Chronography of Clothing and Cosmetics

Page last modified 21/12/2022


Fashion is an illusion created by a minority elite to suppress, depress and undress the lemmings.


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For dyes see Chemistry


Sewing machine � see Appendix below

Hair and beards � see Appendix below

Shoes, foowear � see Appendix below


1/2008, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain supported the banning of miniskirts and bare midriffs at Ascot, to �maintain standards�.

7/5/2007, Isabella Blow, fashion magazine editor, died (born 19/11/1958)

7/4/2006, Helen Barbara Kruger, clothes designer, died (born 29/7/1913)

14/3/2005, Janet Reger, lingerie designer, died (born 30/9/1935).

24/4/2004, Estee Lauder, cosmetics manufacturer, died.

15/6/2000. The clothes retailer C & A announced it was closing all its stores and making its 4,800 staff redundant.

15/7/1997, Gianni Versace, clothes designer, was shot dead at the age of 50. The chief suspect was Andrew Cunanan, a gay serial killer; the FBI beleived Versace was shot in revenge for infecting other men with HIV. Cunanan was found dead on a houseboat at Miami Beach, having committed suicide when the police arrived. However there were rumours of a mafia money-laundering connection, and that Cunanan had been killed to hide the true killer�s identity.

22/6/1993, Hannah Troy, fashion designer, died.

29/4/1991. Marks and Spencer announced 850 job losses in the first redundancy programme since the 1950s.

1987, The first Sock Shop opened in the UK. The chain was founded by Sophie Mirman (born 1956)

1987, The cosmetic potential of Botox was discovered. Botox was initially developed by Dr Edward Schantz in 1946 for use in biological warfare; it is one of the most potent toxins known; it blocks the transmission of nerve signals to muscles, causing deadly paralysis. In the 1980s in Canada a patient was being treated with Botox by Dr Jean Carruthers for blepharospasm, the excessive blinking of the eyes, and the patient requested ongoing treatment after the symptoms had subsided. In 1987 she reported that she had ceaded to frown, her facial wrinkles had disappeared. The Carruthers then started on working on Botox as a cosmetic treatment.

1986, Skin creams containing oil extracted from jojoba (a desert shrub from the Mexico-US border area) became popular.

17/9/1985, Fashion designer Laura Ashley died after falling downstairs at her home.

1983, London Fashion Week, held twice a year, started.

1975, Female fashions were changing more rapidly, spurred by heavy advertising campaigns which rapidly changed what was the latest trend. This year flared trousers, hotpants, platform soles and punk were in fashion. Women�s trouser suits were back, after a brief appearance around 1939.

Punk clothes were promoted by the punk music industry. Men grew their hair longer and �unisex� fashion was promoted. Nudity was also promoted, by shows like Hair and O Calcutta, and �page three girls� in The Sun newspaper.

16/1/1974, Kate Moss, British model, was born.

1973, British fashion now included flared trousers and platform shoes.

24/3/1972, Cristobal Balenciaga, Spanish fashion designer, died in Valencia, Spain.

1971, Hotpants were the current fashion; very short trousers, leg barely extending below the crotch. The earlier midi-skirt, calf-length, was a fashion flop and cost the clothing industry considerable sums in unsold garments.

10/1/1971. Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and one of the most influential couturiers of the twentieth century, died aged 87.

1970, Man-made fabrics increased their share of the US clothing market, taking 56% against 28% in 1860. In 1970, polyester took 41% against 40% for cotton (cotton was 65% in 1960).

25/8/1970, Claudia Schiffer, fashion model, was born.

25/1/1970. Mary Crosby, inventor of the bra, died in Rome aged 77.

17/3/1969, Alexander McQueen, fashion designer, was born

1967, The first Laura Ashley shop opened in London (first Laura Ashley shop opened 1953). By 1990 the chain had grown to nearly 500 stores worldwide.

Meanwhile Twiggy popularised a �waif� boyish type look, her skinny legs accentuated by her mini-skirt.

26/5/1967, Philip Treacy, fashion designer, was born

15/4/1966, Time Magazine declared London �the city of the decade�, for its fashion, and opportunities for young people.

1966, The Scott Paper Towel Company tried ti market paper dresses, as disposable clothing that cost just $1. They sold half a million, but they tore, the colours ran in the rain,they could catch fire. Despite never requiring washing, the fashion faded almost as quickly as the colours. Predictions that by 1980 25% of clothing would be made of disposable paper were never realised.


1960s radicalism; the mini-skirt

1966, The fashion career of �Twiggy� began with a full page photograph of her in the Daily Express. Born 1949, as Lesley Hornby, she met her boyfriend and stage manager Johnny Davies (stagename Justin de Villeneuve). He called her, because she was very thin, Sticks, then Twigs, and finally Twiggy. See 1967. She began a second career in cniame and TV after acting, in 1971, in the film The Boyfriend. In 1988 she married Leigh Lawson and has performed since then as Twiggy Lawson.

23/9/1966.Mr Joe Kagan, raincoat maker to Mr Harold Wilson, suggested that by the 1980s men would be wearing something like a mini skirt with a toga over it in cold weather. Jean Paul Gaultier also attempted to introduce mini-skirts for men in the 1990s.

1965, In London, Carnaby Street and the Kings Road were now established fashion centres.

