The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April 1, 1937)
Beauty in Trousers — A Summer Holiday Survey
Doreen May has taken to masculine trousers heartily for summer wear. Auckland especially rejoices in the frequent glad spectacle of a long-trousered girl who vainly imagines she is looking quite boyish. The fact that long pants accentuate her femininity never occurs to her. Kohimarama beach, of which I had too brief a view as we went through, was one of the brightest spots in the land with its bathing girls in shorts so short as to be invisible and its parade girls in blue or yellow or red longs so long as to trip them up, and liberal of cloth everywhere but in the rear, where they dimpled tightly, bless their pretty hearts.
Those are the rainbow-like pleasure pants; there are feminine trousers of the workmanlike cut, to be taken seriously. We saw them on the hayfield a good deal this season. The family and the neighbours busy on the field and at the stack often included a young woman in the garb of her menfolk, and she was as capable a hand as any of them.
But the Maori girl in trousers is the most charming picture of them all. She likes them as bright as a picture-book cover, and she unconsciously achieves some astonishing colour schemes. There is a gloriously rebellious head of black hair above a scarlet blouse, and there is a pair of bright blue trousers and a pair of sturdy brown feet. Hinemoa shows off her attire better than her pakeha sister for there is no foolish slimming down with her. She wears her natural figure and she fills her blouse and trousers passing well. Moreover, she is not so self-conscious as the pakeha town girl in tall pants. She goes with an air and a swing that are not assumed but are the natural heritage of a dancing race.
Some pictures on our North Island midsummer rovings:
In Rotorua we saw girls wearing figured cretonne trousers, pleasingly well-fitting about the hips, topped by bright red or yellow blouses and here and there a sports jacket.
In another Maori kainga a middle-aged dame on horseback was selling blackberries from a big basket. She wore long dungaree trousers, very suitable for horseback, and she wore over that a short frilly skirt of organdie which reached to her knees.
But Putaruru, on Saturday night, gave us the most colourful and perfectly delightful item of all. The scene was the footway in the main street; there two girls, merry young parties of sixteen or seventeen, were putting on trousers which they had just bought in one of the shops. They could have got into them in the store, perhaps, but they were more at home outside. They struggled in and tucked in their blouses. One girl had picked scarlet trousers, the other blue. They admired themselves in the shop-window; then they strode off perfectly happy, and, I dare say, perfectly indifferent to what dear old grannie would say when they reached the kainga. But grannie with the tattooed chin would probably try on those strides herself at first opportunity.