‘Bloomers’ and the British world: dress reform in transatlantic and antipodean print culture, 1851–1950

Stevenson, Ana (2017) ‘Bloomers’ and the British world: dress reform in transatlantic and antipodean print culture, 1851–1950. Cultural and Social History, 14 (5). pp. 621-646.

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Abstract

The ‘bloomers’ are rarely considered beyond their 1851 origins in the United States and subsequent appearance in Britain. This article expands dress reform scholarship by analysing print culture elsewhere in the British world, specifically Australia and New Zealand. The colonial press manufactured controversy over this fashion – a perceived transgression of gender norms – even though antipodean women rarely sported the outfit. This article focuses on the dress reform lectures and writings of Amelia Bloomer, Caroline Dexter and Dr Mary Walker. While certain continuities resurfaced alongside the bloomer-like rational dress popularised in the bicycling culture of the 1890s, dress reform was largely deemed far less controversial by the turn of the twentieth century.

Item ID: 67572
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1478-0046
Keywords: dress reform; gender; print culture; transatlantic; antipodean
Copyright Information: © 2017 the Social History Society
Funders: New England Regional Fellowship Consortium
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2021 04:58
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430323 Transnational history @ 40%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430309 Gender history @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440504 Gender relations @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 40%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130705 Understanding New Zealand’s past @ 20%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130706 Understanding the past of the Americas @ 40%
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