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Centaurs are amongst us in modern-day society, but for the sake of decency they wear pants when in public. Whether or not a person, whether they are horse from the waist down or not, does so in private is their right to choose. From what I know about centaurs and the field of trouser engineering this carries a few problems:

  • Centaurs can't reach back far enough to pull their pants up over their rears and they don't always have someone nearby to help them, so they need some kind of tool that allows them to do this. Failing that, they need a system different from what humans use to fasten their pants.
  • Centaurs have tails. It is uncomfortable to tuck them into their pants, so there bust be a hole for the tail.
  • Said pants must cover all of their legs, for both they and the humans decided that pants that just cover the hind legs would look silly. If possible centaur pants are a single piece, but if there is no other way there could be front pants and back pants: the front pants are put on first with a waist around the horse body that goes a bit towards the back, and the back pants have their waist go over this. It's like tucking your shirt into your pants. But instead of a shirt you tuck your pants into your pants.
  • In case that a centaur needs to use the bathroom, the pants must be able to be loosened so that they can use the toilet with ease. Toilet stalls and other such places are large enough to accommodate a centaur, but having enough space to completely remove the pants might be difficult (imagine removing your own pants in a rather small toilet stall). Whatever such a toilet might look like is for another question.
  • They have horse "bits" in the back, but not human "bits" in the front. So in the front there's only the usual muscle and skin there.
  • Hooves need not to be covered. These are pants, not (horse)shoes. But they need to fit over them. Somehow.

Would such pants be possible? I know that they are more difficult to engineer (and likely less practical) than skirts or other such coverings, but I am looking for an answer that covers this issue like pants.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, it sounds like if I was a centaur I'd wear a shirt and be done with it. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 28 '16 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon I agree. Centaur culture would be to not cover up, and have little time for humans who don't like that. They'll claim it's just the human's feelings of inadequacy driving them to oppress the natural state of their neighbors. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 29 '16 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JDługosz Nah, considering that they are half human, they'd understand humans are very vulnerable. And I'd expect women to have shirts. But they wouldn't really cover up their horsy parts, especially since regular horses never wear clothes and people see them all the time. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 29 '16 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ What kind of world do these centaurs live in? Since you say "amongst us," my first thought is that you mean to restrict answers to modern-day technology, no magic, but it might be better to specify this explicitly in the question. $\endgroup$ – sumelic Feb 29 '16 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ The eternal debate is reborn. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Feb 29 '16 at 20:55
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Given the complexity of movement in the horse's legs (walk, trot, canter, gallop), and the need to both allow movement of the tail and also quickly be able to go to the bathroom (especially if a centaur is vegetarian, and moving a lot of grass or oats through the gut), pants of any sort are going to be quite impractical.

Centaurs who want or need to be "dressed" will have to adapt something similar to the barding used in the middle ages.

Barding

Barding covers the "unmentionables" while still allowing free movement of the legs, and does not impede the ability of the creature to void when needed. Barding could be fairly rapidly put on by the centaur, or more elaborate "formal wear" might require the services of a groom or valet.

Barding also can be adapted to fulfill multiple functions. Military and police centaurs can have barding made from armoured materials for protection. In the middle ages, barding could range from leather (which could at least deflect sword strokes) to full metal armour that could stop arrows or even pole arms and other direct attacks.

Barding can also be patterned, much like the heraldic patterns of the Middle Ages, although you can also imaging tartans like kilts, or the use of more elaborate patterns and weaves to indicate wealth and social status. Like kilts and skirts, there is an area of vulnerability to both "peeping toms" and to the weather (a strong wind might blow the barding up and over, but weighted hems should minimize that danger).

So centaurs won't slavishly imitate human fashion on the lower half. In fact, centaur upper garb might be patterned in order to match the barding, rather than the other way around.

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Rather like this?

enter image description here


Caution: As necessitated by the question, I will need to make some references to bits of centaur anatomy that more modest readers might consider "private".

