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Figure Skating Dress and Costume

Author: Moira F. Harris


Abstract The earliest dress for an ice-skater was basic winter-weather gear. Coats or jackets, pants or skirts, mittens or gloves, and hats or scarves protected skaters from the cold and damp. Early paintings and prints give evidence of these choices. In the nineteenth century concerns for health and fitness led to an interest in outdoor recreation. In many cities clubs were formed, and outdoor rinks were planned and built in parks. Clothing intended for skaters’ use was increasingly available. Competitions, both national and international, leading up to the first Winter Olympics in 1924, brought innovations in skating dress. This was followed by the development of entertainment in the form of both outdoor and indoor skating shows, which offered other opportunities for designing ice-skating costumes.

This is an abstract of an article from the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The full article is available in the Berg Fashion Library.

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