Many of the women involved in the artistic and writing communities of the 1890s were involved in the Rational Dress Society or the Artistic Dress Movements, including Bram Stoker's wife, Florence Stoker. Oscar Wilde promoted its ideals, during his tenure at the Woman's World. The Rational Dress Society was an organization founded in 1881 in London. It described its purpose thus:
The Rational Dress Society protests against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movements of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health. It protests against the wearing of tightly-fitting corsets; of high-heeled shoes; of heavily-weighted skirts, as rendering healthy exercise almost impossible; and of all tie down cloaks or other garments impeding on the movements of the arms. It protests against crinolines or crinolettes of any kind as ugly and deforming….[It] requires all to be dressed healthily, comfortably, and beautifully, to seek what conduces to birth, comfort and beauty in our dress as a duty to ourselves and each other.
Nonetheless, criticism made it hard to change the way most women dressed everyday and the Rational Dress Society's greatest triumphs were in the area of undergarments and athletic wear.
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