In recent years recycled decade fashion has become staple for trendsetting, either re-shaping into 21st century versions or wholeheartedly worn in its traditional styling. While the early aughts have become a phenomenon, there’s an unexpected summer piece emerging on the sartorial horizon taking us centuries, rather than decades, back. Enter, bloomers.
Lightweight, cinched from waist to bottom hem, comfortably baggy, and often frilled, the 19th century bottom is being stripped of its loungewear status and rightfully transformed into one of summer’s go-to styles. From runway features to social media-fueled looks, here’s what you need to know about the unexpected fashion piece blooming back into voguish appeal.
Bloomers can be traced back to the 1800s. Often worn under shortened dresses they were not only the solution to ridding the stuffy, constrictive skirt layering women were expected to don, but also stood as a political fashion statement. Heralded by feminists like Amelia Jenks Bloomer (the source of the item’s name), Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Elizabeth Smith Miller, bloomers were a staple in suffragette style representing a more liberated way of dressing and living as opposed to the restrictive fashions for women during this time.
Despite the head shakes, disprovals, and controversial stance, the trousers gained traction in the 1900s not only as an undergarment but as a piece to be worn independently, particularly for sports, work, school, and as swimwear. They were also diverse in the material (differing by season or affluence) and decoration which also gave women more options in fashion. The bloomers met their decline by the early 1910s as skirts lengths shortened.
Bloomers haven’t had a revolutionary moment since, but it’s nudged its way back into fashion to relive its relevance. For one, the runway has alluded to the trouser here and there, both conforming to its original stature and taking it on with a new vision. The Chanel Fall/Winter 2021 Haute Couture collection took bloomers down a Victorian loungewear road with delicate satin, lace, and floral layered under dresses while the Tibi Spring/Summer 2020 collection included the baggy silhouette in its natural state paired with a modern pieces like an oversized button-up shirt and blazer. Other runways like Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2008, Fendi Spring/Summer 2016, and Khaite Spring/Summer 2020 collections have altered the bloomers into 21st century iterations (mini hemlines, extra frilled, and painted in bold colors or designs).
Off the runway, bloomers have been gaining momentum on social media where outfits range from 18th century chic complete with frills and lace or the etherial picnic aesthetic to quirky business or played down for a laissez-faire summer outfit.
The recent rise of bloomers is a culmination of affairs, one being last year’s quarantine era. As everyone made the transition to 24/7 home living, comfortability became one of fashion’s focuses –according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, digital sales for pajamas increased 149 percent in April last year alone. It clicks that bloomers, in their flowing, pajamas-esque nature, have made a name for themselves.
Yet in juxtaposed way only fashion can explain, being devoid of places and occasions to get dressed up for prompted people to get creative with styling, just in their homes. Coinciding with the rise of TikTok subcultures and the speedy velocity they were able to take off in, popular style aesthetics like “royalcore” and “cottagecore” (with have garnered 134.3 million and 7.2 billions TikTok views respectively) have pushed bloomers into the spotlight. Worn with Victorian avant-garde gowns, corsetry, and pearls known to “royalcore”, bloomers relay heritage opulence; paired with fluid night gowns or laced blouses and straw hats, they enter the dreamy world of “cottagecore” – both worlds show how versatile the piece is.
Undergarments worn as stand alone pieces have been on the rise too, especially when it comes to streetwear. Bras, from the traditional shape to sports silhouettes, have been a transformed into tops or worn openly, layered under button-ups or lightweight jackets. When it comes to summer style, less is more seems to be the philosophy.
Fashion has a knack for revisiting the past, even if it does mean dusting off clothing from centuries ago. With just one month left into summer, bloomers are the one breezy yet voguish piece to place in your wardrobe. And who knows what they’ll see in the next season – wool, tartan bloomers with turtlenecks or cinched trousers under corduroy may be the next autumn statement.
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createdAt:Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:44:23 +0000
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