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advertisement for skirts
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Brooklyn Daily Eagle

During the 1860s, advertisements in the newspaper consisted of words rather than pictures. In this ad, the words are placed on the page to create the shape of a woman's hoop skirt, a long, full skirt held by wires in the shape of a large hoop. Women's clothing and men's clothing were distinctly separate, and women never wore pants. In fact, it was illegal for a person to be out in public in the clothes of the other gender. Women who fought against these social conventions were ridiculed and labeled as troublemakers. Nevertheless, women's rights activists continued to argue for "dress reform."

For more on this topic, see Document 88, "The Dress Question."





Citation - Document 33
Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online
December 13, 1861
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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