Amelia Bloomer's bloomer costume

Modesty takes a turn

Did you know that women were harshly criticized for wearing the bloomer costume (left).

At the turn of the 1900's, women became more physical, and it resulted in a dramatic change in fashion. Amelia Bloomer, an advocate for women's rights, was one of the major voices during this time period. She invented the "Bloomer costume", which was man-like trousers underneath a knee-length skirt. This move to rational dress would allow woman to be more involved in their communities and complete tasks and hobbies more efficiently, such as riding a bicycle. However, some people disregarded that idea and saw it as women "unsexing themselves, costuming themselves as men and forgetting their femininity."

You can listen to Jennifer Smith, a professor at the University of Florida, speak about the burden on women to wear a lot of fabric around this time period.