Updated: Jul 2
Since we launched our Daisy Daisy collection last weekend, the Bloomers have been one of the favourite pieces with you! With a comfortable elasticated waistband, loose fit that nip in at the ankle to create a subtle frill- they are the perfect balance between playful and wearable!
We drew our inspiration from the 19th century undergarments- Bloomers! In the 1800s women were expected to wear huge, floor length dresses in the name of modesty. Many women complained of overheating and and strained breathing - the style of dress put enormous pressure on their hips and made moving around a massive struggle.
Enter, Amelia Bloomer...
Amelia picked up on an article written by an editor of the Seneca County Courier which suggested that perhaps women could avoid the discomfort of their current attire by switching to skirts reaching below the knee with 'turkish pantaloons' worn underneath.
Amelia was the first female editor of the U.S. newspaper - The Lily. She wrote a lot about women's dress reform and after hearing of the idea, she and a few of her friends began wearing the combination and as a result, created a dress-reform movement. Often overlooked as a fad of the women's rights leaders, it in fact became a distinct movement of dress and health reform in the nineteenth century.
After announcing her decision to her readers, the new dress sent the media world ablaze! Once Bloomer included an image of herself in the reform dress in The Lily, hundred of letters were written to her enquiring about the dress and asking for patterns. The response offered an insight into just how ready women of that time were to throw off their heavy skirts and corsets and introduce some comfort into their dress. As a result, The Lily went from circulating 500-4000 copies per month!
Although Bloomer was insistent on not taking credit for the idea, she certainly gave it legs!! Ladies who adorned this new look soon became known as 'Bloomerites' or partaking in 'Bloomerism'- giving the undergarments the name of Bloomers!
Our Bloomers are a simplified, fun and modern interpretation. They can be dressed up with heels (when we dig them out after a year in hiding!) or look super cool dressed down with sneakers or sandals! Maybe on the days we're feeling particularly like we could take on the world- we could have them peaking out under our dresses in honour of the many female heroes who paved the way!
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (Alamy stock photo)
Worn here with the Willow Shirt.