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  • Elizabeth Little

Are Bloomer Shorts the Next Big Thing?


Image via the Rijksmusuem Open Access


Dear Amelia,
I’ve been hearing some people saying that bloomer shorts are about to be the next big trend? Is this true? I literally have no idea how I would even begin to style them.
Sincerely,
Not Your Grandma’s Knickers

Dear Not Your Grandma’s Knickers,

You are absolutely right! Just how bike shorts were the summer trend the past couple years, bloomer shorts are starting to make their mark. If you haven’t already, go watch @oldloserinbrooklyn’s Tiktok video on trend forecasting in which she includes why she thinks bloomers will be the next big thing.


Not to be confused, the bloomer shorts popular these days are nothing like the ones from the history books. There’s a common misconception that bloomers have been worn under dresses since the beginning of days. However, due to the numerous layers of slips and petticoats women were already wearing, the last thing they needed was another layer (especially when going to the bathroom, that would have been rough). Bloomers being worn under dresses came about in the 1850s along with the creation of the crinoline (aka the hoop skirt). The crinoline allowed the wearer to achieve a full, bell-shaped skirt without the numerous layers previously needed. While its light weight was first loved by wearers, the crinoline soon encountered a new problem: wind. It’s full shape and light weight meant it was easily caught by wind, and women everywhere found themselves unintentionally flashing passer-byers. Bloomers became the answer to this unexpected problem and have been considered undergarments ever since. Whilst these bloomers tended to be worn to about the mid leg, usually being tied at the knee, modern bloomers are much shorter and are adorned with many more ruffles. If you’re interested in reading more about bloomers and how there was a period in the 1850s where women wore them as trousers, read our about page here where we explore them more in depth along with their (and our) namesake, Amelia Bloomer.


When it comes to styling these shorts, it will be a bit trickier now that we’re entering winter. Like its predecessor the bike short, so far the bloomer has mostly made appearances in summer. The bloomer themselves are already a statement piece, so the easiest route to go to wear a simple tank or t-shirt so the shorts can have the attention, see fashion historian Ruby Redstone as an example below.

However, if simple isn’t your thing, the shorts take on extra detail quite well. One way is to really lean into the ‘babydoll’ trend and wear a blouse with an oversized collar. If you don’t already have one of those tops, detachable collars are everywhere these days, from Zara to Etsy. Another way to style would be to wear a patterned top (style of top can be your choice) and to make sure one of the colours in the pattern matches whatever colour your bloomers are.


If you’re determined to wear bloomers this winter, I think the best way about would be to wear them under a sheer midi dress and/or skirt. This will make them a nice detail that people can only appreciate on a closer look.

Hopefully this helped you stir up some ideas on how to wear them, and I’m sure by next summer (or even this winter) you’ll confidently be rocking a pair.


Best,

Amelia


Do you have a styling or fashion question that you’re just dying to ask? Reach out! You can contact us here or by emailing us at hello@amelias-bloomers.com and just put “Ask Amelia” in your subject line. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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