Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Gaiter Boots

December 15, 2012

Boots 1860s

Image from Laura Elizabeth on Pinterest

GAITER BOOTS.

O dainty foot!
O gaiter boot!
To piety you’re shocking;
I only know —
Of one thing worse,
And that a snow white stocking.

So neat and clean,
Together seen,
E’en stoics must agree
To you to vote
What Gray once wrote,
A handsome L – E – G.

The [lasting] theme
Of midnight dream,
The very [soul] of song,
Man wants you little
Here below,
And never wants you long.

By Plato ne’er
Sent tripping here;
By Pluto rather given,
To lead poor man
(An easy plan)
To any place but heaven.

Yet still I vow
There’s magic now
About a woman’s foot,
And cunning was
The wizard hand
That made a gaiter boot.

For while the knave
The gaiter gave
To mortals to ensnare them,
Mankind he hoaxed,
And even coaxed
The angels down to wear them.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 1, 1866

Ballade of Ye Stylish Skirt

October 6, 2012

ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT
By ROY K. MOULTON

BALLADE OF YE STYLISH SKIRT

Miss Euphemia Burt
Bought a stylish new skirt,
The kind that’s so tight that it pinches,
To the mode she was hep
But the young lady’s step
Was at best a scant seven inches.

One could not see her feet
As she hopped down the street
She worried the keen traffic copper.
She could not navigate,
And the cars had to wait,
And he feared that she might come a cropper.

And the autos, my word!
It was truly absurd,
For Euphemia never could dodge ’em.
So they stopped with a slam,
And they got in a jam,
And it took a half-hour to dislodge ’em.

When she went to a show
With her regular beau,
To save time, the lady he carried.
And he said: “I can see
A tough life job for me,
If, perchance, we should ever be married.”

He would set down Miss Burt
In her very tight skirt
And lean her right up ‘gainst the wickets,
So she couldn’t fall down
In her Houdini gown,
And then he’d rush off for the tickets.

Two weeks of this stuff
And he had quite enough,
And eloped with a hack driver’s daughter,
Who was not long on style.

The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio) Nov 20, 1923

Tired to Death

October 3, 2012

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Oct 24, 1897

TIRED TO DEATH.

My lady is tired to death!
She has studied the print of the gay velvet rug,
And given her dear, darling poodle a hug,
And from her bay window has noticed the fall
Of a ripe nectarine from the low sunny wall;
She’s embroidered an inch on some delicate lace,
And viewed in the mirror her elegant face,
Has looked at an album, a rich bijouterie,
Then restlessly owned herself dead with ennui.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Dec 19, 1897

And my lady it tired to death!
Exhausted! It’s strange that as day after day
Of her frivolous life passes away,
So aimless and “stylish,” so empty and fine,
So free from those duties sometimes called divine —
That she wearies of something, she hardly knows what;
Thinks of not what she is, but of all she is not!
Oh no! all emotions are vulgar, you know,
And my lady’s have always been quite comme il faut.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 2, 1898

Still, my lady is tired to death!
Oh woman, false woman, false mother, false wife,
What account can you give of your poor wasted life,
Of that life that has passed like a feverish dream,
The life that has not been to be but to seem!
What account will you give in the awful, last day,
When the pomp and the show of the world pass away,
When the Master demands of the talents He’s given,
A stewardship rendered on Earth and in Heaven?

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Aug 27, 1898

Tired to death!
Cast off for a moment your diamonds and lace,
And shine in the light of true womanly grace;
Look around you and see with eyes raised to the light,
Strong men and true women who live for the right;
Brave hearts that ne’er falter, though distant the goal,
Great lives whose fierce struggles will never be told,
Whose wild, straying hearts stern duties control,
Whose only true life is the life of the soul.

Written for the PRAIRIE FARMER.

The Prairie Farmer (Chicago, Illinois) Jul 14, 1859

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 15, 1898

Straw Hat Passes

September 15, 2012

STRAW HAT PASSES

Fashion Decrees Entrance of Other Headgear.

Thursday evening the careful male wrapped his straw kelly in a newspaper and stored it away for the winter. If he challenged fate by wearing it in public the chances are that it looks like a portion of breakfast food this morning, for an arbitrary law of fashion decrees that on September 15 the felt headpiece must be cleared of moth balls and take the place of discarded straw or panama.

