la riforma della moda femminile di metà 1800

In 1850s started a period of reform of clothing in articular for women. There was the need for a mor practical way of dressing . The reform started in New England where the social activist Elizabeth Smith Miller, called Libby Miller. Mrs Miller (1822 – 1911) was the daughter of abolitionists (= contro la schiavitù) Gerrit Smith and his second wife, Ann Carroll Fitzhugh. She was a lifelong (= per tutta la vita) advocate and financial supporter (= avvocato e finanziatrice) of the women’s rights movement. She  became famous when she  adopted what she considered a more rational costume: Turk trousers – loose trousers gathered at the ankles (= pantaloni alla Turca, larghi legati al polpaccio)  like the trousers worn by Middle Eastern and Central Asian women – worn under a  topped a short dress or knee length skirt (= indossati sotto un vestito corto o un a gonna all’altezza del ginocchio) .

This new fashion was soon supported  by Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818 –1894) an American women’s rights and temperance advocate (= avvocato per i diritti delle donne e la sobrietà di costumi). Ms Bloomer popularized Mr Miller’s idea in her bi-weekly publication about temperance and social issues, The Lily. This women’s clothing reform soon was named bloomers.  

The clothing were similar to the outfits (= vestiti) worn by the women in the Oneida Community, a religious commune * founded  by John Humphrey Noyes in Oneida, New York in 1848.

The rebellion against the voluminous and constraining fashion of the Victorian period was both a practical necessity and a focal point of social reform. For some time the “Bloomer” outfit was worn by most of the leaders in the women’s rights movement, then it was abandoned because  of the heavy criticism in the popular press. In 1859 Amelia Bloomer herself said that the  new invention, the crinoline, was a sufficient reform.  The bloomer costume returned much later, adapted and modified,  as a women’s athletic costume in the 1890s and early 1900s.

*They believed that Jesus had already returned in the year 70, and that they could lead a life free of sin and perfect in this world, not just Heaven . This doctrine is called  Perfectionism].