when could women wear mens clothes in america

when could women wear mens clothes in america

When Women Could Wear Mens Clothes in America

It’s no surprise that America has had a long history of rampant gender stereotypes, and before the 20th Century women were forbidden from wearing mens clothing. Despite this, there were several unique moments when women had the chance to break into the fashion world and were able to wear mens clothing with pride.

The Flapper Movement

During the years of the early 20th Century, a social revolution took hold in America: The Flapper Movement. As women’s rights began to take hold and they joined the workplace, they were now able to afford to buy their own clothes. Flappers wore modern clothing styles such as the:

  • Cloche Hat – A close-fitting hat that was designed for women of the 1920s.
  • Gatsby Look – Mimicking the look of Jay Gatsby, flappers often wore drop waist dresses and glittery shoes.
  • Loose Trousers – Loose trousers, along with vests, start appearing as part of the flapper fashion.

This period of time paved the way for a shift in how women were seen throughout America, and the idea that they could wear the same clothes as men.

The 1960s Liberation Movement

The 1960s brought with it the rise of the feminist movement and the idea of female liberation. This decade saw a surge in women being more vocal about their rights and at the same time, saw more and more women wearing mens clothing.

Highwaisted trousers, workman style jeans and dungarees all became commonly seen on the streets and women felt empowered by being able to express and wear their own style. The 20th Century marked a turning point in how women and fashion were perceived, and it’s no wonder that the idea of female empowerment is still seen in today’s world.


The idea that women have been able to wear mens clothes throughout American history has changed drastically over the last 100 years. From the flapper movement of the 20s, to the liberation movement of the 60s, we can see just how much society has developed in terms of approaching fashion and gender equality. Nowadays, anything goes and women can feel empowered to wear whatever they feel comfortable and confident in.

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