Smuggled in the Bustle: an interview with Hind Abdul-Jabbar

To avoid paying exorbitant import taxes on their luxury items brought back from Europe, American women during the 19th century frequently engaged in ‘fashionable smuggling.’ Here a woman has enlisted her male relatives to wear her recent dress purchases through customs in an attempt to evade duty fees. “McKinley and the Fashions” (detail), Puck, September 23, 1891.

In this episode we speak to Hind Abdul-Jabbar about the widespread practice of smuggling European fashion into the United States during the 19th century.