The Dictionary of Fashion History Cover Image

The Dictionary of Fashion History

Valerie Cumming, C. W. Cunnington and P. E. Cunnington

Table of contents

  • Bloomers


Dictionary entry

Page: 23


Period: 1851.

Name given to young women who imitated the American Mrs Amelia Bloomer in wearing a modified form of trousers below a knee-length full skirt. “A young lady of a certain age – an ardent Bloomer” (1853, Surtees, Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour). The outfit, called Bloomer costume or Bloomer dress, was also implied.

Period: 1890 onwards.

Name given to the baggy knickerbockers worn by some women cyclists and also, to loose, knee-length underpants.