wear the trousers

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wear the trousers

To be in charge in a relationship or family. The phrase is typically applied to a woman. Trousers were historically only worn by men, who were traditionally the decision makers. I think it's pretty obvious who wears the trousers in that family—Grandma Helene. Actually, in our relationship, we both wear the trousers—we make decisions together.
See also: trouser, wear

wear the pants

Exercise controlling authority in a household, as in Grandma wears the pants at our house. This idiom, generally applied to women and dating from the mid-1500s, a time when they wore only skirts, equates pants with an authoritative and properly masculine role. Originally put as wear the breeches, it remains in use despite current fashions.
See also: pant, wear

wear the trousers

BRITISH or

wear the pants

If one person in a couple wears the trousers or wears the pants, they make all the important decisions. She may give the impression that she wears the trousers but it's actually Tim who makes all the big decisions. My father said he wanted to discuss the investment with my mother, to which the salesman demanded, `Who wears the pants in your family?' Note: This expression is usually used about women who seem to control their husbands or partners.
See also: trouser, wear

wear the pants

verb
See also: pant, wear