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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,049
Registered: ‎07-26-2019

The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

[ Edited ]

 Was reading an article  that was pretty interesting  from Newspapers dot com .

 

" In 1881, a group of high society women gathered in London to form a new organization. They named their group the Rational Dress Society, intending to reform Victorian women's dress " The Womens group came up with this criteria as quoted  below . Their ideas were considered revolutionary and controversial.  Well, fashion with the neude  dress has certainly come a long way.

 

 

  • " Freedom of Movement
  • Absence of pressure over any part of the body
  • No more weight than is necessary for warmth, and both weight and warmth evenly distributed.
  • Grace and beauty combined with comfort and convenience
  • Not departing too conspicuously from the ordinary dress of the time "

https://blog.newspapers.com/the-rational-dress-society-and-victorian-dress-reform/?utm_source=Find&u...

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,451
Registered: ‎10-18-2011

Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

I loved reading this article.  Thanks!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,242
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

lol.  To my mind, then as now, it was quite easy to define the problems, but in the last couple hundred years, I do not believe we have seen a true solution to all of the issues ever occurring in the same garment.

 

I am happy, though, that today most of us do not need to change clothes many times a day because of societal demands.  I love watching the period movies and TV shows and all the costume changes, but I want to change clothes when I want to and lots of days that is not at all.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,892
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

In Seneca Falls, NY, home of the Women's Hall of Fame, there is a statue of Amelia Bloomer, a pioneering advocate of rational dressing for women. The statue shows Ms Bloomer in her eponymous outfit. If you look at her clothing, you'll be amazed at how covered she is. It's fascinating to read about and think about how women's rights evolved along with a change in dress.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,049
Registered: ‎07-26-2019

Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

 They even designed divided skirts so they could ride a bicycle .

" Fair cyclists want more Freedom when on the wheel ".

Honored Contributor
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Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

@skatting44  Very interesting article!  Thank youSmiley Happy

Honored Contributor
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Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform

@skatting44   We have more choice, less restrictions (metaphorically and physically)...we have evolved (well, maybe not so much when you watch the yearly parade of costumes as Hollywood struts the red carpet), but for the most part we are looking better and, more importantly, enjoying our right to choose!

Honored Contributor
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Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform


@Vivian wrote:

In Seneca Falls, NY, home of the Women's Hall of Fame, there is a statue of Amelia Bloomer, a pioneering advocate of rational dressing for women. The statue shows Ms Bloomer in her eponymous outfit. If you look at her clothing, you'll be amazed at how covered she is. It's fascinating to read about and think about how women's rights evolved along with a change in dress.


@Vivian 

 

VERY interesting!  Here is Amelia Bloomer meeting Susan B. Anthony with Elizabeth C Stanton.

 

 

 

Amelia Bloomer

When Susan B. Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton StatueIn May 1851 Amelia Bloomer introduced Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton as depicted in the life-sized bronze figures sculpted by Ted Aub. In "When Anthony Met Stanton" as in real-life, Bloomer and Stanton are wearing the "Bloomer Costume" which bloomer publicized in "The Lily."

NPS

Amelia Bloomer edited the first newspaper for women, The Lily. It was issued from 1849 until 1853. The newspaper began as a temperance journal. Bloomer felt that as women lecturers were considered unseemly, writing was the best way for women to work for reform. Originally, The Lily was to be for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848. Like most local endeavors, the paper encountered several obstacles early on, and the Society’s enthusiasm died out. Bloomer felt a commitment to publish and assumed full responsibility for editing and publishing the paper. Originally, the title page had the legend “Published by a committee of ladies.” But after 1850 – only Bloomer’s name appeared on the masthead.

Although women’s exclusion from membership in temperance societies and other reform activities was the main force that moved the Ladies Temperance Society to publish The Lily, it was not at first a radical paper. Its editorial stance conformed to the emerging stereotype of women as “defenders of the home.” In the first issue, Bloomer wrote:

It is woman that speaks through The Lily…Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that above all that has made her Home desolate and beggared her offspring…. Surely, she has the right to wield her pen for its Suppression. Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path.

The Lily always maintained its focus on temperance. Fillers often told horror stories about the effects of alcohol. For example, the May 1849 issue noted, “A man when drunk fell into a kettle of boiling brine at Liverpool, Onondaga Co. and was scaled to death.” But gradually, the newspaper began to include articles about other subjects of interest to women. Many were from the pen of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, writing under the pseudonym “sunflower.” The earliest Stanton’s articles dealt with the temperance, child-bearing, and education, but she soon turned to the issue of women’s rights. She wrote about laws unfair to women and demanded change.

Bloomer was greatly influenced by Stanton and gradually became a convert to the cause of women’s rights. Recalling the case of an elderly friend who was turned out of her home when her husband died without a will she wrote:

Later, other similar cases coming to my knowledge made me familiar with cruelty of the laws towards women; and when the women rights convention put forth its Declaration of Sentiments. I was ready to join with that party in demanding for women such change in laws as would give her a right to her earnings, and her children a right to wider fields of employment and a better education, and also a right to protect her interest at the ballot box.

Bloomer became interested in dress reform, advocating that women wear the outfit that came to be known as the “Bloomer costume.” Stanton and others copied a knee-length dress with pants worn by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York. Although Bloomer refused to take credit for inventing the pants-and-tunic outfit, her name became associated with it because she wrote articles about the unusual dress, printed illustrations in The Lily, and wore the costume herself. In reference to her advocacy of the costume, she once wrote, “I stood amazed at the furor I had unwittingly caused.” But people certainly were interested in the new fashion. She remembered: “As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress, letters came pouring in upon me by the hundreds from women all over the country making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns – showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.”

In May of 1851 Amelia Bloomer introduced Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton said, "I liked her immediately and why I did not invite her home to dinner with me I do not know."

The circulation of The Lily rose from 500 per month to 4000 per month because of the dress reform controversy. At the end of 1853, the Bloomers moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, where Amelia Bloomer continued to edit The Lily, which by then had a national circulation of over 6000. Bloomer sold The Lily in 1854 to Mary Birdsall, because she and her husband Dexter were moving again this time to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where no facilities for publishing the paper were available. She remained a contributing editor for the two years The Lily survived after she sold it.

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Re: The Rational Dress Society and Victorian Dress Reform


@phoenixbrd wrote:

@skatting44   We have more choice, less restrictions (metaphorically and physically)...we have evolved (well, maybe not so much when you watch the yearly parade of costumes as Hollywood struts the red carpet), but for the most part we are looking better and, more importantly, enjoying our right to choose!


@phoenixbrd 

 

This is the most profound statement I've read in a while.





A Negative Mind ~ Will give you a Negative Life