In the late 19th century the more restrictive elements of women's clothing, like corsets and bustles, were abandoned by some and replaced with 'rational dress' comprising a jacket, blouse and knickerbockers (baggy, knee-length trousers). Knickerbockers were only for the daring and many women sympathetic to rational dress still wore skirts. These women were confirmed dress reformers and wore their rather masculine clothing with confidence.
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Christchurch City Libraries
Reference: CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0096
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