Editor’s Note: This is the second in a serious of three columns.
With the French Revolution, all fashion of this kind disappeared and women enjoyed a “clothing freedom.” In the 1830s, women for the first time felt freedom in clothing design and adopted a simpler silhouette with very little underwear. Soon women began wearing pantaloons or “drawers,” so called because a person would draw on one leg, then the other. At first, the pantaloons were frowned on as being masculine, but were soon accepted for reasons of health as well as propriety. In the 1850s, women’s rights came to the forefront and a woman named Bloomer designed a dress costume which was a knee length dress with pants worn under the dress. However, people were still shocked that a woman would dare wear a part of men’s clothing as underwear.