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Questions tagged [fashion]

For questions related to fashion, style and their changes in different historic times and territories.

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43 votes
5 answers
35k views

When and why did having long hair become associated with women, and short hair with men?

It's obvious that having short or long hair is an identity sign for men and women respectively, more or less worldwide. I wonder why something like this happened, though. Maybe it was a way to ...
user12177's user avatar
  • 447
40 votes
3 answers
47k views

Why are military uniforms often flared or poofy above the knee?

I've often wondered why do various uniforms have those "poofs" on the outsides of the legs just above the knee? Was there a particular purpose to this, or a practical reason, or was it just the result ...
eidylon's user avatar
  • 655
25 votes
10 answers
10k views

What was the 1970s name for skinny jeans?

I'm currently writing something set loosely in the 1970s. One character refers to another (who is not present) in a disparaging way. The insulting phrase includes the detail that this person only ...
916's user avatar
  • 429
23 votes
7 answers
15k views

How common was smoking in first half of the 20th century?

When watching movies that were made in first half of the 20th century, one can see many people are smoking (cigarettes), but it is not they smoke all time long. I refer to the movies, because they ...
Voitcus's user avatar
  • 7,151
23 votes
2 answers
10k views

What is the history of the popped collar?

A popped collar on a polo has become the symbol of Frat Boys and wannabes everywhere. Especially in the "Jersey Shore" culture. I initially thought maybe it was tied to New England preppy style (the ...
zompz's user avatar
  • 333
21 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would a Norseman in the early 11th century have worn as daily clothing?

Most of the Norse clothing we know about seems to come from burials. However, in many cultures, bodies dressed for burial are wearing either "good" clothes, or special clothes for the dead. Is there ...
gothwalk's user avatar
  • 635
19 votes
2 answers
4k views

How were small swords worn in the 18th century?

Quick summary: How was the small sword (or dress sword) fastened to the body? What are the different ways of wearing it? Looking at many drawings from this period, a good bunch of them depicts men ...
Elrond's user avatar
  • 334
18 votes
1 answer
7k views

Did the Roman legions wear this type of boots?

I was looking at this drawing of a Roman soldier (copied below) About the boots: Is this pair of boots plausible for a Roman soldier (in any era/province of the Roman Empire)? I would like to confirm ...
Marcello Miorelli's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
6k views

Did the syphilis epidemic start the 16th and 17th century wig craze?

I've read that one reason that the nobility attending royal court in the 17th century had a passion for wigs, powdered faces, and gloves was the then prevalence of syphilis. By this reasoning those ...
Drux's user avatar
  • 14.5k
15 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why did people in 18th century wear wigs?

In many movies (and also drawings) that take place in the 18th century people use wigs. Why? Was it necessary?
sitems's user avatar
  • 357
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did medieval people wear collars with a castellated hem?

Many drawings of peasants in the Middle Ages show the men with an oversized collar or short cape with a distinctive castellated margin. Did this really exist, and if so, was the shape dictated by a ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

When, where, why did clean shaving for men become the norm?

Fashions come in and out, and beards alternate between trendy and passe. By the introduction of the safety razor, shaving had obviously become so common that even the poorest farmer could afford to ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 11.2k
12 votes
1 answer
4k views

"Musketeer" beard, mustache and hairdress - where did they originate?

This is a portrait of typical French musketeer, with typical triangle beard, mustache and long wavy hairs. I wonder where this fashion originates from? Is not it the Byzantine Empire where such ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.8k
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Continental Army officers wear wigs or keep their hair white like their British Army counterparts?

I just can't find any concrete answer to this question because there is just too much conflicting information. While I know British enlisted men weren't allowed to wear wigs but were forced to grow ...
Twinkling Star's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
594 views

Was there any time in non-recent history where it was fashionable to wear ripped clothes?

For around past 30 years it's popular to wear ripped jeans. Was there anything similar in history, when ripped or otherwise heavily worn clothes were popular and considered fashionable?
Petr's user avatar
  • 345
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was the Empire style of fashion adopted in Russia?

I just started re-reading War and peace, having completely forgotten it since the first time I read it. And I'm noticing that Tolstoy is referring to clothing every now and then. I wonder what it ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 989
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Lenin Jacket Picture: What's the story?