Skylarking youths delight in enforcing this edict of fashion and the strong-minded protagonist of personal liberty who proclaims his right to wear a hay hat with a sunrise band until the frosts of autumn turn the rose tints of an alcoholic nose to blue, is apt to have his feeling outraged and his headpiece trampled in the dust of the street.

The passing of the straw lid is a signal for the end of summer flirtations and the retirement of the bathing girl from magazine covers; it pressages football, pumpkin pie, apple butter and the approach of the season of hunting and hunting stories.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 16, 1921

Among the other trials laid up for us during the coming summer is an advance in the price of straw hats. The war in China is causing a shortage in the importations of straw braid, which comes from Santung, where millions of rolls of the material have been burned and destroyed by the rebels.

Alton Democrat (Alton, Iowa) Jan 13, 1912

They say this is a free country but it is surprising how the straw hats disappear at a certain time each year.

Alton Democrat (Alton, Iowa) Sep 27, 1913

Straw hats are cheaper this year than in 1924, possibly for the reason that the supply of material is greater with no straw votes being taken.

Albuquerque Morning Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Apr 21, 1925

Some time ago we felt the urge to buy a straw hat, but had to use the money to purchase a half a ton of coal. It was a wise purchase, as those who bought straw hats and are now shivering will tell you.

Albuquerque Morning Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Apr 30, 1925

The Period Frock

August 22, 2012

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) Jan 19, 1927

The robe de style, as the French call the picturesque period frock, has been the easiest vehicle for exploiting the flounce ideas, and the great houses have turned out some bewitching models of the sort this summer, some hinting vaguely at 1830 models though far from all suggestion of crinoline, many reminiscent of the Grand Monarque and his court or Marie Antoinette’s days.

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Aug 6, 1911

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Mar 28, 1926

FASHIONED FOR YOUTH.

Period frocks, those charmingly youthful models with little bodices and wide, full skirts, have not by any means been relegated to the background. They are, if anything, more intriguing than ever, for they reveal a distinct Spanish influence which makes for certain picturesque qualities. Not the least interesting of these frocks are those which have an overdress of black Chantilly lace over a slip of satin which is a rich valencia pink in shade. Others of the same beautiful pink tone are flounced with black lace and the effect is enchanting.

However, the period frock is distinctly the costume of youth. While youth may be a matter of actual years, in modern days it frequently is a state of mind aided and abetted by all the arts of the modiste, the hairdresser and the beauty specialist. At all events, youthful contours are essential to the successful wearing of these piquant costumes.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa) May 10, 1925

Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) Aug 17, 1927

The period frock, a headliner for spring, is no longer confined to the young set. Matrons are constantly demonstrating that one need not be overly slender to wear these frocks with distinction.

Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois) May 14, 1928

San Antonio Light ( San Antonio, Texas) Jun 6, 1929

Midsummer Folly

July 27, 2012

Midsummer Folly

Dressed to kill
Applies to those
Who in midsummer
Wear winter clothes.

— Helen Van Dusen

–O–O–

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jan 16, 1948

Expecting Snow?

Nice for fall, but for now, uh-uh.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 20, 1948

Women Everywhere Taking to Slacks

May 3, 2012

(With women, everywhere taking more and more to slacks, overalls, halter-alls and similar garb formerly associated only with males and publicity-minded feminine movie stars, a man offers some advice to the opposite sex about wearing pants. He happens to be so expert on women’s styles, whose famous comic strip character, “Tillie the Toiler,” was one of the original factors in popularizing slacks among working girls. This is the first of a series of articles written especially for The Light.)

By RUSS WESTOVER

Famous Cartoonist – Creator of
“Tillie the Toiler”

I find that among women the question no long is, “Shall I wear trousers?” but “What kind of trousers shall I wear and when?” Slacks for women have passed the fad stage; they are every day garb for hundreds of thousands of them and are actually mandatory in numerous industries from coast to coast. In the machine shops of the naval station at Alameda, Calif., at the Pan American Airways base at New York, the rule is: all women employes wear pants.

