100 Fascinating Facts About Fashion & Clothing

Lizzie Robinson
11 Minutes Read

Queen Juana, from Portugal, wore the first hoop skirt in a bid to hide the fact she was pregnant.

Fashion is something people either love or hate.

Through the ages, different fashion styles have come and gone, and many of them return into our clothing stores after a few years.

Some people just cannot be bothered to keep up with recent trends, while others can’t get enough of the latest styles.

Whether you love it or hate it, you’ll enjoy these 100 interesting fashion facts.

In the United States, each person owns an average of seven pairs of blue jeans. That’s one for every day of the week!

Men have been wearing shorts for decades, but women were only allowed to wear them in public after World War II. One of the main reasons for this was because less fabric was available during the war, so shorts were more cost-effective than pants or skirts.

The T-shirt is one of the most popular items of clothing in the world, and around two billion of them are sold every single year.

Historically, purple clothes were only worn by magistrates, emperors and other aristocracy in Rome, Italy.

The loincloth is the oldest item of clothing, but the second oldest is the skirt – an item which is still very popular today.

Thousands of fashion magazines are sold every year, but the first ever fashion magazine was sold in Germany in 1586.

While lots of things are increasing in price, clothing is actually decreasing. Since 1992, the price of clothes has gone down by 8.5%.

In 1907, a woman was arrested on a beach in Boston for wearing a one-piece swimsuit.

Bras have been through different styles over the years, but you can now purchase a bra that can also be used as a gas mask.

On the subject of bras, the famous author Mark Twain (who wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) was the inventor of the bra clasp.

The record for the world’s longest wedding dress is held by a dress which has a 1.85 mile long train.

Levi’s jeans are one of the most popular brands of jeans. Although you might pay a hefty price for a pair now, the first pair sold for $6 worth of gold dust back in 1853.

High heels are nothing new to the world. In the 18th century, they were fashionable even for children.

Ralph Lauren’s real name was Ralph Lifshitz.

Michael Kors’ first project was his own mother’s wedding dress. He was a mere 5 years old at the time.

The “little black dress” was compared to the Ford car when it first came along in 1926, since it was practical and simple.

Many companies try to be an ethical and environmentally-friendly as possible, but Stella McCartney bags went a step further and are made out of corn.

Up until the beginning of the 19th century, models were not used to showcase clothes. Fashion companies would use dolls instead.

Harry Winston was the designer of the most expensive shoes in the world. The red ruby slippers he designed sold for $3 million.

Queen Juana, from Portugal, wore the first hoop skirt in a bid to hide the fact she was pregnant.

In the Middle Ages, poorer people would wear mittens, while the richer would wore gloves to show off their wealth.

You can’t go out these days without seeing a shopping center, thanks to the ancient Romans who built the very first one.

The famous Lacoste crocodile symbol was created in 1933, and was the first designer logo ever.

There is a rumor that the company Louis Vuitton burns any old stock to keep a tight hold on its exclusivity.

Marc Jacobs, famous for his many perfumes, has a SpongeBob SquarePants tattoo, among 27 others.

Gucci manufactured a pair of jeans named the Gucci Genius Jeans. They sold for a staggering $3,134.

An unlikely person to be associated with the fashion world, Napoleon invented the buttons for sleeves after his soldiers kept wiping their noses on their button-free clothes. Ew!

Doc Martens come in all different colors and sizes now, but the first pair was created using old tires.

W. Griffith, producer of silent movies in Hollywood, thought that actresses’ eyes could look a little better. He went ahead and created the first fake eyelashes.

Although Fashion Week in Paris has been taking place for some time, New York Fashion Week made its debut in 1943. The Americans wanted to start making waves in the world of fashion, rather than watching France take all the glory.

Anna Wintour’s first cover of Vogue was so different to the previous editions that the editors thought she had made a mistake.

Genoan sailors were known colloquially as “Genes” and wore cotton pants, which is where we get the word “jeans” from.

The word “gymnos” means “naked” in Greek, which gives us our word “gym” or “gymnasium,” due to the fact that Ancient Greeks used to exercise naked.

In the 1950s, the average American household spent 11.5% of their income on clothing. Nowadays, Americans use around 3.5% of their income for clothes.

Queen Victoria was the first person to wear a white wedding dress. Prior to this, white had been used as a color of mourning.

However, the Chinese people still use white as a color for mourning. In the West, it now symbolizes purity.

It is thought that the average woman will buy 145 bags during her lifetime.

The most common materials for manufacturing clothing are linen, cotton and polyester.

Metal needles are relatively new, but 30,000 years ago, they were being made from animal bones.

Walter Hunt, a man from America, invented the safety pin back in 1849.

Children wore the same styles as adults up until the 1500’s, when new trends appeared specifically for children.

In the Western world, skirts and dresses are mainly reserved for women, but in other areas of the world, both sexes wear them equally as often.

Lots of women have a problem with the fit of clothing on the high street – this is because they are designed for those between 5’4 and 5’8.

In the year 200, the Romans created different shoes for the left and right feet.

Eyeliner was discovered in the most unlikely of places – King Tutankhamun’s tomb! Since the 1920’s, it has been a very popular item in every woman’s makeup bag.

No wonder those at the top of the fashion world are so wealthy – the industry sees an annual revenue of more than $20 billion.

Technically, items are only “vintage” if they were made more than sixty but less than a hundred years ago.

“Retro,” on the other hand, doesn’t refer to old items, but rather refers to styles which copy vintage items.

Makeup has been used by women since before Cleopatra’s time. They would use berries and other fruits to give their faces some color.

