State OKs Women Wearing Pants to Work

April 21, 1942, Women Wear Pants

April 21, 1942, Women Wear Pants

April 21, 1942: It took the approval of State Public Works Director Frank W. Clark, but women are wearing pants to work!

The fashion iconoclasts are Olive Faisy and Lorena Hermance, telephone operators at the State Building. They were joined by Ruth Jordan, a stenographer for the city of Los Angeles, who received permission from J.D. Lathrop, chief clerk in the traffic violations bureau.

The ladies say that wearing slacks and a blouse is more economical than a dress, and they avoid the costs of a slip, hose and can wear less expensive shoes.

April 21, 1942, Women Wear Pants

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1942, Fashion, World War II and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to State OKs Women Wearing Pants to Work

  1. The following day, thousands of men showed up for work in kilts. Franklin Pangborn was there to encourage each and every one.


  2. Coincidentally, the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild has just been having a thorough discussion of this topic. This 1942 change must not have lasted, or reverted in the post-war period, because it was only in the mid-to-late 70’s (and sometimes later, depending on your U.S. location) that women were allowed to wear pants to work, and girls to wear pants to school. In snow, in rain, it didn’t matter–even kindergarten girls were required to wear dresses at all times. It really makes me wonder: what was everyone so afraid of?


  3. Correction: I made a typo up there–it’s more accurate to say “early-to-mid 70’s.”


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