The Surprising History of Your Favorite Fashion Trends

Clothing is a part of our everyday lives. More often than not we don’t give much thought to what we put on (besides if it looks cute or not), but did you know some of your favorite fashion trends have some pretty surprising backstories that date back centuries?

  • Choker Necklace:

While most people remember chokers being trendy in the 1990s and early 2000s, they actually started to make their first appearances in the 1530s. Anne Boleyn was known to wear a string of pearls with a B hanging from it. The choker resurfaced in the 90s...1790s to be exact during the French Revolution where women wore red ribbons around their neck to pay tribute to those executed by guillotine. Worn by everyone from royals to prostitutes, the choker managed to resurface every few years since. Most recently, they made a comeback in a few years ago and have been going strong since.

 

  • High Heels:

It’s a commonly known fact that high heels were originally worn by men. Why? Back in the 10th century, men in the Persian cavalry used heels to stay in the stirrups while they were on horseback. This spread throughout Europe and heels were seen as a status symbol because only the wealthy could afford horses.The wealthy also didn’t need comfortable or supportive footwear like the working class did. During this time, heels were not a gendered clothing item; it was the 18th century that began gendering high heels. Thanks to the French Revolution, high heels were seen as frivolous and feminine and practical, working class footwear became popular. It wasn’t until the introduction of pinup girls that heels as we know them became popular.

 

  • Jeans:

 

Denim itself was discovered in 18th century France, but jeans as we know them were invented by Levi Strauss during the gold rush. Miners needed sturdier pants that could withstand harsh conditions while looking for gold and these durable pants soon became a workwear staple. Levi’s also helped outfit the women’s movement in the 1930s where women working out West preferred to wear jeans.  This is where Levi’s began marketing “Lady Levi’s”. These pants were sold in both the rural West, and big cities like New York, making them a favorite for rebellious women everywhere. A few decades later, blue jeans became popular with the youth thanks to James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. During this time, teenagers wanted to rebel instead of recreating their parents suburban, professional lifestyle.  

*Images from: Wikimedia Commons