City Girl Shorts.

I recently attended a panel discussion on Women’s Rights and Women’s Clothes at FIT NYC with my blogger friend Anne, part of the Triangle 100 talks commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 100+ immigrant working women.  It was a captivating discussion that involved a delightful Q&A with Janie Bryant, costume designer for the TV series Mad Men, set in the 50s and early 60s, about the clothes as part of the plot as well as portraying the psychology of the characters.

Overall the discussion highlighted for me just how restricted women have been over the years by their clothing.  I take for granted the freedom I have in choosing to wear trousers over a skirt or even put on a bra instead of being locked into a corset every morning.  I forget about the importance of historical figures such as Amelia Bloomer, (who you can read about here; this lady was dedicated to women’s rights issues; suffrage, education and fashion) the Dress Reform Movements of the 19th Century and also just how much we have to thank characters like the Gibson Girl for.

Everything [a woman] wears has some object external to herself. The comfort and convenience of the woman is never considered; from the bonnet-string to the papershoe, she is the hopeless martyr to the inventions of some Parisian imp of fashion. Her tight waist and long trailing skirts deprive her of all freedom of breath and motion. No wonder man prescribes her sphere. She needs his help at every turn.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton

So as a little tribute to Amelie Bloomer and all the important characters in Dress Reform to whom women owe a debt and much gratitude, here is my ‘city girl shorts’ outfit post – my outfit for a bright Spring day in Manhattan.  (If you’re living in NYC and thinking ‘what the..?!’ this photo was taken early this week, before the snow flurries arrived!  Crazy weather in your country, America…)

I’m all about the dress, but I’m also all about a woman’s right to choose what she wears.

Is being born a woman so criminal an offense that we must be doomed to everlasting bondage?” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Wearing: Shoes from Dorothy Perkins; T-Shirt from ASOS.  Shorts from Ebay (brand unknown).  Hat from Reiss.

This entry was posted in ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, Reiss, shorts. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to City Girl Shorts.

  1. Dempeaux says:

    Yes, it’s no wonder women didn’t get much done over the 300-odd years they were wearing corsets. I think every woman should try a real corset on at least once in her life – you really get a sense of what our historical sisters had to put up with!

    I love the shorts! 🙂

  2. stylemefab says:

    I am obsessed with 50s and 60s style clothing. I guess i do like the restrictive nature of it but i feel its also so well put together and structured in such a way that it comes off with a certain level of elegance and style that is undeniable. I think this is why i am also obsessed with Oscar de la renta. their lines usually lean a lot towards old Hollywood …corset and big flared skirt..

  3. noelani says:

    Jealous you ladies had a chance to check out this panel. Clearly it was well run and full of inspiring information. The city girl shorts are a fitting tribute and tres chic.

  4. Hannah Chan says:

    Suffrage is a very interesting topic and it is amazing how courageous these women were to stand up and be heard and even give their lives for us and what we have today.

  5. cupcake says:

    Um…I’m just jealous you are in shorts, we haven’t had ‘that’ day yet! Anyhoo…I like skirts too but those are the perfect length of city shorts, classy! Thank God we’ve come so far and have the freedom to be comfortable!

  6. That sounds like an amazing panel…I miss being able to go to presentations and conferences even…totally the slow life over here.

  7. Ritournelle says:

    So sweet of you to mention me, thank you! The panel discussion was riveting indeed. Have you seen the “His & Hers” exhibit at the FIT yet? I had a peek yesterday (it runs until May) and it displays how women’s clothes were so restricting to the body and little by little became similar to menswear. Interesting stuff, I’m sure you’d like it!
    On another note, your picture almost makes me want to weep: when will we finally be allowed to dress in such light clothes for more than 2 straight days instead of being bundled up in the cold? It was 20 degrees in France today! New York needs to catch up 😉

    • You will weep ever more when you see the blog post that’s forthcoming about (short) shorts and a little strappy top from Urban Outfitters! Froze my legs off but hey, in the name of fashion Ms Ritournelle….. I haven’t heard of that FIT exhibition, just off to check it out… XX

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