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Trousers (or "pants" in American English) are an item of clothing worn on the legs. Trousers may cover the legs entirely or only the upper parts, a modern variant of this is called shorts. Trousers are always joined in the groin, and usually fastened around the hips or waist[?], and the legs are covered separately.

A belt may be used to adjust the tightness in the waist, and for decoration. Alternatively suspenders[?] (called braces in British English) can be used to uphold trousers that are loose in the waist.

Trousers were introduced into European society at several points in history, but gained their current predominance only in the 16th century.

Based on the Bible, some Christians believe that women should not wear trousers, but only skirts and dresses. However, since the "second wave" of feminism in the sixties, many girls and women wear such garments only for special occasions, for example weddings, romantic dates[?] and dances such as the high school Prom, though even this is steadilly declining as more and more switch to pantsuits[?] and it can be said that the practice of wearing dresses and skirts has all but "died out" among females.

Trousers and shorts are seen as being more practical to the "unisex" lifestyle and behaviour that became more dominant among females. A disadvantage of skirts and dresses is that they may be either too tight and therefore limit freedom of movement such as when climbing ladders, or too wide, in which case one, because of modesty, may feel the need to take the trouble to avoid exposing underpants while sitting, playing, doing sport or when there is a strong wind.

Widespread in the Western world is the belief that men should not wear skirts and dresses, but trousers, with the exception of Scottish skirts (kilts) and special costumes, e.g. that of religious functionaries. See also Cross-dresser.

A very common type of strong, informal trousers made of thick blue cloth are blue jeans.

Among certain groups saggy, baggy pants exposing underwear are in fashion, e.g. among skaters, for whom it also provides more freedom of movement.

See also: Breeches[?], Codpiece, Hakama, Pantaloons[?], Georgepants

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