Chanel No. 5 marked the beginning of modern perfume in 1921.

If a woman had short hair a hundred years ago, people thought she was being unfaithful to her husband.

Those who like collecting ties are known as grabatologists.

During the Renaissance period, it was fashionable to shave off the eyebrows.

Valentino Red was given this name after he became well-known for the bright red dresses he designed.

Elizabeth I was a big fan of hats, and as a result, females who did not wear them on Sundays and public holidays were given a large fine during her reign.

Up until the 17th century, men didn’t wear underwear at all.

Men wore high heels to ride horses up until 1740. It was thought that the heels helped them to ride better.

Using just one bale of cotton, around 200 jeans can be made. No wonder you can find jeans everywhere!

Around 80% of the world’s women buy shoes which are far too small for their feet. Generally, women like to think they have smaller feet and therefore choose a smaller size.

Baggy pants were first worn inside a Los Angeles prison, since the inmates weren’t allowed to wear belts.

The Ancient Romans wore yellow clothing on their wedding days.

The European women in medieval times used to wear green, which was thought to aid and/or symbolize fertility.

Blue is the color of loyalty, which explains why U.S. police officers wear blue uniforms.

Lipstick is one of the most common items you’ll find in a makeup store, but did you know that one of the main ingredients is fish scales?

Dying the hair is very fashionable, but it was trendy back in ancient times too. However, the process often resulted in total loss of the hair, which prevented many people from trying it.

Cardigans are comfortable and cozy pieces to wear now, but when they were first made, the idea was to create a knitted military jacket.

People who lived in the Middle Ages would often pay their taxes with clothing or material.

Each year, 7 million tons of materials and textiles are trashed. Despite all the efforts to recycle more, only 12% of the material is actually used again.

Marilyn Monroe owned a dress which was encrusted with 6,000 rhinestones. It sold for $1.26 million at auction in 1999.

The Indians have been credited with originally spinning cotton, and it was so popular that the Romans used to export it from them.

The tuxedo gets its name from the town named Tuxedo, situated in Orange County. This was the place where a tuxedo was first worn.

There is an Old Icelandic tale which claims the Yule Cat will eat you if you aren’t lucky enough to receive new clothes on Christmas Day.

Baby boys used to wear dresses until they were aged 5-6, but this stopped in 1910 due to changes in fashion.

In 1946, the bikini was invented, but it was banned in several countries, including Italy, after the Vatican said it was a sin.

Barbie, the most popular doll in the Western World, was first seen wearing a black and white striped swimsuit.

There is a company called Little Miss Matched that sells packs of mismatched socks.

Within the last decade, the average breast size has increased from 34B to 36C due to the rising trend of plastic surgery.

Bra manufacturer Playtex made the spacesuits for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they went to the moon.

Celebrities started wearing sunglasses in an attempt to remain anonymous to any fans they might bump into.

The mini skirt was named after the Mini Cooper, the favorite car of its designer, Mary Quant.

Although there are more female fashion magazines in circulation today, France’s first fashion magazine was aimed at men in 1678.

The Ancient Egyptians used perfume in religious rituals as well as to make them smell nice.

People used to hand-stitch their own clothes before 1850. Clothing was seen as essential rather than fashionable among the poor.

Fashion designers start off on an average salary of $23,000. More experienced fashion designers can expect to earn up to $150,000 or more.

In the 1600’s, pregnancy was considered fashionable. Women would often put cushions underneath their clothes to try and create a realistic bump.

Within America, those who live in Manhattan spend the most on clothing. The average person spends $362 per month.

Kate Middleton is often pictured wearing fashionable clothing, and she has spent more than $54,000 on her wardrobe since 2012.

New York Fashion Week is attended by 232,000 people per year.

China is one of the largest producers of cotton, bringing over 90 million yards of the material into the fashion industry every year.

Neck ties were originally called cravats and came from Croatia. They are now the most popular Father’s Day gift.

Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, two of the most popular fashion magazines in publication today, both appeared in the 1920’s – one of the most important decades for fashion.

The handbag was first designed and used to help women attract a husband. They were invented in the 19th century, and women would personally embroider them with colorful and intricate patterns to show off to the men.

Christian Louboutin manufactured a limited edition for brides. They had baby blue soles to give the bride “something blue,” but the company ceased production after copyright issues.

The beret comes from France and is a popular fashion item as well as being a part of certain military uniforms.

In the original Cinderella story, the glass slippers did not exist. Instead, her shoes were made out of fur, but the story was changed in the 1600’s and included the new and now-famous glass slippers.

The Big Four Fashion Weeks are Milan, London, Paris and New York.

Valentino Garavani, a famous Italian fashion designer, takes his five precious pugs everywhere with him.

Japanese warriors wore their hair up in a small ponytail after shaving the front of their heads. However, unlike the man bun of today, this wasn’t just for fashion. It helped to keep their helmets secure.

The long, fluffy wigs which are commonly seen worn by judges today derived from the days of King Louis XIII. The French monarch suffered quite badly with bald patches, and wore a massive wig to appear macho and powerful.

Coco Chanel was an orphan at the age of 12, but that didn’t stop her becoming one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever seen. As well as the little black dress, she also created costume jewelry.

As you can see, fashion has been a huge part of people’s lives since ancient times.

Which of these fashion facts grabbed your attention?

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About The Author

Lizzie Robinson
Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson was born in England and has been a freelance writer since 2011. She is currently studying English Literature at university and enjoys sailing, reading & playing the piano in her free time.

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