Women’s History: Suffragette fashion

Despite the inaccurate portrayal of our early feminist sisters as ugly and unlovable, Suffragettes/suffragists were aware of fashion and used it to their advantage.

They embraced a tri-color palette to hint at their cause no matter where they went:

“Suffragettes wore purple for loyalty and dignity, white for purity, and green for hope.”  Not inconsequently, Green, White, and Violet also stood for Give Women the Vote.

Hats were importantly symbolic. They were larger than life and adorned with feminine flowers.  (As the movement gained steam and those opposed became afraid, hatpins were regulated to be short  so that they could not be used as weapons and the hats needed to be smaller or they wouldn’t stay on.)

hats
Thanks to this website for the image: http://www.beyondretro.com/en/blog/2014/04/07/the-suffragettes-fashion-activists/

By necessity, stores began to support the cause.images

replica-of-an-english-suffragettes-purple-woven-plant-fibre-hat

Oh those backwards, unfashionable folks who did not support equality for women. They would soon be left in the dust.

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And there is a little bit of a lesson here. When confronting inequality, don’t be afraid to appeal to stereotypes and turn them to your advantage. And as history predicts, fashion is already on the side of women.

For more about the struggle for the vote, go here. Happy Women’s History Month. Mixed In is out! Support books with female leads.

 

 

 

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