The Tradition Of Wearing Pants

The Tradition Of Wearing Pants

Particular bodily processes take two or three fewer steps to act in a tunic than in pants.

So why do we wear them? If to believe the University of Connecticut evolutionary biologist Peter Turchin, pants owe their a few thousand years of widespread fashionableness to horses, or if to be clearer, to the complete awkwardness of riding a horse in a robe. Turchin reported in his recent article for the Social Evolution Forum, that historically there was a very strong correlation between pants and horse-riding.

He points to examples of this correlation ranging from Japan. In this country the traditional dress was a kimono but samurais wore baggy trousers. He also gives the example of Northern America, where Plains Indians donned kilts until Europeans brought horses to the continent. Roman soldiers mounted steeds and accepted pants in the first century A.D. after getting trounced thoroughly by Hannibal and his pantsclad cavalrymen.

Several centuries earlier in pre-unified China, switching from robes to pants became a notion of state survival as the pantswearing nomadic horsemen from Central Asian tried to invade it. Soldiers in lots of the Chinese states successfully resisted those barbarians in trousers, and either galloped uncomfortably in robes or left off horses at all. They paid a high price for it. Turchin said trousers got popular in China by the process of cultural group selection. Those states that didn’t accept pants and cavalry, or accepted them too late, lost to the states that did so early.

Wearing pants became a daily affair in Europe during the eight century, after the fall of the Roman Empire, when the continent fell under the reign of soldiers who fought from horseback – the knights, Turchin said. So wearing trousers became connected with high-status guys and little by little spread to other men.

The association between trousers and horse-riding also gives an explanation why girls stuck to skirts until recently – except, for sure, for the female Amazon women. They wore pants.

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