Slacks are a garment with a waistline at or about navel and a legline at or below ankle (RW196310). They are the common pants, worn by both sexes. In the event the feet are also covered in Bikini Science parlance they are termed tights.
Slacks in Bikini Science?
Although not a swimsuit, and certainly not a bikini, slacks often enter into the realm of swimwear: Slacks are a frequent covering worn to and from the beach over a bikini bottom. Slacks sometimes complement bikini tops in High Beach and non-beach environments. And slacks sometimes are indeed worn while swimming.
Slacks are also included in Bikini Science for the sake of completeness--they are the "culotte" which covers the entire leg.
Slacks are thought to have evolved in what J. C. Flugel calls Arctic Costume, and their evolutionary role is discussed in the Time Machine (Primitive Costumes).
Finally, recall that slacks play a role in the early evolution of the swimsuit, especially after 1900. Slacks are a part of the battle of the women's movement, and the legline of slacks, which threatens to unveil the ankle, marks the beginning of the long regression that leads to capri pants (which bare the calf), pantaloons (which bare the knee), shorts (which bare the leg), and beyond. Without slacks there is no panty-brief bikini, no nombril, and no g-string.
Variety in Slacks
Slacks enjoy vast diversity of venue, design, fabrication, material and pattern. But because their role is slightly peripheral to our main course, we promise to keep this a limited discussion.
In their initial swimsuit manifestation slacks were a woolen garment, and one which became especially heavy when wet. Their role is described in more detail in the post-Victorian chapters of the Bikini Science Times.
In modern times, slacks include loose-fitting cotton garments, with blue jeans among the most popular and typical manifestations (KN9202). Equally popular, especially on the beach and at the resort, are skin-tight constructions of Nylon and Spandex that fit the body so tightly that any garment worn underneath would be instantly revealed. Popular for exercise as well as a beach coverup, these too are worn with all soutien-gorge.
Waistline & Legline Variations
Slacks are made with and without belts, although belts are not always worn (VB8412). A variety of fastening locations and mechanisms aid egress and exit. Over the years fastening locations have included the side of the hip, the front, and even the middle of the hips in the back. Popular fasteners include the zipper, buttons, hooks and eyes, and even velcro. Stretch fabric slacks require no fasteners and no belts. Zipper fasteners often have a single button above, which the sly fashionite may choose to ignore.
A near infinite variation of leg patterns exist from the very fitted to bell bottoms, but by definition a slacks has a legline at the ankles, so the play in leg length is very limited. As soon as the legline shortens and calf is put into play the operant species is capri pants.
Over the years the waistline of slacks has varied widely. It has been highly influenced by the waistline of bikini, with hip-hugging waistlines emerging in the 1960s and remaining an almost constant fashion statement ever since, integrating the rolldown, for example (JE8901). Indeed, the belly-down waistline has even migrated to the street, where it has vigorously combined with the croptop to dance the midriff. (MP96G2).
The halter and slacks combination has become streetwear.