1964, The mini-skirt was first exhibited at a fashion show in Paris. By 1965 it had reached London. Originally 6 inches above the knee, it subsequently became even shorter. The garment was also promoted by Andre Courreges (born 1923).

21/8/1964, In London, three women were found guilty of indecency for wearing �topless� dresses.

1960, Mary Quant (born 1934) popularised the mini-skirt when she started selling them in her shop in the Kings Road, Chelsea, London. By 1966 the fashion had caught on.

1959, The Mayor of Benidorm, Pedro Zaragoza Orts was excommunicated by the local archbishop after he signed an order permitting the wearing of bikinis on the city�s beaches.

11/2/1934, Mary Quant, English fashion designer who invented the mini-skirt, was born in Blackheath, London.


10/5/1965, Linda Evangelista, Canadian fashion model, was born.

1964, Automated dry cleaning came to the UK.

1963, Brut aftershave for men was introduced, and was very successful. It fared better than a competitor product, Pub Cologne for Men, sold in a rum-barrel-shaped bottle, with the tagline �Pub Cologne for Men Uncorks the Lusty Life�.

8/2/1963, The Beatles were asked to leave the Carlisle Golf Club because they were wearing leather jackets.

1962, The first silicone breast implants were carried out in the USA.

1960, Lycra was first produced commercially, for swimwear. Developed by Du Pont in 1959, it was used for swimwear, being stretchy and clingy.

1959, The tumble drier machine appeared in the UK.

16/8/1959, Helen Storey, fashion designer, was born.

19/11/1958, Isabella Blow, fashion magazine editor, was born (died 7/5/2007)

30/1/1958, Yves St Laurent held his first Paris fashion show, aged 22. He was apprenticed to Christian Dior at 18 and when Dior died in 1959 he became head designer of the Dior fashion house.


Emphasis on slimness

1957, Women such as Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell bega to popularise the �hourglass� figure for women, with a small waist and fuller bust. However this required slimness, and women�s vigorous exercise was seen as �unladylike�. So alternative methods of achieving this look included corsets and padded bras, also slimming pills, which might prove to be addictive.

1955, Tight jeans were fashionable in North America and western Europe.

19/9/1949, �Twiggy�, British model, actress, and singer, was born in Neasden, London, as Lesley Hornby.


1957, The first twin-tub washing machine was produced.

24/10/1957, Christian Dior, French fashion designer and creator of �New Look�, died.

2/8/1955, Velcro was patented by the Swiss inventor, George de Mestral. Inspired by the way burs attached to clothes, its name derived from a combination of velour (velvet) and crochet (hook).

25/7/1955, Iman, supermodel, was born.

8/11/1953, Rifat Ozbek, fashion designer, was born,

13/7/1953, Jo Jo Laine (Joanne Patri), model, was born (died 29/10/2006)

1952, Acrilan, a synthetic fibre discovered in the 1940s, began to be used for clothing manufacture.

13/8/1952, Marie Helvin, model, was born.

8/6/1952, Lindka Clerach, fashion designer, was born

24/4/1952, JeanPaul Gaultier, fashion designer, was born.

9/11/1950, ICI announced its to build a factory at Redcar to manufacture a new fabric, Terylene.

14/7/1950, Bruce Oldfield, fashion designer, was born.

25/4/1950, First fashion display by Christian Dior in London.

See Science and Technology for the plastics inventions of the 1930s and 40s which made new fashions, cosmetics and clothes possible in the 1950s and 60s.

1/11/1949, Gerald Ratner, jewellery businessman, was born.

24/6/1949, Betty Jackson, fashion designer, was born.

1947, False �eyelash strips� were first used in movies to enhance the looks of stars such as Elizabeth taylor and Sophie Loren. Female moviegoers soon demanded a version for themselves, which was marketed in the 1950s under the name �Eyelure�. From here false long fingernails were also invented so working women could have short nails during the day but adopt the elegantly long nails of wealthy (non-working) women in the evening.

1/12/1947, Samuel Courtauld, silk and nylon manufacturer, and patron of the arts, died in London.

25/9/1947, Cheryl Tiegs, US fashion designer, was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota.

2/12/1946, Giovanni Versace, fashion designer, was born.

29/6/1946, Egonvon Fustenberg, fashion designer, was born.

18/11/1945, Dr W N Leek, in Cheshire, claimed that the falling UK birth-rate was due to people wearing pyjamas in bed instead of nightshirts.

11/2/1943, Mary Quant, Welsh fashion designer, was boirn.

1942, The US Navy issued specifications for a new type of undershort, called the �T-shirt�, made of white cotton with a round neck and short sleeves at right angles to the body making a �T�. The new garment, eminently suited to bearing printed slogans or symbols, began to be worn as a shirt on its own by the end of World War Two.

1941, In Switzerland, Velcro was patented by George de Mestrel. He returned home from a walk to find burrs stuck to his clothing. Examining them under the microscope he saw tiny hools, and sought to improve on zips that were prone to jamming. The name Velcro comes from velours croche, French for hooked velvet. Commercial manufacturing of Velcro began in 1952.

20/2/1939. The first washing machine went on show in London at the British Industries Fair.

1938, British women began to wear colourful �turbans� on their heads, inspired by visits to the UK for the coronation of King George VI by Indian Maharajahs.


30/8/1938, Max Factor, cosmetics entrepreneur, died.

