's and most women not until the 90's. loved your story of your mum

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  4. Oh wow, I'm really impressed with your Mum and Charlie. How gorgeous they look too!

    I remember timidly choosing to bare my legs (no stockings) with skirts back in the 60s but that was such small peanuts compared to what they did!
    Florrie and Charlie rocked :D)

    You must be so proud Diane ... your post is a wonderful tribute to your Mum.

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  5. Your Mum was a real style setter - I'm thinking that this was about the time that Coco Chanel started wearing pants in Paris and she was considered very avante garde.
    Your Mum looks very happy strolling the hills with Charlie.

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  6. I always say I'd like to have lived in "those years past" but I probably could not have done it. I wouldn't be able to wear the dresses every single day of my life. I don't know how (or why) they did it. Kudos to those brave women who moved onward with the styles. All those miles of yardage of material.....No. I couldn't have done it.

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  7. No wonder that the photographer wanted to take pictures, your mom was a very pretty woman !
    My aunt was the same style, she was born in 1915 and married an American in 1951. She also wore trousers very early. My mother not of course !

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  8. Just marvellous looking in their pants!

    Thank you very much for the blog list! Wow, thank you!

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  9. I love this story, Diane. What a outgoing lady your dear mom was. And so attractive. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week. Jo

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  10. I love this about Grandma, I hope I take after her! Xxx

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  11. Charlie and your mom look so comfortable and happy. The photo of you with your mother is lovely!

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  12. That is a great story and thanks for showing the photo to go with it. That is remarkable! Nancy

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  13. Wow! I would never have thought that wearing pants would cause such a stir! Good on your mum!

    I remember when my dad married my Malaysian mum and brought her back to Australia in the 60's it made the front page of the Sydney newspapers.

    What will cause a stir in 50 years time I wonder?

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  14. What a wonderful tribute to your Mother, and the picture of her with Charlie is pretty neat.
    I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

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  15. Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog - glad you found me via Diane and that you enjoyed the photos of our meeting. The photo of your Mum and her friend is wonderful:)

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  16. Hi Diane, What a great tribute to your mother. She was a great lady---and not afraid to try something new. What a fabulous trait to have. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. A great story Diane, your Mom was a trend-setter. I never thought about it before, but I could see how people would get upset at seeing women in pants for the first time, as sensational as the birth of Rock and Roll..

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  18. Damn this was an interesting read and good on your mum not being to timid to go with something she thought might me a good idea, we often don't think about the women who paved the way for us. Today we don't think twice about wearing pants although I only like to wear them in the winter months and even then I still prefer skirts and dresses but there are times when a pair of pants or jeans are just what I feel like wearing.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  19. Great story...and part of your own family history, which adds to the interest. Loved reading this!

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  20. What an interesting anecdote about your mother, Diane! She was a beautiful woman and obviously loved life!

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  21. We so take it for granted we can wear whatever we want these days! It's hard to imagine the stir a woman wearing trousers would cause!

    All the same, I'd like to hand out a few fashion infringement notices when wearing what you want actually looks awful!!!

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  22. What a fantastic picture and story about your Mum! I can see where you got your adventuresome spirit!!

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  23. Another great post .. made me think of my Mum who was about the same age as yours but she would not wear trousers ever. As for being stylish she didn't win in that area either and I do take after her.

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  24. You had a wonderful brave Mother! In the late 1940s, early 1950s my mom (about the same age as yours) wore a housedress -- and stockings with seams -- even just to go to the grocery store (in our little town in the Pacific Northwest). In her later years, when she wore wash&wear pantsuits, she said she didn't know why it had taken her so long to be "liberated."

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  25. What a wonderful story! I love it!

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  26. A very cool woman!
    I don't think I wore pants until I was in high school. We couldn't wear them to school so I don't think I had any until then.

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