In this1897 advertisement in The Graphic for Elliman's Universal Embrocation, you can see a radical costume - the woman is skirtless in public and she is wearing "rationals" or "knickerbockers" or "bloomers" for bicycle-riding. She has a little necktie as well. The whole outfit (top and bottom) was known as a "bicycle suit". I was surprised to see that you can still buy Elliman's. A product that has stood the test of time.
Leg o'mutton sleeves at their most extreme were so wide that women had to turn sideways to get through doors. Fortunately, it's one fashion that didn't last and now we ride our bicycles in whatever feels most comfortable. My nephew on his tricycle, 1963, was wearing as little as possible which seemed to make him very happy. An agile little guy, he appears to be attempting to ride backwards.
And here I am as a youngster with my bicycle in our backyard. I think I'm wearing a skirt which would have been uncomfortable. I have a feeling this photo may have been one of those "last photos on a roll" things and my father wanted to get the film developed.
Last but not least, my grand-nephew Chris, circa 2012 in his bike racing regalia. I wonder what the Battersea ladies would think about his hat.
Happy Easter to all my fellow Sepians! Pedal on over to Sepia Saturday for bicycle stories.