However, the utility of slacks, halter-alls and such as feminine garb in war work doesn’t mean that skirts are going to be, or should be, abandoned altogether. It isn’t necessary, and it is undesirable, both from the standpoint of expediency and feminine attractiveness. Slacks designed for all hours of the day are available now, but as a uniform to replace skirts in public, they are affected and in bad taste. Furthermore, to abandon all skirts and dresses in favor of mannish attire would be wasteful of materials urgently needed for the war effort.

It’s my opinion that the less women wear slacks or other forms of pants when their work doesn’t require it the better for their appearances. Slacks are really becoming to but few adult women. However, if a girl’s job must be done in slacks, she need not dress at home in skirts and change at the plant, unless her travels to and from work wearing slacks would make her unpleasantly conspicuous. On the other hand, work which requires halter-alls accompanies a mechanical career, and men at such jobs shirt to overalls at the plant.

—–

Tomorrow: Helpful hints on slacks for office wear.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 18, 1942

By RUSS WESTOVER

“Tillie the Toiler”

No woman thinks in terms of glamour, of course, in buying trousers or pants for factory wear. Glamour doesn’t mix with safety and safety must set the style for women workers. However, for the sake of uniformity in appearance, many concerns are requiring women office help, as well as feminine machine operators, to wear pants. The office worker can safely give more thought to good appearance.

Most women to whom slacks now occur as revolutionary garb for everyday wear, will probably have to go through the novice coyness about them, or they think they will. One group will get too mannish and look like fools; the other will go too far in the opposite direction.

The best advice is to get full cut garments, with correct waistline measure. Good fabric, good fit, good lines, the right color, determine the figure you cut in slacks. They should be more a tailoring job than a dressmaker’s creation. Don’t choose slacks that have too deep a crotch and wide, flapping legs.

As a man in public unless he is a slum vacationer at a resort seldom wears a shirt and pants without a jacket, the woman doomed to slacks will find her looks bolstered if she wears a coat when not on the job in the office or shop with her slacks. Her tailored suit jacket or tweed sports coat will be proper with them.

The strictly tailored blouse, the knit pullover, the bellhop jacket, are appropriate with slacks as the working garb at typewriter, desk or counter.

Stockings beneath slacks are uncomfortable; wearing socks to protect the feet from the shoe-lining is the sensible thing, besides saying wear and tear on more expensive hose.

Proper underwear is, of course, essential to the fit and comfort of slacks. Women need no advice from a man about the proper panties, girdles, etc., which every shop, from dime stores up, now stock. The combination one-piece streamlined shorts and slip-like middles, seems to be a good idea.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 19, 1942

By RUSS WESTOVER

Famous Cartoonist-Creator of
“Tillie the Toiler.”

Any job, from making a bed to constructing an airplane, is easier done in slacks or overalls than skirts. Stooping not only wipes the floor with your skirt, but creates a real accident hazard. You stumble and trip over the spread skirt, if it’s full. If it’s tight you can’t stoop in it without appearing obscene. So it’s natural that more and more women should be taking to slacks for home tasks.

However, slacks should be considered primarily as working clothes and not as round-the-clock garb. A woman with any sense would never deliberately wear slacks to a home wedding or a funeral; or, unless at a nobody-cares resort, to a dining or lunching date in public. Even dinner pajamas are restricted by usage to your own home, or the home of a neighbor or close friend whose home you visit by automobile.

You may have seen photos of Paulette Goddard, the film star, wearing short slacks as evening garb at a resort some time ago. Well, as Paulette told me a few days ago,  she’s had a change of mind about slacks. She’s decided that they’re not becoming to a feminine figure. She’s adhering to the conventional evening gown now.

Paulette told me, by the way, that there was a howl of protest from the soldiers when a contingent of Hollywood feminine entertainers showed up at an army camp in slacks or uniforms. The soldiers made it plain they wanted the femmes who visit them to look feminine. So now the stars wear their prettiest frills and furbelows when they go to the camps to contribute their bit to morale.

For dress-up slacks, if you do choose to wear them, frilly blouses, sheer shirts, costume jewelry, etc., are part of the costume, the more feminine the better the effect. Low heels are always the correct item with slacks, unless the evening variety; replacing the teagown or dinner gown, are the slacks in question.

