IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

events: Visual studies today: The power of images


Katarina Nina Simončič
Trousers and Skirt in Fashion Culture – Symbol of Gender?

In the history of Western culture, there has been a clear distinction in clothing between genders ever since the 14th century. Hence, men "reveal" their legs and start wearing something we can refer to as trousers, while women continue to wear the long dress, which will be replaced by the skirt in later periods. Strict social rules based on moral values have kept this division in the culture of clothing all the way to the second decade of the 20th century. However, during this long period in history, we can also notice some exceptions to the general rule. This paper will focus on those deviations and analyze the reasons for their appearance, purpose and persistence. An attempt will be made to justify the time determination referring to "appearance" and "disappearance" of the division, and also to explore the issue of clothing and gender identity in contemporary fashion. For this purpose, historical works of art will be analyzed, as well as clothing items and designers who have left a mark on the 20th century fashion.