Women’s Rights Movement Series, part 2

Continuing our discussion on the Women’s Rights Movement of the nineteenth century, today we highlight the efforts by advocates to change the everyday lives of women.  In particular, the clothes they wore.

One of the controversial aspects of the early movement was the introduction of “bloomers.”  Named after Amelia Bloomer editor of The Lilybut first worn by the Oneida community, these loose pants under shorter skirts drew intense negative attention from society. Often cartoons linked these garments to unsavory behaviors for women such as smoking and chastised those who chose to don them.

Cartoon: “Bloomer Costumes or Woman’s Emancipation” 1850s


Cartoon: ‘Woman’s Emancipation’ 1851