Today is National No Pants Day, which you could observe by wearing a skirt, kilt, a long robe, or I suppose just some undies.

Or you could go really old-school and put on a Roman toga or tunic – though the ancient Romans actually did a 180 on the question of pants.

They were for them after they were against them.

So to start, why were they against pants?

Well, as Atlas Obscura reported, it wasn’t so much that they were against pants as they were against the people who wore them.

The Romans didn’t necessarily need to cover their legs up because the climate in their part of the world was pretty agreeable.

But the cultures they encountered and often fought, the ones they referred to as barbarians, did wear trousers.

The Romans considered themselves civilized and considered these peoples backwards, so by extension pants became a sign of being uncouth and unrefined.

But over time, the allegiances in the ancient world changed.

Some of the pants-wearing groups the Romans had fought became their allies against other so-called barbarians, and the Romans realized that the more-form fitting pantaloons were more useful in war than tunics that could get in the way.

From there, pants just grew more and more popular.

In fact, they got a little too popular.

In 397 CE, the emperors of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires decided that trousers should be reserved for the military only, and that any civilian found wearing them would be “delivered into perpetual exile.”

While I don’t know if any Romans ended up having to leave home for the crime of putting on a pair of pants, I do know this rule didn’t last long.

Only 13 years after that imperial decree, the pro-pants Visigoths came to Rome and sacked it.

And only a century or two after that, everybody in the Roman court was wearing them.

Tomorrow in Prague, Oklahoma, it’s the Kolache Festival.

The main focus is on eating these sweet Czech treats.

But there will also be Czech folk dancing, a tractor pull, a beer stein contest AND a polka contest!

So you get to burn off all the calories from the kolache!

How Pants Went From Banned to Required in the Roman Empire (Atlas Obscura)


Pants or no pants, you definitely want to join us as a backer on Patreon

Image via Wikicommons