A woman wearing denim pedal pushers on Broadway in SoHo, New York City (Summer 2011)

Pedal pushers are calf-length trousers that were popular during the 1950s and the early 1960s.[1] Often cuffed and worn tight to the skin, they are related in style to capri pants, and are sometimes referred to as "clam diggers". The name "pedal pushers" originated from the style originally worn by cyclists, because long pants can catch in bicycle chains, but the style quickly became identified with teenage girls.[2]

In popular culture

They are the subject of "Pink Pedal Pushers", a 1958 song by Carl Perkins.[2] A novelty song from the 1950s on MGM records was called "Skin Tight, Pin Striped, Purple Pedal Pushers" by Sheb Wooley, who had his biggest hit with "Purple People Eater". Tom Waits uses a reference to pedal pushers to emphasize the youth of a "little Jersey girl" in the song Heartattack and Vine.


See also


  1. ^ "GLAMOROUS NEW PEDAL-PUSHERS". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 26 December 1952. p. 5. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b Gunn, Tim (2012). Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible. ISBN 978-1-4516-4387-9.