History’s Most Unusual Fashion Trends

Fashion trends

Much of history’s fashion is dictated by trends, some trends are logical (like the advent of women’s trousers) while others can only be described as bizarre. Let’s take a closer look at some of history’s most unusual fashion trends:

Hobble Skirts

Hobble skirts became popular during the 1910’s; they narrow so drastically at the hem that the ability to walk becomes obstructed. First appearing in western fashion sometime in the 1880’s, this short-lived trend was often emphasized through the use of knee length corsets.

Bloomer Suits

Otherwise known as “Turkish dresses”, “American dresses” and “reform dresses”, this fashion trend is credited to the many readers of the Water-Cure Journal. In October of 1849, the periodical started urging its readers to begin wearing clothing less harmful to their overall health and offered more physical and metaphorical freedom.


Codpieces were popular during the 15th and 16th centuries and can be described as a pouch or flap attached to the breeches of a man and covers the genitals. The point was to accentuate and emphasize the area.


Sometimes called crackowes, this is a style of shoe with an exceptionally long toe point or beak. Popular amongst fashionable European men during the 15th century they are thought to have originated in the city of Kraków, Poland.

Bullet Bras

We can thank Hollywood actresses of the 1950’s like Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and Patti Page for popularizing the spiral-stitched, cone-shaped “bullet bra”, which gave the appearance of larger busts.

The Tudor/Elizabethan Ruff

Popular in Western Europe between the mid 16th and mid 17th centuries, the ruff was worn by men, women and children. Usually colored during the starching process ruffs came in yellow, mauve and pink.


Panniers are side hoops, which were worn during the 17th and 18th centauries as part of a women’s undergarment. They were designed to increase the width of a skirt while leaving the front and back more or less flat. Often seen in portraits by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez, the true origin of this strange fashion trend is debatable, with England, Germany and Spain all being pointed to as countries of origin.

Want to know more?

Do a Google search of these extraordinary fashion crazes:

  1. Macaroni
  2. Bliauts
  3. Chopines
  4. Bombasting
  5. The Whale tail G-string trend
  6. Saggy Pants
  7. Nightshirts
  8. Facekinis
  9. Meggings
  10. Shoulder pads
Toni Bekker
Toni Bekker

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × one =