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You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer, a rebellious reformer and early women's rights activist, popularized bloomers (baggy pantaloons worn with a short skirt over them), thus liberating women from the dangerous and oppressive clothing of the mid-nineteenth century. Here is her story, told in buoyant, witty text and beautiful, high styled-illustrations.

"Amid graceful illustrations of ladies in overblown ruffles and breath-restricting corsets, Amelia appears in a practical navy blue dress, hatless. Amelia is especially impressed by suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton's cousin, Libby Miller, who has the good sense to wear a knee-length skirt over baggy, gathered pants. Amelia pronounces the outfit "Brilliant!" and publicizes it in the women's newspaper that she edits." -- Publishers Weekly

For more stories about those who fought for women's right to vote, visit A Mighty Girl's Women's Suffrage section.


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Description Review

Amelia Bloomer is not a proper lady. She thinks proper ladies of the 19th century are silly. They're not allowed to vote, not supposed to work, and all that fuss about clothes! Ridiculously wide hoop skirts, yards and yards of hot petticoats, and cruelly tight corsets supported by whalebone or steel made women faint at the drop of the hat: "What was proper about that?" So Amelia, being so very improper, sets out to revolutionize the world for women.

Not only does she start her own newspaper and try to change the voting laws, she also popularizes a new fashion. This bold new garb shocks the proper ladies, but frees all others to move, digest, breathe, and think about something other than keeping from fainting (such as voting and working). Named for their best spokesperson, bloomers marked the start of a kinder, gentler approach to women's fashion--and women's rights.

Shana Corey's lightly humorous voice is perfect for this true story about the 19th-century women's rights activist. A note at the end provides horrifying and fascinating information about women's restrictive clothing (corsets sometimes displaced internal organs!) and the dress reform that Amelia Bloomer spearheaded. Chesley McLaren's breezy, exuberant illustrations charmingly reflect her background in fashion design and illustration. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

Product Details

Recommended Age 5 - 8
Author Shana Corey
Illustrator Chesley Mclaren
ISBN 0439078199
Publication Date Mar 1, 2000
Publisher Scholastic Press
Language English