I have an article up at The Toast today! “‘I don’t think I’ll venture on dual garmenture’: Rational Dress and the Politics of Biking” discusses pretty much what it says on the tin, including rib-crunching, satirical poetry, seltzer sponsorship, and Aesthetic Dress as the theater kids.

Research for this was delightful.

Above are two of my favorite political cartoons and two of my favorite advertisements on the subject, at the far ends of the cultural response to Victorian biking costume: Terror that those ladies would go getting newfangled ideas in their heads…and how cool they would look if they did. (Please note that the adorable proposal has interrupted a meal, something about which the artist was clearly concerned.)

This article was a blast to write, and I’m so happy it found a home at The Toast. You can read it there!

(Sources: cartoons via, posters Wikimedia and Retrocatch).