Tomorrow: Helpful hints on accessories for the slacks costume.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 21, 1942

By RUSS WESTOVER

Famous Cartoonist – Creator of
“Tillie the Toiler”

The girls appear to be winning their battle for the right to wear slacks to school. In Pittsburgh, for example, the superintendent of schools approved, provided, however, the girls do not take to any outlandish fashions that will create a distraction and a disturbance. In New York, when Beverly Bernstein was forbidden to wear slacks to Abraham Lincoln High School, she and fellow students staged a strike for the emancipation of women from skirts. They got up a petition which school authorities couldn’t talk down:

“The undersigned want official permission for girls to wear slacks to school for the following reasons:

(a) the United States government advocates slacks for school, because they are better than skirts in the event of an air raid; (b) they conserve silk stockings; (c) they curb sexy clothes such as short skirts.

Note: Boys also wish the girls to wear slacks and are signing this petition.”

It isn’t exactly true the government is advocating slacks for school. In fact, it’s fearful that unnecessary adoption of the style will aggravate the shortage of wool. However, in scores of other cities, girls have donned pants for school hours, and they’re on their honor not to let the fashion get beyond conservative bounds.

The least captious girls hate their beaux to present a rumpled, unpressed appearance. Let them take this tip unto themselves and keep slacks in press. Washable slacks should be kept at least as fresh as a girl keeps her blouse, her handkerchief. If the tailor stitches down the crease of wool pants, pressing them neatly is then an easy home job, and the crease doesn’t get out of line between pressing.

There has been a great spurt of publicity to get hats onto heads above slacks. And the long-visored cap, the cocoanut straw hat and the felt fedora type have been advocated for the slacks ensemble. The scarf or handkerchief turban is very popular. Another suggestion is the worsted snood.

Tomorrow: Practical hints on getting the best fit in slacks.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 22, 1942

By RUSS WESTOVER

Famous Cartoonist, Creator of “Tillie the Toiler.”

Even if you do not have an ideal figure like Film Stars Hedy LaMarr and Peggy Diggins, there are a number of things you can do to look your best in slacks.

First of all, choose slacks of a masculine cut — the straight-hanging style helps a lumpy figure a lot. You can add a jacket capable of concealing average figure faults. Slacks tailored of dark, substantial material flatter heavy figures.

Be sure, in fitting your slacks, to study the back view in a long mirror. Avoid slacks with too deep a crotch, and wide, flopping legs.

Prefer high-waisted lines; instep-length, tapering at the ankle; no pleats or bunchiness about the waist.

I find some good advice to women on this subject in Good Housekeeping magazine:

“Consider slacks as part of an ensemble — not just a pair of trousers. Complement them with the right accessories — low-heeled shoes, tailored shirts or blouses, right-length coats, informal hairdos, appropriate headgear. Follow masculine preference in fabrics and colors. Determine which becomes you most — fly-front or side-closing. Be sure slacks have well-pressed creases.”

Don’t be afraid to wear slacks. Any objectionable points will not be seen once the novelty wears off. Tillie the Toiler is no slacker when it comes to slacks. You shouldn’t be either, if by wearing them you can do your war-time job better.

—–

(This is the last of a series in which a man who is an expert on women’s styles gives some advice to the opposite sex on wearing slacks.)

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 23, 1942

Below are two examples showing Tillie in slacks, the first one also has her mom wearing them:

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 11, 1942

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) May 8, 1942

What Will You Be Wearing Easter Sunday?

April 4, 2012

1920 — Neiman’s Easter Dress Selection

An Easter coat offered by Gordon’s in 1922

Wow! In 1924, Clark W. Thompson Co. was selling these pretty numbers.

Easter time in New Castle, PA must have been rather chilly in 1925. These outfits/coats were being sold by New Castle Dry Goods Co. — I bet the Dry Goods was THE place to shop for everything fashionable in those days!

For 1926, the “all-important” Easter Hat, take your pick!

Straw hats were all the rage in 1932 —  Or just a good bargain?

Stripes were trendy in 1934, at least at Johnson Hill’s.

Gotta have shoes to go with the Easter stripes. I bet the fashionistas rushed over to the Davis Shoe Co. to get themselves a pair of these.

