They Gave Up Their Pants For Love

k.g. Guttman

1999, 07:22 minutes, colour


The late 19th century, the beginning of the women's sufferage movement, and the appearance of the pneumatic wheel were factors that enticed women to pick up a bicycle and wheel around. The fashion for bloomers/knickerbockers made a brief and momentous appearance (the tightly tied whalebone corset only recently disposed of!). However, because of their association with reform, women who sported these “trousers of independence” were heavily criticized and mocked for their lack of femininity, and so the fashion quickly faded away, not to be taken up again until decades later.

A personal reflection on the brief appearance of the bloomer.

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