Rational Dress: Victorian Dress Reform from the perspective of a Steampunk Feminist

Cogpunksteamscribe presents another wonderful post on Victorian Fashion!

Cogpunk Steamscribe

“A fashion is merely a form of ugliness so absolutely unbearable that we have to alter it every six months!”    Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde in the male version of Artistic Dress

Rational Dress Reform was a movement that wanted to see women’s movement-restricting clothes of the Victorian era replaced with modest clothing that allowed for comfort and promoted health. The main proponents of dress reformists were largely middle-class women involved in the first wave of feminism, in both the United States and in Britain. This movement was most active during the 1850s through to the late 1890s in the US, and from the 1880s onwards in the UK.

Bloomers A Bloomer Suit from the 1860s

From a modern viewpoint, the Rational Dress Reform movement seems to make perfect sense. Heavy skirts, worn over petticoats, and worn over crinolines or bustles, their hems dragging along the ground, were both unhygienic and…

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