A little something for the men in 1938.  After buying their wives’ outfits, they probably only had enough to spring for straw hats for themselves.

Fast forward to 1967. Hats (bonnets) — still an Easter must-have!

And flashback to 1907, when Silk and Mixture Walking  and Dress Skirts were on sale for Easter.

Amelia Bloomer, Dress Reform and Bloomers

December 21, 2008
A Story about Mrs. Bloomer

A Story about Mrs. Bloomer

I ran across this article about Mrs. Bloomer and immediately remembered this cute book I had read to some students, who just loved the story. One thing led to another, and now I have a whole host of news clips, spanning over 10 years of time, covering various opinions regarding BLOOMERS and the women involved in the Reform Dress movement.
Amelia Bloomer in her Bloomers

Amelia Bloomer in her Bloomers

Short Dresses. –Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the Lily, had adopted the “short dress and trowsers,” and say in her paper of this month, that many of the women in that place, (Seneca Falls,) oppose the change; others laugh; others still are in favor; “and many hade adopted the dress.” She closes the article upon the subject as follows:
“Those who think we look ‘queer,’ would do well to look back a few years, to the time when they wore ten or fifteen pounds of petticoat and bustle around the body, and balloons on their arms, and then imagine which cut the queerest figure, they or we. We care not for the frowns of over fastidious gentlemen; we have those of better taste and less questionable morals to sustain us. If men think they would be comfortable in long, heavy skirts, let them put them on–we have no objection. We are more comfortable without them, and so left them off. We do not say we shall wear this dress and no other, but we  shall wear it for a common dress; and we hope it may become so fashionable that we may wear it at all time, and in all places, without being thought singular. We have already become so attached to it that we dislike changing to a long one.”

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 21 Apr 1851

Ladies’ Short Dresses.
The papers are full just now, discussing a new fashion of ladies’ dresses. Some correspondent from over the big water, wrote to the papers of this country that a dress of short skirts, reaching only to the knee, and trousers, large and full along the leg, but gathered close about the ankle, had been adopted by some of the unique fashionables. Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the Lily, thinking this style of dress would be convenient, induced a number of respectable ladies to join her in adopting it. They accordingly got their dresses made, and all came out at once. It created quite a sensation. A good deal was said about it, and a general notoriety given to the circumstance. This induced other ladies to try it. And now some are adopting it in almost every  city and town. The last notice we have says that the ladies of Kenosha are adopting it. The press everywhere speaks of it highly. The beauty, comfort, and economy of the new dress is much talked of. It certainly must be an improvement on the long, street mops now in vogue. There seems to be a general feeling that the present style of ladies’ dresses is any thing but what it should be. And from what we see, we should not be surprised if the new style quickly superceded the other entirely. Success be with the innovation say we.

Oshkosh Democrat (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 16 May 1851

Mrs. Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony Statues

Mrs. Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony Statues

The following clips were ALL printed in the same paper on the same day!

ADVANTAGE OF LONG DRESSES. –Mr. Paxton, the designer of the Crystal palace, remarked the other day, at dinner, that he had thought the palace would be a difficult place to keep clean, and that he therefore designed a machine to obviate that inconvenience, of a hundred horse power, and had put the commissioner to some expense in having these machines made; but they had not been called into requisition, for they were not needed, as the building had been kept clean by the rich silk dresses of the ladies! Here is a fact for Mrs. Bloomer.

A BRIDAL BLOOMER. — The Boston Commonwealth states that on Wednesday evening, one of the editorial fraternity of that city, took the hand of a fair lady in marriage, whose costume was an elegant white satin Bloomer. It was neatly made, fitting snug around the waist and close up in the neck, the spencer opening in front like a naval officer’s vest, and interlaced a la Swiss mountaineer, sleeves flowing, white kids, white satin slippers, hair done plain with a wreath of orange flowers over the brow, and a long bridal veil flowing from the crown of the head over the shoulders.

