A late bloomer in pioneer fashion

By Mina Watson |

The 19th century marked a significant time for fashion-lovers due to the invention of what were called "bloomers." These clothing items looked like really baggy pants and were designed especially for women. Before this time, women wore dresses and skirts all the time, since pants were largely considered men's clothes.

The arrival of bloomers hit just in time for the hay-day of the Oregon Trail. As you can probably imagine, making the 2,000-mile journey West in skirts and dresses wasn't exactly easy, while bloomers were much more practical for the long, difficult trip.

One pioneer woman who chose to wear these pants to Oregon was Mariett Foster Cummings, according to experts at the National Park Service. Mariett said wearing bloomers made it easier to travel through mud and sand, since she didn't have to worry about a long skirt getting dirty.

Although bloomers were much more comfortable and practical for women pioneers, many preferred to wear skirts during the long trip. While it might seem crazy today, many trailblazers still considered pants to be clothing for men, no matter how popular they were becoming.

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