What is the story behind this photo? When was this photo taken? Who are the models? This photo, in many places on the internet, even in this article on "Chinese wikipedia", is shown as an example of ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I date this carved wood sculpture?

I found this beautiful wood-carved sculpture: It does look quite old and I wonder around what it was created. Also I'm interested which things to look out for, in order to determine the age and ...
Besi's user avatar
  • 203
9 votes
1 answer
582 views

Is the story about Mussolini and Oliver Hardy apocryphal?

There is a story that Mussolini wore bowler hats until someone told him that he looked like Oliver Hardy. Is this true? Is there any evidence for it or is it apocryphal? The times I have seen the ...
NatWH's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did unmarried Spartan women have longer hair than men?

I understand that in ancient Sparta, men wore their hair long whereas married women cut theirs short. However, in the brief mentions I've read about this (such as in one answer to "When and why did ...
Tripartio's user avatar
  • 301
9 votes
1 answer
368 views

Did most pants in the late 1800s have plackets at the ankle?

Recently, while at the New York Public Library, I spotted this painting: In it, Charles Astor Bristed is, in his youth, sporting pantaloons that appear to have a placket from ankle to knee. Did all ...
Aarthi's user avatar
  • 411
8 votes
2 answers
8k views

What is the significance of "Flappers" in American history?

The Flapper image of the 1920's American history of cosmetics seems to transform the cultural image of the feminine. However, I cannot piece together exactly how this change came about. I read about ...
IAE's user avatar
  • 197
6 votes
4 answers
793 views

Did anyone interweave blue and red threads in order to give the illusion of purple cloth before purple dye became cheap?

The wikipedia article on purple contains nothing on this. Also, why did the ancients not simply mix red and blue dye together to make purple?
Step Start's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
380 views

What is the earliest history of Middle Eastern women wearing veils for modesty while in public?

The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, Christian Old Testament) recorded women wearing veils as early as Rebekah in Genesis (Breshith). See Judaism stack exchange However, there is debate over whether women wore ...
Perry Webb's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
5k views

What are specific parts of this 19th century dress called?

Src: Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva So this a the Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva in which she is wearing a white and green gown. I just need a really simple explaination of what the separate ...
Katerina's user avatar
  • 355
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

At what age did girls start wearing corsets in 1880s-1890s Britain?

So, I found some contradicting information to answer this on the internet and almost none of it was dated to a specific time of the victorian era, so I would like to know if anyone can answer this ...
The word's user avatar
  • 305
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

When did medieval monarchs start being depicted with ermine fur garments?

Probably all medieval monarchs wore fur garments when the weather was cold enough. But what seems to be the normal medieval picture of monarch in civilian dress was to wear a long robe with a cloak ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
6 votes
0 answers
1k views

How did Europeans dye their garments black around 1800?

It is said budgetary restrictions made for example Lützower and Brunswickers chose black as their uniform colour. Since no state would provide funds for the equipment they brought old uniforms or ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was the painting of men's nails a rare practice in the mid-20th century?

I came across the following description of Hermann Göring after his capture in 1945 in Elizabeth Borgwardt's A New Deal for the World (On Google Books): The impression of a dissolute voluptuary - &...
kmlawson's user avatar
  • 4,023
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Has there been any culture where men typically have longer hair than women?

Most discussions of gender differences in hair length seem to argue that men have had "long" hair in many cultures (such as the answers to "When and why did having long hair become associated with ...
Tripartio's user avatar
  • 301
5 votes
1 answer
14k views

What was normal attire for Hindu kings in the 15th century?

I was reading through "A History of India" by John Keay when I came across a few paragraphs which talk about Hindu kings' attire (or the lack of it) in the 15th century. Travellers like Ibn Battuta, ...
Bravo's user avatar
  • 1,067
5 votes
1 answer
316 views

What is the meaning of the medieval word 'bliant', used to describe a fabric?

There are a number of references to "bliant" in The Mabinogion, but I cannot track the word down using my trusty Webster's Unabridged or Google (I get baby names, etc). Can anyone help? For ...
Simon Crase's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
503 views

Are there contemporary records of why flappers used cosmetics to create thin, upturned eyebrows?

What were young women trying to express when they applied cosmetics in this style? The cartoon character Betty Boop has a similar look, which could convey any number of things: hesitation, girlishness,...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
218 views

What uniform is General Redvers Henry Buller VC GCB GCMG wearing in this colored photo?

