Bloomers

It is in these travelers’ diaries that one reads of women wearing “bloomers” as a gesture of participation in the fashion of the day—a considerable contrast to Rebecca Ketcham, who had but one dress to wear “for the duration of the journey. Harriet Ward took a long walk with Mrs. · Singletary, whom “notwithstanding her bloomer dress we found to be a sensible pleasant woman.” Jane Kellogg also noted that “we wore bloomers ;all the way, the better to enable us to walk through the sagebrush, They were made with short skirts and pants reaching to the shoe tops. Everyone wore them.” And Lucy Rutledge Cooke similarly counted herself among the women who wore bloomers, But not every women wore them. Bloomers appeared only among those women who could afford special fashions for special occasions. The majority of the overland women wore what clothing they had and prayed that what they wore would not tear. They were too preoccupied with the necessities of the day to consider fashion at all.