Pantaloons & Power: A Nineteenth-century Dress Reform in the United States

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Kent State University Press, 2001 - History - 262 pages
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Clothing is often an indication of an individual's status, and gender. By the early nineteenth century clear definitions had developed regarding how American women and men were supposed to appear in public and how they were meant to lead their lives. As men's style of dress moved from the ornate to the moderate, women's fashions continued to be decorative and physically restrictive. This visible separation of the sexes was paralleled in other arenas - social, cultural, and religions. Some women defied this convention and cut their skirts short, abandoned their corsets, and put on trousers. In Pantaloons and Power Gayle V. Fisher shows how the reformers' denouncement of conventional dress highlighted the role of clothing in the struggle of power relations between the sexes.
 

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User Review  - book58lover - LibraryThing

I found this book extremely helpful in teaching a class in women's history. In it I found the only picture I have ever seen of women on covered wagons across the plains in pantaloons (or bloomers ... Read full review

Contents

Who Wears the Pants?
1
Perfecting America Antebellum Reform Fashion and Antifashion
9
The First Dress Reformers New Harmony Indiana 18241827
33
Pantaloons in Private Health and Religious Dress Reform before Freedom Dresses
47
Pantaloons in Public Womans Rights and Freedom Dresses
79
Out of the Closet Health and Religious Dress Reform after Freedom Dresses
111
Im Coming Out as a Bloomer Eccentric and Independent Dress Reformers
133
What Happened to Dress Reform?
161
Women Wear the Pants
175
Notes
179
Bibliography
225
Index
255
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About the author (2001)

Gayle V. Fischer is assistant professor of history at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts.

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