For decades, fashion has been seen as frivolous and silly by many. Visit any Haute Couture fashion show, and you’ll be subjected to a lot of cool looks that have very little practical application. But while trying to complete my assignment, I came across info on the history of fashion that really piqued my interest. It turns out fashion trends and technology has some interest background.
Here are 5 fashion facts to think about the next time you check your closet for something to wear!
You notice your jacket has sleeve buttons that have zero practical use? Guess what they’re for? They’re designed to keep you from wiping your nose on the sleeves! I’m sure you wouldn’t do such a thing with a nice designer jacket, but Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t. His soldiers were forced to march in terrible weather conditions for long distances, and if they got sick, there was nowhere to wipe their nose, except on their jackets! This made the army look sloppy, ragged, and a little gross, so Napoleon sewed buttons onto the sleeves as a deterrent, so the army always looked sharp!
Eyeliner used to be fairly standard, but was hardly the go-to for the dramatic look. But then, the 20s happened, and along with all the other great fashion innovation, King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered. That sparked an unexpected interest in ancient egyptian cultures, and guess what? Everybody’s eyes were rimmed in black, dark and dramatic! It was a look soon embraced by a thoroughly modern age, that still continues today!
The 1920s were a time of flair, jazz music, and progressive attitudes towards women. This included short skirts and bobbed hair. Silent film stars led the new hair craze, and of course, had their effect on fashion, too. But short skirts were not an indication of progressive attitudes towards women and sexuality. They were simply a sign of the growing dependency on a particular technology: In this case, the automobile was gaining popularity, and short skirts made getting in and out of cars a lot easier than their previous Edwardian counterparts!
The Parasol!Unbelievable as it sounds, the first umbrellas were actually more like parasols, invented to keep the sun off. The first recorded recognizable umbrellas were actually made in ancient Greece, Rome, Italy, Egypt, and China. They were designed to keep the oppressive heat of the sun off workers and noblemen alike, and date all the way back to 21 A.D. The first umbrellas for rain only go back to about the 1780s.
The high heel used to be the securely in the realm of men’s fashion. Originally, they were designed to keep men’s feet in stirrups as they rode. And since it was mostly the upper classes with horses to spare, and hunting parties, they soon became a class signifier, allowing those with money to literally tower over the have-nots. You might say it’s a trend that continues, with heels being an important look to a woman’s business outfit, as well as essential to red-carpet celebrity fashion!
No matter how you look at it, fashion is fascinating. The average American woman spends around $125,000 on close in a lifetime, and yet, it’s not something we think too much about, beyond following the latest trends. But dig deep, and you’ll find fashion to be rich in history, with a culture all its own!