A lot of men are interested in style. They want to wear the best clothes and look as good as possible while strutting their stuff out on the town. But, surprisingly, very few of us actually know where our fashion choices come from. You’ll be pleased to know, therefore, they have a history of their own that is way more interesting than you imagine.
Our fashion choices don’t just emerge from designers’ brains in big Italian fashion houses before trickling down and subsuming the rest of the market. Instead, they come from the way our culture interacts with itself.
In this post, we present 5 facts about men’s fashion that you never knew.
Fact #1: Chemists Invented Your Waterproof Jacket
Waterproof jackets aren’t a product of the fashion industry. Instead, they’re a byproduct of chemists’ efforts to find hydrophobic compounds that would naturally repel water.
The first waterproof coat emerged much longer ago than many of us think. It was the brainchild of Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh who created it in 1823 – nearly two hundred years ago. He used a combination of traditional fabric with liquid rubber to keep moisture out when standing in the rain.
Fact #2: The French Didn’t Invent French Cuffs
Do you like wearing your suit with French cuffs? It looks good, right?
Strangely, though, this fashion trend didn’t originate with the French at all. Instead, it came from the British who had a penchant for making their shirts with rows of buttons along the sleeve. The idea was to make the arms long and then for the wearer to adjust them by folding them back to the desired length. The extra slack, however, became fashionable throughout Europe, including France, hence the name.
Fact #3: Authorities Developed The Thong To Control Public Nudity
In the past, people enjoyed being naked in public more than they do today. The problem was so rampant that New York City’s mayor Florella LaGuardia wanted to find a solution before the 1939 World Fair.
He commissioned clothes makers to make a thong that would cover dancers’ netherregions while allowing them to continue showing off their shapely bodies. Many agreed, and the trend soon took off.
Brands, like Undywear, took this tradition forward into the modern world, continuing to provide thongs for those who enjoy the sight of the human form.
Fact #4: Pocket Squares Were Originally For Bogies (And Maybe, They Still Are)
The pocket square today is a kind of accessory for a suit or tux. It looks smart and provides a nice contrast with the rest of the outfit.
Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Originally, pocket squares would have been handkerchiefs people used to get rid of bogies lodged in their noses.
Fact #5: Shoe Perforations Were For Draining Water
Many expensive leather shoes feature characteristic perforations – small holes on the upper side, facing the wearer. Today, these are purely decorative, but in the past, they were for draining water.
Manufacturers envisioned their customers’ feet as bilge pumps. They would squeeze any excess moisture out through the holes in the shoe, keeping the wearer’s feet less soggy.