Here we have a cartoon, circa 1855, apparently meant to illustrate the topsy-turvy effect of bloomers on relations between the sexes. Clearly the artist was rather appalled, but frankly I see a woman after my own heart.

According to the accompanying description, “In this scene a woman is asking her boyfriend’s father for permission to marry his son.” The original caption read:

“Before I can entertain your proposal, and give my consent to your marrying my son, I must ask you, whether you are in a position - a - to - a - keep him in the style to which - a - I may say - he has always been accustomed? Ahem!”

It looks to be part of a series for the magazine Punch, drawn by the artist John Leech. He also did panels featuring the proposal itself:

And a more general depiction of these outrageous bloomer-wearers smoking and reading—gasp!—the papers. Oh the times! Oh the customs!


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.