18/8/1904, Max Factor, cosmetics entrepreneur, was born.


1/8/1936. French designer Yves St Laurent was born in Oran, Algeria.


Emphasis on figure shape for women

1947, Christian Dior introduced the post War �New Look�. The female form was exaggerated, with tiny waists and full skirts and bust. Skirts became longer than in wartime years. This replaced the wartime look, a more masculine style of softly curved shapes and roundedshoulders with midicalf skirts.The �New Look� unashamedly used large quantities of material, and was a reaction against wartime austerity. The UK Government appealed for women not to adopt the New Look, as post-War shortages still prevailed, but many women ignored this plea.

12/1946, Nylon stockings went on sale in London, the first nylon product commercially manufactured in theb UK

5/7/1946. The bikini was officially invented by French engineer Louis Reard. �It is a two-piece bathing suit that reveals everything about a girl except her mother�s maiden name�,said the Americans about the bikini. Two months earlier the French designer Jacques Heim had created the Atome, another two-piece bathing suit, so Louis Reard was inspired to create an even smaller bathing suit. Reard knew he had created an explosive item, so he called it the bikini, as the US military exploded an atom bomb on the south Pacific island of Bikini atoll. No Parisian model would wear the bikini at the time as it was considered indecent, but Reard hired a nude dancer, Micheline Bernardini, to wear it at his presentation. The bikini was banned in several Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy, but Reard kept promoting the garment, insisting it was not a real bikini unless �it could be pulled through a wedding ring�. In the 1950s Brigitte Bardot helped promote the bikini and by the 1970s it was more or less accepted in most countries.

3/2/1946, The Hosiery Designers of America chose actress Jane Russell�s legs as the �perfect pair�.

27/10/1938, DuPont announced that its new synthetic fibre was to be called nylon

29/4/1937, American chemist Wallace Hume Carothers committed suicide just two months after he patented nylon.

16/2/1937. Nylon was patented by the American chemical company E.I.Du Pont, having been developed under the direction of Dr Carothers. The material was first produced in Britain in Coventry on 23/1/1941. It was used for military needs only, mainly for parachute fabric; nylon stockings were made from December 1946.

23/1/1941, Nylon was first produced in Britain, at Coventry.

15/5/1940. Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time, in America. In New York alone, 72,000 pairs were sold in the first eight hours. The name was reputedly inspired by the cities with the greatest fashion potential for this new product � New York and London. Rising hemlines from the 1920s had created a need for some sort of covering to smooth out colour imperfections and bumps on women�s legs, now exposed for the first time in centuries.

1939, Cup sizing for brassieres was introduced by Leona Gross Lax, US clothing designer.

1936, The term �curvaceous� was first used, in the USA, for woman having a shapely, voluptuous, figure.

1925, The �girdle�, and other �foundation garments� (1927) were beoing worn by women to support and enhance the figure. These garments wree abandoned from the 1970s.


22/1/1936, The patent was granted for the first modern rucksack, in which the metal frame was incorporated in the material rather than being external.

30/9/1935, Janet Reger, lingerie designer, was born (died 14/3/2005).

11/7/1934, Giorgio Armani, fashion designer, was born.

16/5/1934, Officials at Wimbledon first allowed women competitors to wear shorts.

1933, The term �body odour�, denoting the unpleasant smell of stale sweat, was first promoted by soap and deodorant manufacturers. In previous times, body odour or BO was much more tolerated, or even scarcely noticed.

1933, In Britain, ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) made the first commercially-produced synthetic detergent.

1932, The so-called �coat shirt� was introduced to the UK by Cecil Gee (whose first clothes shop opened on London�s Commercial Road in 1929). It was a shirt that buttoned all the way down and so could be put on �like a coat� and buttoned up the front. Previously men�s shirts had a neck opening and had to be passed over the neck, the so-called �dress shirt�. This made the shirt prone to tearing and the collar had to be separately attaehcd with studs. The coat shirt was meant to appeal to the East End working classes of London who could not be bothered with attaching a separate collar. There was a brief revival of dress shirts, so-called �grandad shirts�, with no collar, in the 1980s.

1930, It was now socially acceptable for women to wear trousers when playing golf or riding a horse.

20/2/1927, French fashion designer Hubert Taffin de Givenchy was born.

1925, Coco Chanel, fashion designer, appeared with a suntan, challenging previous notions that a lily-white skin was the height of sophistication. This created a demand for suntan oils, and in 1936 L�Oreal began marketing the first mass-market sun lotion, called Ambre Solaire.

7/9/1925. Laura Ashley, clothes designer, was born (died 1985).

8/4/1925. Italian Catholic bishops banned scantily clad or bare legged women from churches.

20/2/1924, Gloria Vanderbilt, clothing designer and entrepreneur, was born.

1923, The word �zip� (see 1851) was coined by the US company BF Goodrich, who launched a range of zip-fastening galoshes in 1932. They wanted an �action word� that would dramatise their product.

1922, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) banned the Fez hat in Turkey as he westernised the country.

7/7/1922, Pierre Cardin, fashion designer, was born.

22/5/1921. The US city of Chicago planned to fine women for wearing short skirts and exposed arms.

5/5/1921, Coco Chanel�s Chanel no. 5 Perfume was launched.

