Pantroversy! Should Women Wear Pants in the Ring?

AKC Gazette “Times Past”— In the January 14, 1973, New York Times, dog columnist Walter Fletcher asked fanciers a contentious question: Should women wear pants in the ring?

“The ring is not a burlesque stage.”


Here are some responses.

Jeanette Cross I’ve made a practice of wearing well-cut conservative pants suits when I’m judging. I find them extremely comfortable and I have no worries when I lean down for a close look at a short-legged dog.

Julia Gasow Although I wear slacks at home all the time, I disapprove of them in the ring—except for obedience.

A.J. Haggerty I think slacks are very practical. However, when a girl appears in a mini-skirt, the crowds always appear around the ring.

James Trullinger No mention is made [in AKC guidelines for judges] of the use of slacks, pants suits or hot pants for lady judges, but I believe they do not have a place in the show ring. This applies also to women handlers and exhibitors. The ring is not a burlesque stage.

Howard Atlee Fashions in presentation of dogs have changed through the years, for example the trim on Poodles, so why shouldn’t the judge be allowed to wear what’s fashionable.

Anne Rogers Clark As long as fashion decrees women may wear slacks to the theater or any good restaurant, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be worn in the ring.

Janet Hobbs Pants suits and slacks are acceptable street wear but I’m afraid if you permit them in the ring next you will find exhibitors wearing Levis and sweatshirts.

Clark Thompson A woman judge in slacks is able to present a much more modest figure when bending low. It might be left entirely to the women to decide for themselves if and how much they want their slips showing.