182. Bloomer.

Amelia Jenks Bloomer, the editor of an American magazine the Lily- was a staunch supporter of dress reform for women. In the 19th century, women wore tightly laced corsets and voluminous dresses which gave them a “bee’s waist”.

The dress reform advocated by Amelia was wearing a jacket and a knee length skirt. Beneath the skirt, a long pair of trousers was firmly tucked into the boots.

This out fit, which is more than modest by the standard of dresses worn today, caused a storm of controversy. This dress had already been designed and worn by another contemporary dress reformer, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller.

“Bloomer girls” were considered as rebels. They were denied entry to churches and other public buildings. It was predicted by media that bloomer girls would fail in their career and end up in lunatic asylums or state prisons.

Soon bloomers were widely and wisely accepted on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The reason was the newly developed past time of the ladies, namely riding bicycles. Bloomer was the ideal dress for women for riding bicycles.

Soon bloomer came to denote just the long pair of trousers worn under the skirt or just any other from of long under garment.

Visalakshi Ramani


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s