1920, Western women�s clothing fashions were now very different from 12 years ago, see 1908. World War One and the entry of women into many areas of paid work had produeced a much simpler less frilly style. Skirts became shorter as more practical, and the dress was now tubular, with much less enhancement of bust and hips.

1920, Plus-fours, men�s baggy knickerbockers gathered below the kness, were in fashion. The term referred to the extra four inches of material needed to make them overhang the knees.

1920, Wristwatches, once seen as effeminate, were now acceptable for men after their use by soldiers in the trenches of World war One.

1919, The zip fastener was marketed commercially by the Kynoch Company in Birmingham, UK, as the �Ready Fastener�.

1916, The Liberty Bodice, a vest-like undergarment for women and children that buttoned up the front, appeared. It remained in use until the 1970s, but was seen as very old-fashioned by then.

1916, False eyelashes were invented by US film director DW Griffith for his 1916 film, Intolerance. The film wascritically acclaimed, but was a financial failure, however the eyelashes caugh on. Also around this time, nail polish and bright red lipstick began to be employed by Hollywood for glamourising its actresses, creating new fashions in the wider world.

1915, Lipstick appeared in its current form of a solid crayon inside a sliding tube. Althougn women, and men, had been colouring their lips with various dyes for thousands of years, and solid lipstick crayons had been o the market since around 1900, this version was much more convenient. Women were now entering the workforce and had their own earnings, and could afford small treats for themselves.

The modern cosmetics age begins


20/11/1914, Emilio Pucci, Italian fashion designer, was born in Naples, Italy.

13/11/1914. The brassiere was patented in the USA by heiress Mary Phelps Jacob. Her original prototype consisted of two handkerchiefs knotted together.

4/11/1914. At the Ritz-Carlton hotel, New York, Edna Chase of Vogue magazine organised the first catwalk fashion show.

27/8/1914, Gideon Sundback filed a patent for the zip fastener

15/7/1913. In Richmond Park, near London, a woman was arrested for wearing a split skirt. This was a new fashion at the time.

29/4/1913, The improved version of the zip fastener, as we have it today, was patented by a Swedish engineer, Gideon Sundback, from New Jersey.

29/7/1913, Helen Barbara Kruger, clothes designer, was born (died 7/4/2006)

9/3/1913, Andre Courreges, French couturier who invented the mini skirt in 1964, was born.

11/9/1912, The Barbour Clothing Company, making waterproof clothing, was founded.

23/7/1912, In the USA, the �Modesty League� protested against tight dresses.

1910, The terms �beauty parlour� and �beauty culture� were coming into everyday use.

1910, Rayon stockings for women became available in Germany.

27/5/1909, The first electric washing machine, the Thor was patented by Alva Fisher for the Hurley Washing Machine Company.

1908, Western female clothing narrowed the waist and accentuated the bosom and bottom or hips. Atheltic women, more muscular and �manly�, with less-accentuated female child-bearing features, were frowned upon by many men. Pale skin was also valued (as it meant the woman did not have to work out in the fields), without cosmetics, so she had to stay out of the sun or carry a parasol. A plump well-fed look was also preferred, as it showed the woman was healthy and not to poor to be able to eat well. See 1920.

1908, In the US, electric irons went on sale.

1907, The first electric washing machine was produced; the Thor, designed by Alva J Fisher of the USA.

6/6/1907 The first clothes washing powder was launched in Dusseldorf, Germany. It was called Persil, from two of its active ingredients, perborate and silicate.

1906, The first Panama Hat to be so-named was worn by US President Roosevelt during a tour of the Panama Canal.

29/7/1906, Diana Vreeland, fashion editor, was born.

21/1/1904, Christian Dior, French fashion designer, was born.

8/1/1904, Pope Pius X banned women from wearing low-cut dresses in the presence of Church dignitaries.

30/9/1902. Rayon, or artificial silk, was patented by Samuel Slocum.

5/1/1902, Helena Rubenstein established the world�s first �beauty salon� in Melbourne, Australia. Born in Cracow Poland, around 1870,Ms Rubenstein was the eldest of 8 children; when she moved to Australia in 1894, possibly to escape an arranged marriage desired by her father. Here she marketed a cream that allegedly cured everything from warts to double chins, as well as poor skin; her salon even had an �operating theatre�. The business boomed, and she went on to market her product in London and Paris, and then when World War One broke out she moved to New York. She died in 1964, her estate worth an estimated US$ 60 million.

The Age of artificial fabrics began

3/12/1901. King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) patented his first safety razor.

14/11/1901, Aquascutum Ltd was incorporated. The name means n�water-shield� in Latin, and the origins of the company lie back in the 1850s, when waterproofing methods for clothes were being developed. The company produced trench coats for officers in the First World War.

7/7/1900, Austin Reed, formal and business shirt shop, opened at 167 Fenchurch Street, London.

10/9/1896, Elsa Schiaparelli, sportswear designer, was born in Rome.

1893, The trade name Viyella was registered by the Hollins family, owner of a mill near Matlock, Derbyshire. It was named after the mill, �Via Gelia�. Viyella was a blend of 55% Merino wool and 45% long staple cotton.

1892, The gymslip was invented by Margaret Tait, a student at the Hampstead Physical Training College. It was a short dress that permitted girls to compete in team games.

1886, The California Perfume Company was founded (based in New York) by David McConnell. In 1939 he renamed the company Avon Products after the town of his favourite playwright, William Shakespeare. It became famous through the slogan �Avon calling�.

