Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Lingerie of Heroes: Bloomers!



So here's an interesting fact I learned lately: many men who wear lingerie don't just love the usual underwear, they also love bloomers. That's right, those old style, old school pantaloons from days of old. Bloomers were originally named after a woman, Amelia Bloomer, and surprisingly enough they were actually created as part of the women's rights movement.

In the 1850s, at a time when women were stuffing themselves into uncomfortable and unhealthy undergarments such as corsets, and trip trapping about the place wearing several skirts at a time, Amelia decided that women deserved to be comfortable too. Taking the newly invented garments (created by Elizabeth Smith Miller), she started a counter fashion trend.


The first bloomers were not designed entirely as undergarments. They were long loose pants which tapered to the legs and were worn under skirts, giving women the freedom to move about and undertake more strenuous activities than those in full long skirts.


Unfortunately for those early adopters, bloomers were not a fashion hit. Wearers of bloomers were ridiculed for being "unfeminine" (see a recurring theme here, men), and those who wore bloomers tended to be affiliated with women's rights movements. Wearers of bloomers even earned the name "bloomers," a derogatory term. Undaunted, the women who defiantly adopted the new mode of dress referred to it as "Reform Costume."


Do men who wear bloomers simply love the loose fitting joy of the modern undergarment? Or are they perhaps somehow subconsciously tapping into a historical thread which has run through the wearing of lingerie since Victorian times?


Victorian women wore bloomers as a sign of rebellion and independence. They would be equal, they would enjoy the same rights as men. At the time, they were mocked and looked upon as strange, but in the end, they prevailed. Women now enjoy better conditions than ever before, and can wear whatever the heck they like wherever the heck they like. A woman in a suit and tie is more likely to draw cat calls than taunts and derision these days. 

Men who wear lingerie can take heart from this story. As far fetched as the idea might seem now, one day, men's lingerie will be as ubiquitous as women's jeans. It will happen, it is only a matter of time and of men slowly losing their fear of being themselves and fighting for their own rights.


Bloomers truly are the lingerie of heroes. Remember that next time you slip into a  pair, you're not just putting on some lingerie, you're stepping into a lacy legacy! 

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