A BLOOMER DRESS appeared on our streets on Saturday afternoon. We had long ago made up our mind to like it, yet had we ever been so much prejudiced against it, the first glance would have completely converted us. We have never seen anything of the dress kind that looked half so neat, or half so sensible. There is not even an approximation towards immodesty about it. The fair lady who had the moral courage to make the first inroad upon the disgusting pave-sweeping fashion, deserves great credit, and to show that our citizens appreciated her, we will state that not the slightest insult was offered to her while she was on the street. In the evening she was serenaded by our excellent brass band. We hail with intense satisfaction the beginning of the most sensible reform which is now before the people, and earnestly hope that our ladies will conquer their prejudices in favor of an unhealthy and disgusting style, and generally adopt the Bloomer costume. —Independent Democrat.

THE FOURTH OF JULY IN LOWELL. — The whole town seems to have participated in the festival, with an evident determination to make it as vivacious as it is ordinarily noisy and dull. Besides the military and civic displays, there was a parade of a company, the “Antique and Horrible Artillery,” whose fun consisted in wearing all the quaint and old-fashioned garments that could be raked and scraped together in the country. Hats of enormous size and dickeys of enormous height and stiffness, alternated with knee breeches and hooped peticoats. The captain wore a coat which, on the 17th of June, 1775, covered Bancroft, of Pepperell, a Bunker Hill soldier. One of the soldiers wore a richly embroidered vest, which was once the property of General Sullivan. Ancient vehicles were put in use, as well as ancient costumes, and dilapidated chaises and carryalls were filled with the most venerable couples.

But in contrast with the older dresses came some five hundred young ladies from the factories, dressed in the new style which has taken the name of its projector, Mrs. Bloomer. Their appearance was generally admired, and in the course of the day they presented a beautiful banner to one of the fire companies.

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) 17 Jul 1851

Bloomer Society

Bloomer Society

The New Costume.
MR. DENSMORE: — In looking over “Arthur’s Home Gazette” of a recent date, I noticed a few remarks devoted to the New Costume, which I though worthy of notice.

The article commences, “Notwithstanding the noise that has been made about the new costume, it does not seem to take, to any extent, amoung respectable women.” and adds — “In our larger cities the majority of those wearing it have been women of bad repute.”

Without discussing the merits of the Dress Reform, I wish to correct the wrong impressions made by his untruthful statements.

That the dress reform does not “take” (using his own elegant expression,) with respectable women, is not so. It is with the respectable women in general that it does find favor, not only respectable, but the intelligent, and I may say with all intelligent women. Strange that the many able and talented articles that have appeared from the women of our larger cities, should have escaped his notice, as also the statements of some of our most highly respected women not only of their wearing the style, but of its being worn by other of the same class. But we need not wonder when we read another clause in his article, “That for our own part we
have yet to meet the woman who approves the short skirts and pants, or who does not speak of them and their wearers, in a manner that strongly savors of disgust.” Passing over his evident desire to make it manifest that he meets with only “respectable women” or more fashionably  “LADIES,” I would say that none can read his flat and insipid paper, or his stereotyped stories., and doubt that he associates only with “ladies” who look with disgust on any new or important reform. It may easily be seen how he happens to labor under the wrong impression that it does not “take” with respectable women. He probably was engaged twaddling with one of those “ladies” who would be shocked, and her modesty outraged, and who would look with “disgust” upon any one who should hint to her that her body was made of different material or was differently constituted from her milliner’s showblock, and while she was lisping her horror and “disgust” at the dress reform, she probably startles him with the new and original idea that it must be women of bad repute only that would wear the new costume, whereupon he tries to palm off such twaddling as facts upon his readers. That it will be read, we know, and fear by some believed, as it is a lamentable fact that such a milk and water paper as the Home Gazette finds a large circulation, for there are many who like to read his stories, as the world is filled with such sick sentimentalists as one I once heard say she “liked to read T.S. Arthur’s stories because the heroines always got married, or died of a broken heart, which was just as good.” The evil that is done by the circulation of his weak stories, which chiefly consist in going into raptures over the fortitude and noble conduct of some imaginative child of fortune in bearing its reverses, and applauding the moral heroism that caused them to refrain from cutting their own throats, in their despair, or in a sickly attempt to excite our sympathy for the suffering child of poverty which he always pictures in so beautiful and interesting situation, that the reader can hardly refrain from envying. But enough of such trash. The evil influence exerted by that sheet[?] is enough without his making false statements, to oppose that which is beyond his caliber to approve.

