DID YOU-ALL KNOW THIS INTERESTING STUFF???
Bicycling / Hy Sandham; aquarelle print by L. Prang & Co., 1887. Library of Congress.
When women took up tricycling in the 1880s, the first question asked tended to be, “What should I wear?” Both men’s and women’s clothing during the 19th century was much more structured than most of the clothing we wear today. But at least men were able to wear pants. Women had to find a way to dress that looked appropriate (i.e. modest and fashionable), but was not hazardous.
Walking dress, circa 1882. Women rode in dresses similar to this one. Metropolitan Museum of Art, DT247641.
Women who could afford to own tricycles were women of means, so they were able to afford specialized clothing for cycling. For women who had different dresses for walking, taking tea, and dinner, it would have made sense to have a different dress for tricycling as well. Granted, specialized cycling…
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