5 Shoe Hat
To be honest, nobody outside of Elsa Shiaparelli and her close buddies wore the shoe hat (actually, someone probably did since it was for sale in snooty catalogs, but who really knows anymore). Still, it did exist and it was pretty darn bizarre.
4 Lead Make-Up
We know some people go overboard with the make-up … but in ancient Greece, pale skin was a sign of beauty, and the best way to achieve that look was with white lead. Was it deadly? You bet! Historians suspect it may even have shortened the life of those who partook in this lovely fashion statement. Chalk was also used, but didn’t last as long. Beauty hurts … or just slowly poisons you to death, at least in ancient times.
3 Macaroni Style
These were the metro-sexual hipster punk rockers of the high courts in the 18th century. Macaronis were typically men acting and dressing with no specific (or neutral) gender, wearing outlandish clothing and speaking in a very certain way. To top it off (literally) they wore giant, monolithic, ridiculously tall wigs with a tiny hat on the peak. The trend didn’t last all that long, but it did make a mark for itself in history (probably the intention). These “stylish” men called themselves part of the Macaroni Club because many of them had been to Italy and fell in love with a little known food at the time … you guessed it, macaroni. Never heard of the bad-ass macaroni style before? Sure you have, they wrote a song about it called “Yankee Doodle.” The legend lives on.
2 Man Corset
These days I go to buy clothes, and everything is slim. Slim jeans, slim button-downs, slim jackets. Not a good place to be for a beer swilling, burger eating man like myself. Well, in the late 18th century, clothes became ultra slim – however men took to corsets to help slim them down. By around 1850, this fashion was ridiculed and men stopped wearing corsets altogether. Maybe this trend will come back – who knows, right? Though corsets were also known for being tied so tight they actually caused internal organ damage. Considering cigarette smoking is looked down upon in many places, I highly doubt organ squeezing will make a comeback.
Originally developed to keep feet out of mud and slop, courtesans soon took up the fashion and made it a social status symbol over the course of three centuries. Chopines weren’t just platforms, they were literally small stilts. Apparently, a woman wobbling around with an awkward gait, taller than anyone else in the room was hot stuff. Hey man, whatever floats your boat.
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