During the last decade of the 19th century, a dress reform movement helped women move more freely, exercising and slowly gain more power in public life.
This cycling outfit features loosely fitting bloomers which replaced the restricting skirts of late Victorian fashion. To enhance the extravagant character of Annie Londonderry - the first woman who ever cycled around the world - the focus of her attire lies on a hand-smocked blouse with mutton-of-leg sleeves and pleated yoke, cuffs and collar. The blouse's design is inspired by a 1890's Liberty & Co. collection of smocked garments. The silhouette of this 'New Woman' is still supported by a Victorian corset with elastic insertions for sports activities. A straw hat and leather gaiters give the independent look its finishing touches.