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Bloomer Costume

Colleen R. Callahan

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Our skirts have been robbed of about a foot of their former length, and a pair of loose trousers of the same material as the dress, substituted. These latter extend from the waist to the ankle, and may be gathered into a band & We make our dress the same as usual, except that we wear no bodice, or a very slight one, the waist is loose and easy, and without whalebones & Our skirt is full, and falls a little below the knee.

Dress Reform

Patricia A. Cunningham

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Throughout the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the twentieth century, the basic silhouette of women’s dress in the United States went through many changes. Many people accepted this ever-changing succession of fashions as a natural phenomenon, an inevitable outward expression of progress; fashion was a sign of modernity. The changing styles of dress and its silhouette were largely dependent on various undergarments—corsets, petticoats, crinolines, bustles, and other supporting devi

Body and Dress

Angela Durante and Jenny Ellison

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

All human cultures engage in some form of dress and adornment. Although our bodies and the items we put on them might appear to be separate, they in fact have a great deal in common and are considerably intertwined. A dressed body represents a complex set of negotiations between an individual, the fashion system, and the social context in which they exist. Codes of dress set parameters but do not entirely determine how individuals dress. The body and dress are mutually constitutive—dress adds soc

Fashion, Attacks on

Joanne Entwistle

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Understanding the historical condemnations of fashionable dress therefore necessitates an examination of attitudes toward gender, sexuality, and clothes. At the same time that women have long been associated with the making of clothes, with textiles, and with consumption, there has existed also a metaphorical association of femininity and the very idea of fashion. According to Jones (1996, p. 35), “women had for centuries been associated with inconstancy and change,” characteristics that also des

Underwear

Grace Evans

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The fashionable silhouette has gone through bewildering changes during the last two hundred years, and these would not have been possible without the shapes created beneath. Underwear and outerwear progressed in tandem. Underwear designers responded to prevailing styles of fashionable dress, and fashion designers built and relied upon the capabilities of structural underpinnings as they developed. These changes were, in turn, influenced by key social, economic, and technological developments, whi

Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Alternative Dress

Nan H. Mutnick

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In the second half of the nineteenth century and into the early decades of the twentieth, various alternative styles of women’s dress were introduced that made possible radical changes from the prevailing fashions. Some were the product of cultural movements, others were inspired by the works of artists and writers, and several were developed by reformers concerned about the effect of fashion on women’s health. The English Pre-Raphaelite movement (established 1848) introduced what they called art

Dress Reform

Kristina Stankovski

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

During the years following the English Civil War of 1642, various influential clothing-reform movements flourished. One of the nonconformist groups that emerged during this time was the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers. The group’s founder, George Fox, established a set of social practices that were based on Christian ideologies and utopianism. The main thesis proposed by Fox was simplicity of appearance and lifestyle. His favor of spirituality over what he considered to be

Utopian and Intentional Communities

Heather Van Wormer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Intentional communities are social groups that are consciously formed with the intent of creating a new social order and worldview and are, to some extent, separated from the wider society in which they are found. Dress is an important aspect of life in intentional communities. Not only does dress set community members apart from those in the outside world, but it also functions to create solidarity among members within the group. Dress, as is the case with all material culture in intentional com

Health Issues and Dress Reform

Kim K. P. Johnson, Susan J. Torntore and Joanne B. Eicher (eds)

Source: Fashion Foundations. Early Writings on Fashion and Dress 2003

Book chapter

The propensity to deform, or alter from the natural form, some part of the body, is one which is common to human nature in every aspect in which we are acquainted with it, the most primitive and barbarous, and the most civilized and refined.

Not in That Corset: Gender, Gymnastics, and the Cultivation of the Late Nineteenth-Century Female Body

Leigh Summers

Source: Bound to Please. A History of the Victorian Corset 2001

Book chapter

Burn the corsets! . . . No, nor do you save the whalebones, you will never need whalebones again. Make a bonfire of the cruel steels that have lorded it over your thorax and abdomen for so many years and heave a sigh of relief, for your emancipation I assure you, from this moment has begun.Ibid. Phelps, What To Wear?, Sampson, Low, et al., London, 1874, p. 66.

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