Corselets and stiletto heels

Detail cover 'Maandblad der Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleeding' , collectie - IAV

The debate over whether dresscode for women is oppressive or dysfunctional, has always been an issue. In 1899, an association was founded for the Improvement of Women's Clothing, the Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleeding. This association fought for clothing in which women could easily do the following:
 

'walk, sit and work, would be able to dress and undress without help from strangers. Dress that would be able to hold a handkerchief, wallet and keys, which didn't sweep the floor, hats which would fit our heads (...)'.

Bovenkleding, illustratie uit het Maandblad der Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleeding (1899 - 1909)
Bovenkleding, illustratie uit het Maandblad der Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleeding (1899 - 1909)

Both the renowned feminist and journalist Welmoet Wijnaendts Francken-Dyserinck (1879-1956) and her mother were members. Her archive contains wonderful pictures of her in 'reform clothing', which was how clothing designed as an alternative for movement-restraining dress was called.

The ‘Maandblad der Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleeding’, a monthly magazine of the clothing-reform movement appeared from 1899 until 1909, and continued later as 'Onze Kleeding' (Our Dress).

 

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