Bloomerism in Edinburgh
Considerable surprise and amusement (says the Caledonian Mercury) was occasioned on Thursday night by the appearance on the Dean-Bridge of two ladies – one about 40 and another apparently about 15 years her junior, wearing the bloomer garb in its fullest style. The elderly lady was dressed in a long ruby-coloured silk mantle, or polka, which partially hid that portion of the dress in which the aggression is most daringly manifested. Under the upper garment there seemed to be something like a shorter one of the same shape bound round the waist with a rich shawl. The “continuations” were nearly of the same colour and reached to the instep of the foot. The young lady’s dress was exactly similar in shape, but considerable lighter in colour. The bonnet in the case of the one was plain, like that of more decorous ladies, while the other wore a straw one, somewhat of a gipsy shape. The singular spectacle thus presented attracted considerable attention even in the retired quarter of the town where it was witnessed and comments, characterized by freedom more than politeness, were now and again made by urchins who followed the unblushing Bloomers. From enquiries afterwards made, we learn that the ladies are Americans; but whether the new costume was assumed on this occasion by way of trial, or as a regular street dress, we have been unable to find out.
The Times, Thursday, Aug 28, 1851; pg. 7