The Changing Shape of Trousers
Initially, trousers were a military garment. They came in the form of snug shorts or loose fitting trousers that closed at the ankles.
In the late 14th century, they developed into tight trousers with attached foot coverings. This garment had the appearance of hose and was worn by knights underneath plate armour.
By 1500, proportions becoming more and more exaggerated. Trousers were voluminous, ballooning over the thighs and nipping in at the ankle. They were made from ornate cloth, featuring slashes to reveal the colourful lining underneath.
Eventually, these trousers were slimmed down into simple breeches that fastened at the knee. But, these were later dropped in favour of the ankle length trousers worn by the working class.
It was only during the 19th century that we started to see trousers like the ones we wear today. They were a looser fit with a button fly, worn in neutral colours.
It was Edward VII, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, who set the trend for trousers as we know them today. He was also the figure who took trousers creases into the mainstream.