Fashion Trend Origins

November 1, 2019

© Pavel Losevsky | Dreamstime


Fashion is timeless as trends come and go, but some of our favorite fashion items origins have an interesting story. For instance the bowtie was once more than a fashion statement. Bowties likely trace their origin to 17th-century Croatia, and were inspired by knotted neck scarves. This rectangular cloth accessory, often called a cravat, was folded and tied to hold the tops of mens’ shirts together. Over time, the bowtie evolved into the ascots, neckties, and bowties we know today. The high heel may be a staple of a woman's attire, it was developed in the 1500 by Persian horsemen who wore a heel to keep their feet in the saddle's stirrups. As Near Eastern ways influenced European aristocrats, high heels became a status symbol. By the late-1700s, the trend for men and women died out mostly due to practicality. But in the mid-19th century, they made a comeback thanks to French erotic photography. The little black dress is purely a revenge statement from the elite social class!  Originally wearing a black dress was a symbol of mourning. But in the late 19th century, it became standard uniform for the elite’s domestic help. This way, there’d be no confusing the lady of the house and her maid. As time moved on the little black dress became standard dress code for working women, who had little money when starting out. But as clothing prices dropped, lower class women could now afford to dress more stylishly after work. Now that the elite could no longer distinguish themselves from all the lower classes dressing in patterns and different fabrics, society matrons exacted their revenge by reappropriating their little black dresses for the upper crust. Ever wonder why you should leave the bottom button a man’s dress jacked unbuttoned?  This fashion rule is said to date back to the early 1900s when King Edward VII had a little trouble fitting into his waistcoat, so he left the final fastener unfinished for comfort. Out of respect for his majesty, the royal court—and, soon, the rest of Britain—followed, well, suit; soon, the tradition spread across the Atlantic. Bell bottoms come and go out of style but their origins belong with the Navy.  The story goes that seamen could easily roll up these belled legs to make way for deck swabbing. They also have a safety feature: if someone fell overboard, the design allowed for pants to be pulled over shoes so that they could then be turned into a life preserver. It's a tradition our modern Navy still embraces, even as they come and go in fashion.

SOURCE: Mental Floss

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