Amazing what you can learn just skimming your Facebook news feed. Someone posted an article about tuberculosis on its effect on fashions in the nineteenth century. It seems that the elaborate cravats popular among men had another purpose. They hid the unsightly diseased neck glands common to those with TB.
That got my imagination going. What other odd fashions are out there? A quick search told me there are lots, and some I could barely believe.
Here’s a perverse one. Only the rich in Queen Elizabeth I’s day could buy sugar. So the rich tended to have worse teeth, due to their ability to indulge in sweets. For a short time, English women blackened their teeth to show they had the cash to buy sugar.
Also from the Elizabethan era comes the practice of bombasting. Men didn’t diet or worry about beer bellies (or ale bellies.) A large tummy meant you were wealthy, so many men stuffed their doublets to create the effect.
White powdered wigs are another trend that came to us because of a disease. This time syphilis was the culprit. Among the symptoms of the disease were nasty smells and baldness. To kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, wigs came into favor. The white powders used were scents like lavender and orange.
Concerned about the effects of the sun’s rays on the skin of their faces, Chinese women head for the beach wearing facekinis. That’s right, a facekini is a mask that covers the face, neck and upper chest. Gives bathing beauty a whole different meaning.
Not on the eyelid, on the white portion of the eye itself. Apparently this was popular thousands of years ago and is again popular in Canada. You can pick colors, like green, or even have designs. This is another style that needs to go away.
Instead of just getting your nails painted, you can get bubblenails. The nail technician will place a ball of acrylic on your nail, then build around it layer by layer, creating the bubble effect. Then they’ll paint them whatever color the client wants.
Meggings are a modern trend that I, for one, hope is short lived. You guessed it, meggings are leggings for men. I have nothing to say but no.
These are just a handful of ways I found for people to alter their appearance, for whatever reason. Most of them I just don’t get.
But now my imagination is in overdrive, wondering how to incorporate some odd fashions in my writing. What a great way to show a character quirk, like independence, or a disease they are trying to hide.
Anyone know of any other weird fashion trends?