If you think fashion is all about glitz and glamour, these surprising facts might make you reconsider. Here are six bizarre facts about fashion:
1. Ever heard of the real Fashion Police? No, it’s not just a TV show. During the medieval period in Europe, actual fashion law enforcers patrolled the lanes of Italy to maintain sumptuary laws. They had the authority to penalize excessive display of luxury on the spot. Interestingly, men were found to violate these laws twice as much as women.
2. Fashion isn’t exclusively a human phenomenon. In a peculiar instance, a chimpanzee was seen sporting a blade of grass in her ear, apparently without any practical purpose. When her primate companions began emulating her, researchers recognized the first ever non-human instance of a fashion statement.
3. The invention of Velcro didn’t take the apparel industry by storm instantly. Its creator spent two decades evolving the idea into a viable product, but even then it didn’t catch the industry’s attention. It was only when NASA expressed interest in using Velcro for space applications that it gained popularity in fashion circles as a space-age element.
4. Did you know that concerns over public health influenced fashion trends in the 1900s? With the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, people were advised against sporting beards and long dresses. This advice was rooted in the pre-germ theory belief that beards and fabrics could shield against miasma or “bad air”.
5. High heels, a quintessential part of women’s fashion today, were actually introduced by men. They were initially worn by men and only later adopted by women in an attempt to incorporate more masculinity into their outfits.
6. The sun tan trend owes its origin to a fashion mishap. In the 1920s, iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel inadvertently got sunburnt during a visit to the French Riviera. As she returned home with a tan, society, idolizing her lifestyle, began to perceive tanned skin as a symbol of luxury, health, and fashion.