Fashion History: The 19th Century Dress Reform Movements

While Charles Worth and his ilk had monopolized the heavily adorned and radically contorted body cuts, a backlash was brewing. Industrial elite members of the "Grand Denial" sought a more discrete luxury and sober distinction in their fashions. Moralists felt that the modern fashions were shameful and ostentatious, and they sought a return to "worker-friendly" produced clothing that was natural and free from dyes. In addition to radicals, social reformers and feminists, doctors and hygienists also supported the Dress Reform Movement, warning against the hazards of corseting and "artificial" textiles.

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