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Faculty Mentors

Dr. Rachel Shelden

Abstract

Women’s dress, notably the Bloomer, had a significant influence on the women’s movement of the mid- 1800s. Created by Amelia Bloomer, the garment resembled loose-fitting pants, allowing the woman to move about in a less-restricted fashion. As it deviated from the traditional styles of Victorian dress, the Bloomer was seen as a more progressive step towards women being less restricted by their established roles in society. However, though the Bloomer was embraced throughout the country, it jeopardized a woman’s credibility should she seek to voice her stance on the issue of the women’s movement. Despite its practicality and popularity, the Bloomer would come to be renounced by figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton as well as affect progressive communities, such as the Oneida, because of its controversial role in the United States.

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