1884, The first Marks and Spencer�s outlet opened, in Kirkgate Market, Leeds.

19/8/1883, �Coco� Chanel, French fashion designer, was born near Issoire as Gabrielle Chanel.

1881, The Rational Dress Society weas founded. It promoted clothing for women that �followed, not contradicted, the lines of the body� and stated that female clothing should promote, not impede, mobility and action. See Women�s Rights.

1875, Men swimming in the sea from British beaches, who had previously swum naked, were now expected to wear bathing costumes.


Levi Strauss Jeans

1874, Levis began using copper rivets on jeans. Levi-brand jeans became a fashion item in the 20th century.

20/5/1873, A tailor, Jacob Davis from Nevada, had been experimenting with reinforcing miners� denim trousers with rivets in order to improve their durability, which was a major problem at the time. He was afraid someone would steal his idea but could not afford the US$ 658 cost of a patent so he approached Levi Strauss, a migrant from Germany who operated a clothes store in San Francisco used by Davis, and they appliefd for a patent together. Ths day they were granted US patent no. 139,121, for their jeans. In 1891 the patent expired, and many others copied the idea of jeans with rivets.

1853, A Bavarian migrant called Levi Strauss arrived in the US, and set up a clothing company to make heavy duty clothing for the miners digging in the California Gold Rush. His trousers were first made from tent canvas. He added copper rivets to the jeans in 1873.

26/2/1829, Levi Strauss, clothes maker, was born


1872, The first Alice Band was named after Alice, main character in Lewis Carroll�s Through The Looking Glass.

1865, The first rubber Wellington boots were made. They were named after a type of riding boot named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

1863, Charles Baudelaire, poet, (1821 � 1867) promoted the idea, in his book The Painter of Modern Life, promoted the idea that women, however naturally beautiful, could always enhance their appearance further through the use of cosmetics. Nature could be �surpassed� through the use of black eyeliner, or rouge on the cheeks.

1860, Artificial dyes now made clothes brighter-coloured. See Chemistry for more on dyes.

1858, English dress-maker Charles Worth opened a fashion house in Paris, on the Rue de la Paix.

1856, The Burberry raincoat was introduced by English tailor Thomas Burberry of Basingstoke.

5/1/1855, King Camp Gillette, American inventor of the safety razor, was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

1851, The first bloomers were made commercially, see Women�s Rights. As more women took up cycling in the 1890s, they wore bloomers as being more practical for this pursuit.

1851, In the USA, Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, patented an early zip or �continuous clothing closure�, but he did not exploit it commercially. See 1913, 1923.


Origins of the male suit

1901, The �lounge suit� appeared, a man�s ordinary 2-piece daytime suit; literally, �a suit for lounging in�.

1900, The Burton clothing group began as a menswear shop opened in Chesterfield by Montague Burton (1885-1952). Known as Montague Burton before World War Two, it changed name to Burton in 1969. It grew rapidly under the chairmanship of Ralph Halpern in the 1980s, but suffered a reversal of fortunes in the 1990s.

10/10/1886. The dinner jacket made its first appearance in public when it was worn by its creator at a ball in the Tuxedo Park Country Club, New York.Hence it was later known as the Tuxedo.

15/8/1885, Sir Montague Burton, owner of a multiple chain of clothes shops, was born to Jewish parents in Lithuania.

1850, Men�s clothing was now much more sombre and less colourful than in 1750. From the late 1700s, male fashion had shifted to the blues, browns and blacks worn by the aristocracy for country sports. See 1815 below.

1840, Death of the dandy and fashion leader Beau Brummell (George Bryan). Born 1778, he introduced long formal trousers (troiusers were formerly often knee length with stockings below) as formal day and evening wear for men. He fled to France in 1816 to avoid gambling debts, and died in an asylum for the insane.

1815, Beau Brummel introduced formal �evening wear� for men, a tailored black coat and black pantaloons. Formerly, evening wear for men had been a more elaborate version of the �day suit�.

7/6/1778. Beau Brummel was born in London, as George Bryan Brummel. Although he became a leader of fashion and a friend of the Prince Regent, he died destitute in France, aged 64, through gambling and extravagance.

1660, The concept of a male�suit� now applied to the customary male clothing ensemble of a close-fitting jacket, waistcoat and breeches, especially if all of one colour.


Male hats

4/10/1950, Three generations of the Bowler family marked the centenary of the bowler hat.

1875, The Panama Hat became fashionable.

4/10/1850, The bowler hat went on general sale in London.

17/12/1849, Landowner Edward Coke tested a new type of hat he had ordered to protect his head from low-hanging branches whilst out hunting; top hats were too easily knocked off. This day he visited the Lockes hatters shop in St James, London, to test the new bowler hat, named after its designer, by jumping on it twice. It withstood the test and he bought it.

15/1/1797, The top hat first appeared in London, worn by James Hetherington. He was fined �50 for wearing this attire, and causing a breach of the peace.


10/4/1849. Walter Hunt of New York patented the safety pin. He made it in only three hours, then sold the rights for $400 to pay off debts.

1843, In the USA, Charles Atwood was granted a patent for a new hook and eye system of clothes fastening. Previously people had used pins laces, clasps buttons and buckles to fasten their clothes.

25/7/1843, Charles MacIntosh, the chemist who patented waterproof fabric in 1823, died in Glasgow.