We find in the larger number of our city papers favorable accounty of the progress of the dress reform, and through them we learn that our most able and intelligent men and women are in favor of it. But when I speak of the “women of our land” I do not mean T.S. Arthur “ladies.” They belong to another species altogether.

Besides Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the “Lilly,” who first started this reform, we find Mrs. E.O. Stanton, wife of Senator Stanton of N.Y., Mrs. M.S. Gove Nichols, the celebrated Water Cure Obstetrician of New York, and Mrs. Gage, a popular and familiar writer, among the many known to fame, who have publicly spoken in favor of, and worn the new style. Peterson’s Magazine, a deservedly popular one, appears with November fashion plates of the Bloomer style, which it certainly would not do was it merely to delineate fashions for “women of bad repute!”

Oshkosh Democrat (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 14 Nov  1851

Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer

MRS. BLOOMER RECANTING — Mrs. Bloomer, the author of the new style of dress, has an article in the last number of her paper, “The Lily,” in which she says that, could she have foreseen the notoriety and ridicule which she has incurred, she would never have commenced the movement.

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) 18 Dec 1851

Children Playing

Children Playing

Mrs. Bloomer imagines that the reason women differ from men, is because they are schooled and educated differently. Nothing, however, could be more unfounded. Girls differ from boys, not incidently, but radically. The first thing a boy does after he is weaned, is to straddle the banister and ride down stairs. The first thing  a girl sets her heart on is a doll and a set of half fledged cups and saucers. Girls are given to neatness and hate soiled garments of all kinds; boys, on the contrary, set a high value on dirt, and are never so happy as when sailing a shingle ship, with a brown paper sail, in a mud puddle. Mrs. Bloomer may reason as she may, but she will find in the end that Nature is stronger than either philosophy or suspenders.

Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, Ohio) 19 Mar 1853

Bloomers

Bloomers

Mrs. Bloomer has gone to Council Bluffs to reside; she permitted her husband to accompany her.

Wisconsin Free Democrat (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 18 Apr 1855

Mrs. Bloomer is Mayor (or Mayoress) of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

New York Herald (New York, New York) 03 May 1869

Socializing in Bloomers

Socializing in Bloomers

LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO.
San Francisco, June 2d, 1869. PUBLIC OPINION
“I don’t care what the world thinks or says,” is sometimes the bravado of a desperate knave — sometimes the weak boast of a fool. No one can, with impunity, set at naught the usages of society, much less its laws. The experiment has been frequently tried in this city, and has always resulted in the humiliation of the experimenters. Within the last ten years we have been preached and printed at by many social philosophers of both sexes, who desire to establish a new order of things, inconsistent with our preconceived ideas of religion, decency and propriety. They ????? against public opinion, and were unhorsed and brought to grief. They didn’t care for the world’s censure, not they; on the contrary, they pitied the ignorance and stupidity that failed to discern the superiority of their doctrines to those of the de??logue and the gospel, and determined to convince society against its will. But society is of “the same opinion still,” and its scorn has put the would-be innovators down. They have discovered that they have no levers long enough and strong enough to upset Christianized civilization; that they cannot change either its customs, its fashions, or its standards of equity. We hear but little now of the misguided ladies who aspired to be Amazons. Many of the spinsters among them have gone into the state of double blessedness, and (probably) changed their views. The followers of the eccentric Mrs. Bloomer, have, as a general thing, retired from the gaze of the critical public, and betaken themselves to crinoline; and the right of woman to do man’s work and wear his ungraceful apparel, seems to have been abandoned by our strong-minded sisters. And so time passes on, and bubbles which at first seem bright and pleasant, soar into the air of public opinion, are condemned by society, and gradually they disappear from the social horrizon and are lost forever with the things that were.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) 05 Jun 1869

DEAD FRUIT. — Mrs. Bloomer has abandoned her semi-masculine style of wardrobe. The bloom is off that rye, the blossom has ripened and the fruit found to be bitter and unwholesome.

New York Herald (New York, New York) 05 Jul 1869

Amelia Bloomer

Newspaper picture: Amelia Bloomer

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