In the 1850s, Amelia Bloomer made a great attempt to persuade women to adopt a more rational costume in the form of frilled trousers which became known as “bloomers.” Only the more daring tried the new outfits, like this black velvet jacket over a white sheer bodice, knee length skirts and white flowing trousers. Magazines advised young ladies to have nothing to do with this unladylike garment and to stick to the crinoline in spite of its inconvenience. They were also told not to attempt to climb stiles (steps that allow people to climb over a fence or wall but not animals) and to remain indoors in a high wind. Hats such as this were worn at seaside and country, but were never worn on Sunday and never, never to church. Some had ribbons attached in the front to hold it on in the high wind. Thin shoes, except for dancing, have vanished by this time, and boots ending just above the ankle laced on the inside or buttoned along the outside.

Click photo for detailed view.