Exhibitions/ Art Object

Cycling suit

wool, leather, silk, linen, cotton
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:
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 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.
Marking: Label (b): "The Star Bicycle Suit/Trademarked/Patented July 21st 1896"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity," May 5, 2010 – August 15, 2010.

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