Idealized sans-culotte by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845). In the French Revolution, the sans-culottes were the radical partisans of the lower classes; typically urban laborers. Though ill-clad and ill-equipped, they made up the bulk of the Revolutionary army during the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars. The appellation refers to the fashionable culottes (silk knee-breeches) of the moderate bourgeois revolutionaries, as distinguished from the working class sans-culottes, who traditionally wore pantaloons (trousers).

Idealized sans-culotte by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845). In the French Revolution, the sans-culottes were the radical partisans of the lower classes; typically urban laborers. Though ill-clad and ill-equipped, they made up the bulk of the Revolutionary army during the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars. The appellation refers to the fashionable culottes (silk knee-breeches) of the moderate bourgeois revolutionaries, as distinguished from the working class sans-culottes, who traditionally wore pantaloons (trousers).