Really, only three technical innovations seem necessary to make horse centaur pants as convenient as possible:

  1. Red suspenders. (You don't usually wear pants on your back, right?)
  2. Bell bottoms and overall looser fit to get around hooves, knobby knees, etc.
  3. A cutout at the back so that the normal horse centaur defecation method is unlikely to result in unsightly skid marks.

And now, a word about urination

Perhaps surprisingly, urination is the tricky part. Males might be able to use some kind of string-activated trapdoor or zipper mechanism to facilitate urination (no, I will not be doing a sketch). Females will have a tougher time of it, and (similar to their human counterparts), might need to at least partially remove part of the pants pre-tinkle.

Honestly, if I were a fashion-conscious centaur, I might just snake a catheter and enjoy my night on the town.

How to get into them?

One leg at a time, baby, just like everybody else.

It's going to be a bit of a circus act, no matter what. Without a helper, they would probably need some kind of "pants stand" that they could first fasten the pants to with their arms (and velcro), and then just step into each pant leg, fasten the suspenders (just within reach) and walk away feeling like a very clever centaur, indeed.

Other considerations

Reproductive activity is--in my humble opinion--best done unclothed anyway, so I don't see any special concessions being required for that. Plus, more or less by definition, you have someone very motivated to help you undress (and redress, if they still respect you in the morning).

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  • $\begingroup$ Love the suspenders idea, but I'm not sure how to pull them up once inside all of the legs. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jacobs Feb 29 '16 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @ThomasJacobs True, reach is going to be a challenge almost no matter what, but as long as the suspenders are far enough forward on the body, a reasonably flexible centaur should be able to flip them over and attach them. Magnetic or velcro fasteners would probably be a big help. They could also use a simple reaching stick or one of those claw grabber things some humans with limited mobility use to pick things up. I'd imagine most centaurs already own such tools, as reach would be an issue for many activities besides pants. $\endgroup$ – type_outcast Mar 1 '16 at 18:33
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The biggest problem for centaur pants will be reach. Pants work well on humans because we can actually reach our own feet; Centaurs don't have that luxury. The human method of getting dressed goes something like this:

  • Hold pants in front of oneself
  • Step first foot through first leg-hole
  • Step second foot through second leg-hole
  • Pull pants up legs to waist
  • Zip, button, and/or otherwise attach

A centaur may be able to hold his pants in front of himself, and he may even be able to step his front feet in, but he can barely see his back feet, never mind reach them to pull up his pants. Even an assistant centaur couldn't reach. Barring an embarrassing amount of assistance from a human, the entire act of dressing must be completely different, and thus the clothes themselves must also be very different.

However, these pants are solely for looks; the horse part of a centaur can handle significantly worse conditions than humans, so these pants don't need to be warm, and can be made of light, tough material. Additionally, since these pants are solely for modesty, they don't need to cover the entire leg; they'll be more like shorts than actual ground-length pants. Not only do shorts make it easier to dress, they also won't get nearly as dirty since they aren't near the ground.

Just before getting dressed, the pants will be open; they resemble a fitted sheet, with two holes at the back. The centaur steps his back feet into those holes, grabs the pants, then slides them up his back legs. When in place, the pants will cover from just above his 'knees' to right against his tail, perhaps even with a short extension over his tail.

Then, the centaur folds the sides up and over his back, attaching them with a large zipper that goes all the way to his tail (the zipper probably has a hook that fits a stick, to push it all the way to the end). Next, the centaur folds the two front pant legs around his front legs and middle. They zip as well. At this point, the centaur is dressed, or at least his lower half is.

These pants make it difficult to use the bathroom. There may need to be yet another zipper underneath, but that would be difficult to reach. As others have mentioned, a skirt or kilt for the rear portion may make more sense, though it lowers the modesty, especially if running. However, the addition of pockets to the pants will be amazing; pockets on the front and side could hold all manner of things. Cargo pants would allow a centaur to nearly pack all his belongings. Other styles would also be possible; sheer or net material for the non-essential areas (back, chest, stomach), additional material (on tail, or as a full-body skirt, or for longer legs - bellbottoms, anyone?), prints (like on t-shirts; the sides and back would be perfect for designs), and so on. Something tells me that zebra stripes may make a comeback.

