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Fashion History: Palazzo Pants.

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Fashion History: Palazzo Pants.

Fashion vernacular: Palazzo pants are long women’s trousers cut with a loose, extremely wide leg that flares out from the knee.

Fashion history: Originally seen worn by fearless women like Coco Chanel in the roaring 20s, and later by avant garde actress Katharine Hepburn in the 30s, palazzo pants first became popular during the 1960s.  Some upscale restaurants resisted modern fashion trends by refusing to admit women wearing trousers, which were considered inappropriate by some proprietors.

Palazzo style trousers (1920s)

This posed a problem for women who did not want to wear the skirt styles that were then in fashion. Some women opted to circumvent restaurant bans on women in pants by wearing the palazzo trouser.

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By the late 1960’s the counter culture movement adopted the looser more comfortable flared pant going so far as to buy naval uniforms from surplus stores to embellish with stitching and patches.

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(Image: ©The Fashion Plate)

The mid-1970’s introduced the power suit for women which included the palazzo pant created by high end designers such as Giorgio Armani and Donna Karen. The style has gone through a number of reinventions over the past 35 years including most recently by Balmain Paris for Spring 2016.

Lupita Nyong'o in Balmain SS16 on the Late Night With Seth Meyers talk show. (photo: courtesy)
Lupita Nyong’o in Balmain SS16 on the Late Night With Seth Meyers talk show

Other names for palazzo style trousers: culottes, bell bottoms, and flared leg.

Palazzo Pants by Oscar de la Renta. (photo: courtesy)
Palazzo Pants, Oscar de la Renta

About The Author

Nichelle Cole is the founder & creative director of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

(10) Comments

  1. […] which would not allow ladies to wear trousers. So once again, hybrid bottoms came to the rescue. Palazzo pants were technically pants, but so wide and billowing that even the most snobby maitre d’ would […]

  2. […] which would not allow dames to wear trousers. So is again, hybrid bottoms came to the rescue. Palazzo pants were technically gasps, but so wide and billowing that even the most snobby maitre d’ would […]

  3. […] Palazzo style trousers (1920) https://thefashionplatemag.com/2016/06/02/fashion-history-the-palazzo-pant/ […]

    1. Nichelle Cole says:

      Thank you for sharing our post!

  4. […] which would not allow dames to wear trousers. So once again, hybrid bottoms came to the rescue. Palazzo pants were technically gasps, but so wide and billowing that even the most snobby maitre d’ would […]

    1. Nichelle Cole says:

      Thank you for sharing our post!

  5. M. Dodd says:

    My grandmother used to make my mothers shorts which she called culottes. They were elastic in the waste and then loose shorts that came down very loose to the knee.

    1. Nichelle Cole says:

      That sounds like a cool trouser design. Too bad we can’t post pictures. Thank you for your comment, M.Dodd.

  6. […] was a popular trend way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and now we can again style this vibrant, comfortable and […]

    1. Nichelle Cole says:

      Thank you for sharing our post Jenie!

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