6 Weird Fashion Trends from History

No, this article is not a fashion guide, weird right? That is exactly what we are getting into on this fine day. Below, I’ll share some of the weirdest fashion and beauty trends from the pages of history, and here we thought 21st century lost the fashion sense. Let’s step into action, shall we?

1.      Scented Cones

6 Weird Fashion Trends from History

In the tradition of Ancient Egypt, noblewomen adorned their heads with cones. These cones acted as fragrance back in the day and were made from scented wax and grease. The cones were worn to enclosed dinner parties and such, where room heat used to melt the cones, thereby, dispersing scent.

A certain school of thought believes that paintings depicting those cones from the bygone era are mere illustrations. Because there is no archaeological proof available in this regard. However, these drawings do suggest that the so-called head gear were perfumed.

2.      Powdered Wigs

Powdered Wigs

The concept of powdered wigs originated in the middle Ages. Lengthy hairs pointed out to the wealthy and elite class of the society who could go on showing off their locks for days without question.

At the helm of it was the disease of syphilis during that time (16th century) and people used it for covering the repugnant odors indicative of syphilis. They often used horse, goat or human hair wigs which were glazed in lavender or orange powder to ward off that smell.

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This fad became a full blown fashion statement until the 18th century when taxes on hair powder discouraged public from wearing wigs.

3.      Chopines


A popular fashion in the 16th and 17th-century Venetian society, where it served the need same as sandals do in the modern day world. It wasn’t meant as women’s fashion item initially, rather it was meant to have practical purposes.

With its thick, raised soles it provided for women to walk easily on uneven surfaced streets of Venice. But as with powdered wigs above, chopines quickly became a status symbol, meaning the higher the sole the more revered the personality is.

Thank God Lady Gaga wasn’t around at the time as the shoes once reached a height of 20 inches (well, damn)!

4.      Stilt-Walkers

Stilt Walkers

You thought you have witnessed the highest point in weird-ism. I urge you to think again! In the 19th century, a place called Landes in France induced stilts into their daily routines. “Big legs” was the term coined for these stilts as they helped Landese shepherds to traverse the muddy landscape of their countryside.

5 ft. in length, these pieces of wood comprised shoulder straps to support the feet of shepherds. I’m not going to go in the detailed anatomy of the stilts but suffice to say they were expertly used by every villager (men, women, and children). Stilt-walking turned out to be a style at the time and if it were for Twitter today, would have been trending worldwide #Stilts.

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5.      Bombasting

Stilt Walkers

At the time of Elizabeth era in Great Britain, bombasting or padding as it came to be known as, of clothing was practiced. By padding means – overstuff to create inflated sleeves, bellies, calves, bosoms etc. to make up for the shortcomings in one’s body such as to appear more muscular or say more filled-out.

It is said that at the time men stuffed ‘stuff’ of about four to six pounds made of rags, cotton, horsehair and/or bran. In the mid 17 century the fashion of bombasting disappeared, however, it re-emerged towards the end of 19th century.

6.      Hobble Skirts

6 Weird Fashion Trends from History

Now this one is funny. Have you ever tried tying down a horse (to prevent it from running off)? If you haven’t then you don’t know what it felt like to tie down a woman. Don’t get me wrong (or kinky), it’s not what you think, but hobble skirts were meant to slow down women or to prevent them from running altogether.

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This idea was the brainchild of French fashion designer Paul Poiret who stated his above intent. I don’t know why Paul would think that or why women would want to purchase hobble skirts but who am I to judge, eh?

It was a 20-century ‘thing’ (read skirt). Slim in shape it clasped the legs near and restrained the ankles. All I can say is, Run Lola Run if you ever see a hobble skirt.

Author Bio: John Bishop is a history teacher by profession work at Finest Assignments. In his leisure time loves to blog. His technique of presenting historic episodes with wit makes him stand out from the crowd. He can be reached via him Twitter.

Amelie J