Old Athletic Wear - 1931 Women's Gym Wear

1931 Montgomery Ward middy and bloomer setHere is the latest fad in workout wear, as shown in the Montgomery Ward catalogue of 1931. The top was $1.25 ($1.15 with elbow-length sleeves), and the baggy shorts ("bloomers") were $1.15 a pair. The $0.98 canvas gym shoes completed the workout wardrobe for the athletic gal of 1931.

The baggy shorts, or "bloomers," were named for 19th century American feminist Amelia Bloomer. She didn't invent them, but she was one of the first to wear them. The baggy, flowing pants made life easier than the long dresses of the day. Later on, bloomers were shortened a bit and worn as athletic attire.

Nike Apparel ad: "Just because you're a NICE GIRL doesn't mean you can't have EVIL LEGS."The current state of the art in gym wear, as marketed by Nike. Ms. Bloomer would undoubtedly be shocked at what modern designers have done to update her eminently practical baggy shorts!

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Last Updated: 8 February 2017

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