Strangest Fashion Trends in History

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fashion trends come and go and some leave an impression, while others just fade into history without much fanfare. The fashion trends that tend to stick in our minds are the ones that were out of the ordinary, not socially acceptable and sometimes, just weird.

Below are a few of the strangest fashion trends in history.

The Lotus Foot

Going back to the 10th century, a very strange fashion trend emerged that was quite a shock. Woman began to break and bind their feet so as to allow them to fit into tiny shoes. This became very popular and parents began doing this to young girls at age 6 or 7. Soon it became a symbol of wealth and status to have mutilated feet that would “heal” in a malformed manner, with high arches and allowing them to fit into small shoes.

Tall Wigs

Wearing a tall wig was another form of status symbol in some parts of the world, especially in 17th century France. These wigs could be 1 or even 2 feet high in some cases and then were accompanied by a very flamboyant hat. This added an extra 2 plus feet on and was popular among men and women, especially those of a high social status like lawyers, judges and politicians.

The Bird Mask

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but a fashion trend of the past included wearing bird masks with large beaks. This was more than just a fashion trend though and functioned more like a modern day surgery mask for a doctor. Doctors who were surrounded by people with contagious diseases wore these masks as a form of respirator which they thought would protect them from airborne illness.


100_8203 Lady in green crinoline
If you are a fan of old British movies or theatre, you will know exactly what a Crinoline is. It’s basically a series of hoops that go inside a dress to make it appear large. This was meant to represent the amount of personal space that should stay between a chaste young woman and her male companion, but they weren’t overly easy to manage and could sometimes be quite a hassle to deal with.

Ganguro Girls A strange trend from the last 1990’s and early 2000’s, this involved young women of Japanese descent who would try to look black. They would use make-up and tanning to produce a skin color that made them appear as though they were from an African country, rather than Japan.

Neck Rings

Popular in some Asian and African regions and cultures, this involved putting rings around the neck, starting at a young age, forcing it to elongate. In some cultures, wearing neck rings to elongate the neck begins only when a young woman gets married, which can happen as early as 12 years of age. No one is quite sure when this practice began, but it could be hundreds or even thousands of years old.

Do you know of any weird or strange fashion trends of the past, either from North America or beyond that we may not be aware of?

Author's Bio: This article is written Kole for Discount Fabric.