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not to get too deep into it, but the real answer depends on where the reproductive organs of the centaur lie, and, if applicable, how many there are. the only reason to cover both sets of legs would be having two separate sets of genitals at either end, one for the horse and one for the human. maybe just have a big skirt-like thing like they used on horse armor in the middle ages? i dont think i can finish this answer because i really want to not think about this at all

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  • $\begingroup$ Genitalia are located at the back and are horse-shaped. In the front there's nothing but muscle and skin connecting the human and horse parts. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jacobs Feb 29 '16 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ in that case, it would probably be easiest to just them a cape- or dress-like piece of fabric that covers their rear ends and is easy to move aside. although if formality is stressed over ease of use, the designs could probably get pretty intricate and complex, given that centaurs have around two to three times as much room for fashion and accessories as humans do. $\endgroup$ – Duncan Urquhart Feb 29 '16 at 15:04
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HimieThe anime, "A Centaur's Life", covers many of the questions on clothing and usage of a bathroom which are asked here. It also covers seat belts in transport.

In Volume 2, there is an illustration that shows a Centaur is flexible enough to rotate the human body, so it faces over it's back, the fingers of the hand can touch the top of the tail.

The bathroom, is more of a wet room, but with baths that can be stepped into. Normal shaped toI let bowls, because the Centaur has enough control to squat over it and move the horse tail out of the way. They are not eating large amounts of grass or hay, but similar food that the Japanese eat, so no, "mucking out".

The series has been dubbed into English, and can be found on You-tube as well as the Comic translated to English.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please provide relevant screenshots, descriptions, and summaries as necessary. The OP should not be expected to watch an entire movie/tv show to find the answer. $\endgroup$ – John Locke Oct 22 '18 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, guys. So screenshots are permissable ? $\endgroup$ – Graham Bloodworth Oct 23 '18 at 6:40
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You could have a very loose fitting blanket with sleeves. The sleeves would be wide enough so that when lying on the ground, the centaur could step into each of them and feet would be touching the ground.

The centaur pulls it up at the front, and then reaches down to each side and throws each side over his back (Perhaps they are a little weighted to ease the throwing) and using a strap pulls it up from behind over his tail - there is a hole or short sleeve for his tail to fit through which he can manage after a bit of practice.

A system of draw-strings or long laces which are routed throughout the garment (so the ends are all reachable from or near the front) would be used to tighten the garment over his back and around his legs.

To undress, he loosens all the laces and drops down and steps out of the front. There is an elastic component which pulls back the entire garment once the laces are undone and released pulling it back over his back. After that it's just a matter of shaking it off his hind legs.

To use the toilet, there is a long zip along the bottom with a strap, which can be pulled either through the middle of his front legs, or over his back to open or close. Not really sure how he wipes though...

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Well, we could go with no pants, and more of a horse blanket approach, which would probably more comfortable and fashionable for the centaur. Centaurs would need as much and probably more food than a normal horse, so defication would be a problem. A horse blanket approach would make it so that the centaur can deficate with no problem.

Or again we could do a solid pants idea, but it would only cover the hind end of the centaur, because even though centaurs have four legs, pants are used to cover the private area, thats why shorts are acceptable with humans.

Horse Pants

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Possible sure. If you had a complete lower body suit for your centaur that could be completely unzip from the back and if you're centaur had a couple people helping putting it then sure it's possible. Would it be practical? hell no. For one thing we require the help of humans or some other creature to put on. If the centaurs feel self conscious about their feet. They might try something other than pants to cover themselves. Maybe some kind of sheet or animal hide that long enough to reached there hooves. They could put it on what the help of only one other centaur if it had a buckle on the front it could be secured around the Centaurs human hips. There'd be a space in the back so the Centaur could use the bathroom without taking it off. This would probably resemble more of a dress then pants but it would be more practical.

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I believe that centaure pants would be more akin to horse barding with shin guards that match. then that horse barding would have snaps to attach to the tops of the shin guards.

or something like this?

My little master chief

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