What are Pedal Pushers?

Pedal pushers are a type of pants that were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. They are calf-length trousers that are often cuffed and worn tight to the skin. Pedal pushers are related in style to capri pants and are sometimes referred to as "clam diggers."

Originally, pedal pushers were designed for women who rode bicycles, as they allowed for greater freedom of movement than long skirts. However, they soon became popular as a fashion item, worn by women of all ages. Today, pedal pushers are still worn by women, although they are not as common as they once were. 

Despite their decline in popularity, pedal pushers remain an interesting part of fashion history. They are a unique style of pants that offer a glimpse into the fashion trends of the past. Whether you are a fashion enthusiast or simply curious about the history of clothing, learning about pedal pushers is a fascinating topic.

History of Pedal Pushers

Pedal pushers, also known as clam diggers, are calf-length pants that were popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s. They were initially designed for women to wear while riding bicycles, hence the name "pedal pushers."

The style of pedal pushers evolved from knickerbockers, which were popular in the late 19th century. Knickerbockers were loose-fitting pants that stopped just below the knee and were typically worn by men.

Pedal pushers were a practical alternative for women who wanted to ride bicycles but didn't want to wear long dresses or skirts. They were typically made from lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen and were designed to be comfortable and easy to move in.

As the popularity of pedal pushers grew, they became a fashion statement and were worn by women of all ages. They were often paired with ballet flats or loafers and a simple blouse or sweater.

Today, pedal pushers are still worn by women, although they are not as popular as they once were. They are often seen as a retro or vintage style.

Characteristics of Pedal Pushers

Pedal pushers are a type of pants that were popular during the 1950s and early 1960s. They are still worn today and are considered a fashion staple. This section will discuss the main characteristics of pedal pushers, including their length, fit, and material.


Pedal pushers are calf-length trousers that end a few inches below the knee. They are shorter than capri pants and longer than shorts. The length of pedal pushers can vary slightly depending on the style and the individual wearing them. Some pedal pushers have a slit on the hem of the knee to increase comfort when walking.

pedal pusher for women


Pedal pushers are designed to be form-fitting and tight to the skin. They are often made of stretchy materials such as spandex or lycra to allow for free movement of the legs. The fabric is usually ribbed to avoid wrinkles when stretched over the knees. Pedal pushers are especially good for those with larger calves because they are short and do not cling.


Pedal pushers are made from a variety of materials. They can be made from dressy fabrics such as wool and cotton blends or casual fabrics like denim. The material used for pedal pushers can affect their overall look and feel. For example, denim pedal pushers are more casual and are often worn for outdoor activities, while wool or cotton-blend pedal pushers can be dressed up for more formal occasions.

Pedal Pushers We Love:

What Are Pedal Pushers Called Now? 

Pedal Pushers are widely known as Capris in America today. Although they are widely called capris now, pedal pushers are typically shorter in length than your American style Capri pant. 

Popularity and Trends

Rise in Popularity

Over the years, the popularity of pedal pushers has ebbed and flowed. However, in recent years, the trend has made a comeback, with many fashion enthusiasts embracing the style.

According to fashion search engine Lyst, searches for "pedal pushers" have increased by 26% over the last three months. This rise in popularity is due to the style being worn by influencers and celebrities, who have been spotted wearing the just-below-the-knee style for casual days out or glamorous nights on the town.

Current Trends

The current trend of pedal pushers is all about styling them in unique and creative ways. Fashion enthusiasts are pairing them with crop tops, oversized sweaters, and blazers to create a chic and sophisticated look.

One popular trend is to pair pedal pushers with wedge sneakers, which gives a sporty and casual vibe to the outfit. Another trend is to wear them with heels, which creates a more formal and elegant look.

Pedal pushers are available in a variety of fabrics, including denim, cotton, and leather. They also come in a range of colors and patterns, making it easy to find a pair that suits your style.

Overall, the rise in popularity of pedal pushers is due to their versatility and ability to be dressed up or down. With the current trend of unique and creative styling, it's clear that pedal pushers are here to stay.

How to Style Pedal Pushers

Pedal pushers are a versatile clothing item that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Here are some tips on how to style pedal pushers for both casual and formal looks.

Casual Look

For a casual look, pair your pedal pushers with a simple t-shirt or tank top. You can also add a denim jacket or a cardigan for some extra warmth. Sneakers or sandals are perfect footwear options for a casual look.

To add some extra flair, consider accessorizing with a statement necklace or a colorful scarf. You can also play with different patterns and textures by pairing your pedal pushers with a printed top or a textured sweater.

pedal pusher style

Formal Look

Pedal pushers can also be dressed up for a more formal look. For a business casual outfit, pair your pedal pushers with a blouse or a button-down shirt. Add a blazer or a structured jacket for a more polished look.

For footwear, opt for a pair of heels or dressy flats. Avoid sneakers or sandals for a formal look. Finish off the outfit with some simple jewelry, like stud earrings or a delicate necklace.

Remember to keep the fit of your pedal pushers in mind when styling them for a formal look. Make sure they fit properly and are not too tight or too loose.

Pedal Pushers We Love:

Pros and Cons of Wearing Pedal Pushers


Pedal pushers are a type of pants that are shorter than regular pants but longer than shorts. They can be a versatile addition to any wardrobe, but like any fashion item, they come with both pros and cons.

One of the biggest benefits of wearing pedal pushers is that they are comfortable and easy to move in. They are often made of lightweight and stretchy materials like spandex or lycra, which allows for free movement of the legs while riding a bicycle or skating. The ribbed fabric also helps to avoid wrinkles when stretched over the knees.

Another advantage of pedal pushers is that they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They can be paired with a blouse and heels for a more formal look or with a t-shirt and sneakers for a more casual outfit. They are also a great option for transitional seasons when it's not quite warm enough for shorts but too hot for long pants.

Pedal pushers are also a good option for those with larger calves. Since they are shorter than regular pants, they don't cling to the leg and can create a more flattering silhouette. The hems of casual styles can be rolled to the knee, which is an especially good idea when you hack off the length of an old pair of skinnies to create a pair.


Finally, pedal pushers can be a seasonal item. They are best worn in the spring and summer when the weather is warm enough to wear them comfortably. In colder months, they may not provide enough coverage to keep legs warm.

Overall, pedal pushers can be a versatile and comfortable addition to any wardrobe. 

September 06, 2023 — Fresh Produce