We all know that beauty is pain but some fashion trends took that quote a little too literally. Dresses made out of sacks and skirts that drastically limited movement were all the craze at one point in history. Luckily those trends all died out and we’ve since moved on to somewhat less painful bus just as weird fashion trends as the ones we’re about to highlight. Let’s take a look at some of the ghastliest fashion trends that, under no circumstances, should ever be repeated.
For the high-ranking nobles and royals of the 16th century, zibellinos, or tippets or flea furs, were all the craze. It was basically the pelt of a marten or sable, with the head still intact. They were worn draped over your arm, and were even adorned with gold and other jewels. The zibellino was seen as a sign of status and only the highest-ranking members of society had access to it. However, zibellinos slowly became a thing of the past due to the rise of fax fur at the end of the 16th century.
2. Black Teeth
Today, most people go to great lengths to achieve and maintain their pearly white smiles. But if you were a woman in ancient Japan, you’d do the complete opposite. This is because black teeth were seen as a symbol of attractiveness and wealth. So women would purposely drink black dye mixed with cinnamon and spices to achieve their desired look, a process which was known as ohaguro. The practice was finally banned in 1870, when the then Japanese empress showed off her pearly white smile to the public.
3. Flour Sacking
As Americans slowly recovered from the effects of the Great Depression, a strange and quirky fashion choice slowly made the rounds among Southern ladies: flour sacking. Women with decent sewing skills began stitching together flour sacks into fashionable outfits. From the late 1930s to the early 1940s, flour sacking was a big deal across America. National sewing competitions started popping all over the country and the outfits became more elaborate and brighter with intricate patterns. Luckily, they got tired of it and the trend died out.
4. Hobble Skirts
No one knows for sure who invented it, but the hobble skirt was a fashion trend that made its way from Paris to the US during the 1910s. Women all over the country started abandoning their heavy layers of fabric and petticoats for something more form-fitting, even if it was extremely restrictive. Wearing the hobble skirt involved tying your ankle which significantly limited the wearers’ steps, so much so that streetcars and trains had to accommodate women who wore it by lowering their entrance steps. However, the sudden scarcity of manpower and fabric during World War I led to the abrupt end of the hobble skirt, thankfully.
Where the hobble skirt restricted movement, the crinolines were large and expansive. A little too much if you think about it, because it pretty much led to the deaths of thousands of women. The crinolines were created during the 1850s and the 1860s to give skirts and dresses a dramatic bell shape—some even came with metal frames. Since 1850, it is estimated that nearly 40,000 women fell victim to crinolines by either standing too close to fireplaces or candles. By far, the worst recorded incident took place in 1863 at the Church of the Company of Jesus which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
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