18/4/1834. The world�s first launderette opened in Fort Worth, Texas.

26/6/1827, Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule in 1779, died in Bolton.

8/1/1825, Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, which made separating of fibre and seed easier, died in New Haven, Connecticut.

30/10/1823, Edmund Cartwright, inventor of the power loom in 1785, died at Hastings, Sussex, aged 80.

17/6/1823, Charles Macintosh of Scotland patented a waterproof material for clothes. He obtained this by dissolving rubber in low-boiling naptha and coating fabric with the substance.

1815, After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe was open again to British trade. Cheap English cotton flooded the European textiles market, eventually driving out fabrics such as linen.

1812, Women�s fashion in Britain was now for dresses with very high waists, just under the bust.

15/2/1812, Charles Tiffany, founder of the eponymous US jewellery shop chain, was born.

11/3/1811, The Luddite Riots began as textile workers protested against new technology replacing jobs.

1808, Male clothing generally became less extravagant, as the revolutionary spirit swept Europe.

1807, Tsar Alexander I of Russia banned trousers, probably because the French Revolutionaries had worn them in preference to the hitherto fashionable knee-breches worn by men in the 1700s. He ordered Russian troops to stop and inspect carriages, and any trousers found would be cut off at the knee.

1800, Men started wearing trousers instead of knee-breeches.

1796, William Bundy, British textile machine inventor, produced a machine with several parallel saws that could mass-produce combs. Prior to this the teeth on a comb had been cut individually.

20/7/1793, Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, a machine for separating cotton fibre from seeds.

3/8/1792, Sir Richard Arkwright, English inventor who developed a mechanical cotton spinning process, died.

1789, The first steam-driven cotton factory was opened in Manchester, England.

1785, Male fashion now included stockings and coat with vest, and knee breeches.

1783, Chlorine (then known as oxymuriatic acid, i.e.�oxidised hydrochloric acid�, before it was known to be an element) began to be used for bleaching clothes.

1781, Asprey & Co, jewellers, was founded at a shop in Mitcham, south London, by metalworker William Asprey, whose Huguenot ancestors migrated to England in the 1600s

9/10/1779. The first Luddite riots began in Manchester against the introduction of machinery for spinning cotton.

22/4/1778, James Hargreaves, inventor of the �spinning jenny� in 1764, died in Nottingham.

22/12/1773, Death of Georg Friedrich Strass, the inventor of rhinestone jewellery.

26/5/1769. John Kay, Sir Richard Arkwright�s assistant, patented the Flying Shuttle to operate on Arkwright�s spinning frame. Arkwright was born at Preston, Lancashire, on 23/12/1732, the youngest of 13 children to a poor family. He became a barber in Bolton in around 1750. In 1767 he gave up this business to build a spinning frame. This was an improvement on Hargreave�s Spinning Jenny since it could spin threads of any degree of hardness or fineness, unlike the spinning jenny which could not spin any but fine thread. Now 20 or 30 threads could be spun with no more labour than was previously required to spin one thread.

���������������������������29/12/1766, Charles Macintosh, inventor of waterproof fabrics, was born in Glasgow.

8/12/1765, Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, which made cotton-growing much more profitable, was born in Westborough, Massachusetts.

1764, James Hargreaves introduced the Spinning Jenny (patented by him in 1770).His forst model could spin 8 threads at once; later versions could manage 120 threads simultaneously.

The Age of (Western) Cotton Spinning began � Cotton fabrics were much cheaper than wool, and also more hygienic, because wool garments were seldom washed, they would shrink and become matted. See 1815.

1756, The first cotton velvets were made in Bolton, Lancashire, England.

3/12/1753, Samuel Crompton, inventor of the Spinning Mule which revolutionised the textiles industry, was born at Firwood, near Bolton.He was the son of a farmer.

7/7/1752, Joseph Jacquard, French inventor of an improved loom, was born (died 7/8/1834).

1750, The popularity of the �Grand Tour� of Europe, for the very wealthy, now introduced more showy European elements to male fashion. This included gold buttons and buckles, ruffles, and embroidered waitcoats. Mens� clothing was bright and colourful, leading on to the era of the �dandy� in the early 1800s.

1747, In France, Francois Fresnau made the first raincoat.

1745, Jacques de Vaucanson, born in Grenoble, France,24/2/1709, inventedthe self-acting loom for weaving silk.

24/4/1743. Edward Cartwright, inventor of the power loom in 1785, was born at Marnham, Nottinghamshire.

26/5/1733, English inventor John Kay patented his flying shuttle, a loom that used a third less labour than earlier such machines.

23/12/1732. Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame, was born at Preston, the last of 13 children.

28/7/1726, Jedediah Strutt was born in Derbyshire, England.In 1758 he invented the ribbing machine for the manufacture of stockings.

9/9/1718, Thomas Lombe obtained a patent in England for a machine to make thrown silk.

1716, John Lombe travelled to Italy and, as an industrial spy, at great risk to himself, made drawings of the Italian silk spinning machines. Britain already had a silk industry, brought by Hugenots who had fled religious persecution in France; however these Hugenots had not brought the secret of silk spinning with them. Consequently, silk had to be imported expensively. John�s brother, Thomas Lombe, now installed the first silk spinning machine in England in 1718.

4/5/1715, A French manufacturer made the first folding umbrella.

