By the late 19th century, women’s fashion was almost entirely dependent on highly restrictive undergarments. Then a new crazy for bicycle riding, interest in health standards, and the growing number of women in the workforce led many to recognize that fashion could actually be harmful to women’s health. Suggested solutions to the problem included trousers, reform underwear, bloomers, and artistic dress. These dress reformers – opposed and mocked at the time – eventually prevailed and left a lasting mark on the culture.

Marlise Schoeny is the Assistant Curator for the Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection, as well as a lecturer in the Fashion Design program at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Marlise has a BA in History from Miami University and a MS in Textiles and Clothing from Ohio State University. She currently manages OSU’s digitization project,, which includes galleries of garment images, from microscopic images of the fibers to whole garment in-the-round views. In addition to the digitization of collection holdings, her research interests include late nineteenth-century clothing and its role in gender and social identity and how clothing can be used to teach history in public schools.

Advance ticket purchase is required. Preservation Society Members $10 / General Public $15. Purchase tickets online at or call 401-847-1000 ext. 178

Thursday, September 27th from 11am – 12pm
Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Avenue