Fashion2Fiber

Reforming Fashion, 1850-1914: Politics, Health, and Art

Description

Reforming Fashion, 1850-1914 is about the women’s dress reform movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Fashionable dress in the 19th century went through several silhouette changes from tubular to hourglass and back to tubular. The fashion of the dress silhouette was not dependent on the natural human body but rather on a range of undergarments including chemise, petticoats, hoops, bustles, and corsets to create an artificial shape. A growing number of people including feminists, health advocates, physicians, artists, and educators began to believe that women’s clothing, particularly fashionable dress, was harmful to women’s health.

Solutions promoted by the dress reformers included trousers, reform underwear, and artistic dress. The reformers had a lasting impression on dress as trousers were adopted by sports enthusiasts and became part of the archetypal gymnasium suit worn at colleges and high schools. Reform styles eventually became fashionable dress as artistic reformers created more comfortable gowns with empire waists and soft drapable fabrics.

The Trouble with Fashion
Ladies in Trousers
Reform Underwear
Artistic Dress
The Impact of Dress Reform on Fashion

Duration

April 14 – December 16, 2000

Event Type

Exhibit

Files

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Citation

“Reforming Fashion, 1850-1914: Politics, Health, and Art,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed November 20, 2017, http://fashion2fiber.osu.edu/items/show/4924.

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