1711, Hooped petticoats for British women started to appear; by 1750 these were so wide that architects had to design stairways with enough room fot them to pass.

1700, Cotton cloth was first manufactured in Britain. It was light to wear, easy to wash, and could be dyed in a wide range of colours, in contrast with heavier wools. Cotton fabric became popular during the 1700s.

1640, Men now ceased to wear the heavy gold and silver neck chains, often with pendants, which had earlier been in fashion in western Europe. See 1390.

1624, Philip IV of Spain reduced his household staff and banned the wearing of ruffs. This symbol of extravagance was passing out of fashion across Europe, as austerity replaced luxury.

1600, The average age of marriage for women in Japan had risen to 24, from 21 a century earlier. This was a result of the growth in the silk industry; households needed their daughters to stay at home for longer to help with spinning and weaving.

1589, The stocking frame, the first knitting machine, was invented by English clergyman William Lee.

1550, The paving of European city streets was one factor leading to increased shoe sole padding, leading on to a fashion, for a while, of very high heels for both men and women.

1534, Manufacture of woollen cloth began in Worcester.

1521, Silk manufacture began in France; silk had been produced in Sicily since the 1100s.

1512, In England, Parliament forbade the import of foreign-made caps.

1503, Pocket handkerchiefs came into use in Europe.

1499, The first recorded white wedding dress was worn, by Anne of Brittany when marrying King Louis XII of France.


Post Black Death period of ostentatiousness.

1480, Upper-class male fashion was now for long hair,fur-lined garments, short doublets and pointy shoes. Women wore tight bodices with low-cut necklines, and very elaborate headresses, often shaped like butterflies or horns.

1390, Male fashion in England was becoming more extravagant, with padded shoulders, tight waitbands, close fitting hose and pointy shoes. Men also started to wear more ostentatious jewellery, large extravagant neck chains.See 1640.

1356, In France, the Chronicler of Nangis noted that the increase in popularity of jewelled belts for the aristocracy and their long robes had greatly increased the price of pearls. This belt, or girdle, might have a jewelled clasp, and also went with the tight short-skirted coats of the 1300s, worn by men over leggings or hose, so showing off their legs. The belt was also useful for hanging keys, a dagger, or a money purse from. By the 1400s some men were wearing �indecently short� such tight coats, not covering their genitals or buttocks.


1298, The invention of the spinning wheel revolutionised textiles production.

1233, The practice of staining the teeth black (ohaguro) began to be adopted as a sign of beauty in Japan after it was taken up by one of the aristocratic families.

1200, In Europe, engagement rings came into fashion.

1155, Women�s dresses now shifted to a tight �body� and long trailing gowns. By the 1500-s women wore stiff �bodies� made of bone or wood, from which the word �bodice� derives. Similarly the French �cors� (meaning �body�) of the 1600s became the corset.

1000, Germanic influence on fashion meant men wore short tunics with braies, later known as breeches, underneath. However under Norman influence, the male tunic grew longer and braies worn underneath became shorter, more like 20c underpants. This meant leg coverings, or hose, grew longer upwards. The knee length chaussee, male stocking, became the 1340s hose, covering the entire leg length. By the 1600s men wore the netherstock, covering the lower leg and later known as stockings.

552, Byzantine Emperor Justinian sent missionaries to China; their real purpose was to smuggle silkworms back to Europe. In 553 the silk industry became a State Monopoly in Byzantium.

410, Huns, invading the Roman Empire, introduced trousers which began to replace togas. They also introduced the stirrup, which made horse riding easier.

397, Trousers were banned in Rome. This effectively banned civilian men, who would have worn tunics for evrryday wear (and the toga for formal wear) from dressing as soldiers. Soldiers also could not then wear military clothes, trousers, in the Roman capital. This made Rome an easier place to police. However see 410 CE.

100 BCE, Roman soldiers adopted femoralia, knee-length drawers, as undergarments below theitr tunic; civilian began wearing these in the following century. The Roman fascia, a cloth wound around the leg, was considered effeminate and suitable only for older people. See 397 CE.

1500 BCE, Silk was being woven in China.

1800 BCE, Minoan men and women both wore corsets. By 400 BCE the Greeks, both sexes, sometimes wore the zone, a sort of wide linen belt around the lower body to flatten the stomach and accentuate the figure.

3000 BCE, Cotton fabrics were first produced in the Indus Valley region.

6500 BE, Early cloth weaving developed in Anatolia, Turkey.

20,000 BCE, Sewing needles in use in France. They were initially used to sew clothes from animal skins.


Appendix - Sewing Machines

23/7/1875, Isaac Singer, American inventor of the modern sewing machine, died in Torquay, Devon.

3/10/1867, Elias Howe, inventor of the first practical sewing machine in 1846, died. He made US$ 2 million from his invention.

12/8/1851, Isaac Singer of New York, USA patented his sewing machine.

10/9/1846, Elias Howe received the patent for his sewing machine. It could sew at 250 stitches per minute, five times faster than any human could.

1843, The Howe sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe, aged 27, a machine shop apprentice in Boston. He was unaware of Walter Hunt�s machine of 1832.

1832, An early sewing machine was developed by New York inventor Walter Hunt, aged 36. However his daughter Caroline refused to utilise the machine in her corset-making factory because it would put hand-sewers out of work. The machine was not patented.

