Blooming Lovely: Fashion and the Suffragette Movement

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The Bloomer Outfit in 1850

Short Story: Contrary to logic, Amelia Bloomer didn’t invent the item of clothing known as bloomers. Bloomers were invented by Elizabeth Smith Miller, herself a civil rights supporter from a family of civil rights supporters and abolitionists. As an advocate of Victorian dress reform, Elizabeth Smith Miller was one of the first women to wear Turkish pantaloons with a knee-length skirt. Bloomer, who ran and edited the very first newspaper in America for women: The Lily, promoted the wearing of bloomers. Though her support of this dress reform, Amelia Bloomer’s name became associated with the outfit, and eventually named for her.

AmeliaBloomer-sig.png

Elizabeth Smith Miller in on the right of this image.

Long Story: In 1849, the Water Cure Journal, a popular periodical that focused on health matters, suggested that bloomers were a healthy alternative to other forms of female dress. Dress reform as a big…

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