Bloomers (clothing)


Bloomers (clothing)

Bloomers is a word which has been applied to several types of divided women's garments for the lower body at various times.

Fashion bloomers (skirted)

The original bloomers were an article of women's clothing invented by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Peterboro, NY but popularized by Amelia Bloomer in the early 1850s (hence the name, a shortening of "Bloomer suit"). They were long baggy pants narrowing to a cuff at the ankles (worn below a skirt), intended to preserve Victorian decency while being less of a hindrance to women's activities than the long full skirts of the period (see Victorian dress reform). They were worn by a few women in the 1850s, but were widely ridiculed in the press, and failed to become commonly accepted (see 1850s in fashion). Bloomer was an insult made up by the newspapers of the time. The costume was called the "American Dress" or "Reform Costume" by the women's activists that wore it. Most of the women who wore the costume were deeply involved in dress reform, abolition, temperance and the women's rights movement. Although practical, the "bloomers" were also an attempt to reform fashion since the majority of "bloomers" were also in upper to middle class and also in the public eye.

These early bloomers were partly an attempt to adapt young girls' short skirts and pantalettes to adult women's attire, and were partly influenced by middle-eastern clothing styles (or what was thought to be middle-eastern styles) — hence the name "Syrian costume". [http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/PageView/91023/0010?id=d6bdd073d6]

The word "bloomers" was sometimes used for the wearers of the garments, rather than the garments themselves.

In 1909, fashion designer Paul Poiret attempted to popularize harem pants worn below a long flaring tunic, but this attempted revival of fashion bloomers under another name did not catch on.

Athletic bloomers (unskirted)

During the late 19th century, athletic bloomers (also known as "rationals" or "knickerbockers") were skirtless baggy knee-length trousers, fastened to the leg a little below the knees; at that time, they were worn by women in a few narrow contexts of athletic activity — such as bicycle-riding, gymnastics, and sports other than tennis — only (see 1890s in fashion). Bloomers were usually worn with stockings and after 1910 often with a sailor middy blouse. Bloomers became shorter by the late 1920s. In the 1930s, when it become respectable for women to wear pants and shorts in a wider range of circumstances, styles imitating men's shorts were favored, and bloomers tended to become less common. However, baggy knee-length gym shorts fastened at or above the knees continued to be worn by girls in school physical education classes through to the 1950s in some areas. Some NYC and Sydney, Australia Schools still wore them as part of their uniforms into the 1980s [http://www.chaipin.edu] .

The Bloomington, Illinois entry in the Three-I League of minor league baseball, despite being an all-male team, was tagged with the nickname "Bloomers" for several decades in the early 1900s.

Undergarments

Women's baggy underpants fastened to just below or above the knee are also known as "bloomers" (or as "knickers" or "directoire knickers"). They were most popular in the 1910s and 1920s but continued to be worn by older women for several decades thereafter. Often the term "bloomers" has been used interchangeably with the pantalettes worn by women and girls in the mid 19th century and the open leg knee length drawers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The modern Japanese version of bloomers consist of the entire legs exposed and are pronounced burumā (more popularly called as buruma) in Japanese. Many Westerners confuse Japanese bloomers with panties since their designs are almost the same in Japan, but bloomers are worn over panties, are put the hem of the shirt into bloomers, are a bit thicker, and come in bold colors.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bloomers — may refer to: * Bloomers (clothing), the undergarment named after Amelia Bloomer. * Bloomers (TV series), the 1979 BBC sitcom by James Saunders, starring Richard Beckinsale …   Wikipedia

  • Bloomers —    Bloomers were designed, in 1850, by Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller, who also was the first to wear them. But this garment got its biggest impetus and its name from Amelia Bloomer, who dressed frequently in this attire and was its most consistent… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • bloomers — ▪ clothing  lower part of a “rational dress” for women advocated by Amelia Jenks Bloomer (Bloomer, Amelia Jenks) (q.v.) in 1850. The entire costume consisted of a short jacket, a skirt extending below the knee, and the bloomers, or loose… …   Universalium

  • clothing — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Wearing apparel Nouns 1. clothing, clothes, apparel, wear, dress, attire, array, raiment, garments, garb, costume, outfit, habiliment, habit, rig, ensemble, caparison, drapery, toilette, fig, wardrobe,… …   English dictionary for students

  • Knickerbockers (clothing) — Knickerbockers This article is about clothing. For other uses, see Knickerbocker (disambiguation). Knickerbockers are men s or boys breeches or baggy kneed trousers particularly popular in the early twentieth century USA. Golfers plus twos and… …   Wikipedia

  • Victorian dress reform — During the middle and late Victorian period, various reformers proposed, designed, and wore clothing supposedly more rational and comfortable than the fashions of the time. This was known as the dress reform or rational dress movement. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Buruma — may refer to: * Buruma, Japanese for bloomers (clothing), specifically athletic bloomers *, a character in the Japanese comic series Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama * Ian Buruma, pen name of an author on Japanese culture * Buruma (Baucau), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Bloomer — may refer to:* Bloomer, a type of loaf of bread a crusty white loaf with rounded ends, and typically with several parallel diagonal slashes across its top * Bloomers (clothing), a type of clothing for women * Bloomer (occupation), an Old English… …   Wikipedia

  • Harem pants — are described as a baggy pant tapered at the ankle, with side flaps on the hip that buttoned at the waist area. The popularity of the harem pant circulated in the mid 1980s with MC Hammer. [ [http://www.inthe80s.com/clothes/harempants0.shtml In… …   Wikipedia

  • dress — /dres/, n., adj., v., dressed or drest, dressing. n. 1. an outer garment for women and girls, consisting of bodice and skirt in one piece. 2. clothing; apparel; garb: The dress of the 18th century was colorful. 3. formal attire. 4. a particular… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.