Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls and Other Renegades 2001

By Catherine Smith and Cynthia Greig

Despite what most people may think, American women have always worn pants. Featuring an unusual collection of vintage photographs from the 1850s to the 1920s, Women in Pants documents an almost forgotten revolution in clothing. Defying convention, Victorian dress reformers as well as farmers, labourers, miners, cowgirls and sportswomen openly wore trousers, while other women disguised themselves in men’s attire to get good jobs, go to combat, engage in relationships with other women, or experiment with gender identity. Candid quotes from contemporary newspapers and magazines complement the photographs and enhance our understanding of the culture and time in which these women lived.