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Cycling suit

Date:
1896–98
Culture:
American
Medium:
wool, leather, silk, linen, cotton
Dimensions:
Length at CB (a): 21 in. (53.3 cm) Length at CB (b): 37 in. (94 cm)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Mr and Mrs. Morton Sultzer, 1979
Accession Number:
2009.300.532a–d
  • Description

    A past time originally dominated by men, bicycling became more acceptable for women after Queen Victoria bought bicycles for her daughters. By the 1890s, clothing to be worn while participating in the activity was being produced. The bifurcated clothing worn while astride a bicycle not only opened the door for women to engage in the sport but also to gain their independence from strict societal rules. This particular ensemble features a bifurcated skirt that allowed the rider a more comfortable ride while also giving the modest appearance of a skirt at front. Other more daring ensembles featured fully bifurcated Knickerbockers. This suit also includes a pair of gaiters, which would provide protection for the legs.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Label (b): "The Star Bicycle Suit/Trademarked/Patented July 21st 1896"

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
159074

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