Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; In memory of Mrs. Arthur Rideway Ryan (née Katherine Browne) from her children, Katherine B. Ryan, and Marcella Burnell and Arthur Martin Ryan, 1983
Not on view
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 patented bifurcated skirt that allowed the rider a more comfortable ride while also giving the modest appearance of the skirt at front. Other more daring ensembles featured fully bifurcated Knickerbockers.