If it wasn't for Coco Chanel, we would be seeing women in skirts and dresses only. Even though trousers seem like a very normal and acceptable piece of clothing now a days, they did not get accepted for women until the 1920's. They first appeared as beachwear or lounge wear, only the most fashion forward women dared to wear them during any occasion. Chanel introduced a very relaxed, wide but elegant pair of trousers, better known as yachting pants. At first she only wore them herself, but later other women who admired her style wore them too.
How it all started
During the war women were obliged to wear trousers, while they were working in traditionally male jobs. Coco Chanel didn't wear them as a fashion item in the first place either, it was a way for her to cover herself. She wore the sailor's pants at the society beach resort of Deauville, as an act of modesty. Due to this, the style quickly spread as many fans tried to copy her style. In the end she regretted how careless she was by wearing them. She thought it was terrible that more than 70% of women chose to wear pants during evening dinner.
Pyjama or daytime outfit?
The yachting pants were nothing like any regular kind of pants today. The first version was a very wide legged pants, which still resembled a skirt. It was kind of a pyjama feel, because of the light fabrics that were used. It was a comfortable and stylish option for the beach or for a sailing day. That's where the term 'yachting pants' comes from. Paired with a matching jacket, the pyjama like ensemble made a nice swimsuit cover-up. Or you could wear it as she wore it, with a knitted cardigan.