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Reforming Women’s Fashion, 1850-1920

Politics, Health, and Art

Clothing & Costume

The first comprehensive study of women’s dress reform

During the latter half of the nineteenth and the first decade of the twentieth centuries, books, periodicals, and newspapers were rich in discussions related to women’s roles, health, beauty, and dress. Many believed that restrictive and unwieldy women’s fashions compromised health, distorted women’s true physical beauty, and curtailed the potential role of women in society. Reforming Women’s Fashion, 1850–1920 focuses on the efforts toward reforming women’s dress that took place in Europe and America during this period and the types of garments adopted by women to overcome the challenges posed by fashionable dress.

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