Colored studio photograph circa 1900 of General Redvers Henry Buller VC GCB GCMG in uniform with decorations. Is it that of a General in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps? Confirmation or other ...
Quentin Goodbody's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
421 views

What was considered utility clothing before WW2?

The term Utility Clothing became associated with Britain's Utility Scheme during WW2. However, apparently such a "utility" in fashion seems to have been known even before this time. I came ...
HeyJude's user avatar
  • 471
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture?

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture? Wikipedia: Hipster, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the ...
nic's user avatar
  • 2,528
5 votes
2 answers
894 views

What's the difference between Potur and Şalvar?

I'm researching the clothing of 16th-century Ottoman clothing, and I keep getting Potur and Şalvar as "trousers." Was there a difference between them or were the words synonymous?
Daniel Bensen's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
255 views

Have fashionable hair lengths ever been reversed from their current styles?

Has there ever been a time or a culture in which fashion/tradition strongly favored men with long hair AND women with short hair during the same period? There are plenty of instances of both having ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
  • 7,692
5 votes
0 answers
1k views

When did the British gentry stop wearing wigs?

I'm researching dress in 18th century Britain. This article claims the following: "Brits stopped wearing wigs after William Pitt levied a tax on hair powder in 1795." The date seems odd to me, ...
Random's user avatar
  • 3,686
4 votes
1 answer
273 views

Can you name a battle in 14th C (?) in which many knight got killed because of pointed shoes?

At some point in the 14th C, if I remember correctly, mounted knights and nobles followed a fashion to wear poulaines or sabatons, which were really pointy shoes as part of their armor. Unfortunately,...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Korean Traditional Clothes for each Dynasty

I searched everywhere but couldn't find a site that provide detailed clothes worn by the people of Korea in ancient time. I would like to search the changes in fashion and costume over time. Here are ...
mrjimoy_05's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did women in ancient Rome wear corsets, and if so, what were they made of?

Breast bands and other kinds of support were used. The history of the corset as we know it, however, begins in the 1600's, according to Wikipedia. I find this hard to believe. Perhaps this is because ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 3,435
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is Machiavelli wearing in his painting?

This may not be completely relevant to this board, but what was Machiavelli wearing in his painting? I have looked and I couldn't find anything like it. Was his black "overcoat" only around in his ...
Morella Almånd's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did ruffs become fashionable and then went out of fashion?

Ruffs are the fluffy white loopy things that go around a person's neck and usually make a person's head look like a lion's mane. How did ruffs become fashionable and then went out of fashion?
Double U's user avatar
  • 177
3 votes
1 answer
198 views

Did the Canadian Tuxedo emerge out of the Wool Shortage of 1973?

I understand that the Hudson Bay Company is responsible for the proliferation of the "Canadian Tuxedo". The Canadian Tuxedo is described as a denim jacket with jeans. The denim jacket must have ...
Phillip Siebold's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
330 views

What role did 17th c. luxury manufacturing play in the industrialization?

The luxury industry boomed with Louis XIV and his heirs. He made it mandatory for the nobles to invest their fortunes in the French luxury industry by following the latest fashion that the king ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
  • 1,337
3 votes
1 answer
535 views

"Ridiculous" military haircut in Spanish California

According to the reminiscences of José Maria Amador, as translated by Gregorio Mora-Torres in "Californio Voices", around 1820 recruits at the Monterey Presidio received an unusual haircut: After ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes
1 answer
162 views

What did male motorcyclists wear in 1930s England?

What did male motorcyclists wear in 1930s England? I'm assuming the outfits from Watch This Club Ride Vintage 1930s Motorcycles Across France are probably pretty accurate, as well as the top image ...
jth's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
803 views

Is it true that Christian English monks adopted Norse hairstyles before the start of the Viking age?

I remember a documentary suggesting that Vikings traded a lot with English monks, before the Viking Age started, and that the monks ended up adopting their hairstyles. They mentioned a senior monk or ...
Stylish Monk's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
859 views

Is there historical evidence on what might have been a maximum hair length for males in 1st century Judea?

I am interested in getting a better idea of what a maximum acceptable hair length might have been for Jewish men in the Roman province of Judea (i.e. Israel). Because the province at the time was ...
user100487's user avatar