1829, French inventor Barthelemy Thimonnier, aged 36, developed a sewing machine. He obtained a contract to make uniforms for the French Army, but came under attack by French tailors who feared for ther livelihoods.

9/7/1819, Elias Howe, inventor of the first practical sewing machine, was born in Spencer, Massachusetts.

27/10/1811, Isaac Singer, inventor of the sewing machine, was born in Pittsdown, New York State.

17/7/1790, The sewing machine was patented by Thomas Saint, cabinet maker of Greenhill Rents, St Sepulchre parish, London.


Appendix - Hair and beards

1966, The Afro hairstyle appeared, for men, where the hair was shaped into a large frizzy bush. It was a reassertion of Black identity after an extended period of Europeanised hairstyles. Dreadlocks also appeared about this time, modelled after Ethiopian warriors.

1959, Hair spray, a fixative sprayed from a can, became necessary as �large-hair� styles for women like the bouffant became popular (from 1956).

1949, The first aerosol hairspray for women was marketed. Hair could now be kept �in place� all day without the need to visit a hairdresser; in 1952 25 million aerosol hairspray cans were sold.

1940, The crew cut for men�s hair, a close cut first adopted by boat crews at Harvard and Yale Universities, became s symbol of �virile American youth�. The related �crew-cropped� appeared in 1938.

17/1/1928, Vidal Sassoon, English hair stylist, was born in London.

1926, The very short women�s hairstyle known as the Eton Crop was popular. The hair was cut very close to the head all around, giving a boyish appearance like an Eton schoolboy. There was also the shingle style (1924), where the hair on the head was full, but closely cropped on the nape of the neck.

6/11/1923, The Schick dry shaver the first practical electric shaver, was patented. Mass production started in 1930 at Stanford, Connecticut, with 3,000 produced in the first year retailing at US$ 25 each. Sales passed 10,000 a year in 1932 and when Schick died aged 59 in 7/1937 1.85 million of his shavers had been sold.

1920, Shorter hairstyules for womenlike the Bob became fashionable, as they took less maintenance.

1917, The need for women to cut their hair short for work in the factories led to the fashion for the �bob� hairstyle.

1909, It was noticed that children who had undergone X-Ray irradiation for ringworm were then growing curly hair. This led to an intial method of using X-rays on adult women�s heads to give them wavy hair; a method replaced by chemical treatment after World War One. By 1925 there were �water waves�, and by 1927 the term had been shortened to �perm�.

8/10/1906, Karl Nessler demonstrated first 'permanent wave' for hair in London. This was the �Marcel Wave�, produced by heated curling tongs, and named after French hairdresser Francois Marcel Grateau (1852-1936).

26/6/1901, In Paris, professional chauffeurs protested at a law prohibiting them from having moustaches.

1900, Beards, fashionable in England during the 1800s, now began to give way to the clean-shaven look.


End of ostentatious fashion for men, following the French revolution

1808, Men began abandoning the fashion of pigtails and large wigs.

1800, European fashion now began to favour shorter hair for both men and women.

1794, The fashion for men powdering their hair, popular for over 100 years in Europe, now ended.

1790, Very elaborate women�s hairstyles now popular in France, some incorporating flowers and fruit baskets.

1785, Men�s hair was powdered and tied with a ribbon at the back.

1772, The �Macaroni� fashion briefly appeared in Europe. Taking their name from the Italian fashions they sought to copy, they were named after the Italian pasta dish which then was arriving in England. They adopted extravagant wigs or long hair piled up on the head into masses of curls, for men and women, also large neck cravattes and tight coat and vest, and ostentatious red diamond buckled red heeled shoes. By 1790 women were abandoning this fashion for a more natural look of surls on top and hanging down to the shoulders.

11/2/1765. English wig-makers petitioned George III for financial relief as the male fashion of wearing wigs came to an end. However as wigs went out of fashion, beards came back into fashion, inspired by the Austrians.

1700, In England, with the reign of Queen Anne, beards were seen as strictly for foreigners; Jews and Turks for example.

1660, In England, after the Restoration, beards ceased to be fashionable, see 1700.

1530, In England, beards became fashionable again; King Henry VIII was bearded, in contrast to Henry VII who had been clean-shaven. Institutions such as Lincoln�s Inn and the clergy resisted the trend to beards by proscribing them, but these laws were soon repealed.

1400, Beards began to go out of fashion in England. They had been common throughout the Middle Ages, and inthe 1300s a forked style had been common.

1102, Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, criticised the �effeminate� longcurly hair of male court fashion, along with beards and pointy shoes. Women were adopting very voluminous dresses.


Appendix- Shoes, footwear

2000, The arrival of trainers rapidly displaced Doc Martin boots (see 1/4/1960).Sales of Doc Martins crashed from �235 million in 1999 to �90 million in 2003, and profits turned into a �62 million loss for 2003. The training shoe had appeared back in 1973 as footwear for athletes, but became fashion wear for teenagers in the 1980s.

1979, Reebok running shoes now began to challenge the market position of Nike.

1/4/1960, Doc Martin boots were first produced under licence in the UK by R Griggs and Co. See trainers, 2000.

1953, Ultra high stiletto heels were the main thing in fashion.

1907, The plimsoll shoe, a rubber-soled canvas shoe, appeared. It was named after the Plimsoll :Line, a safety loading line on ships (itself named after English MP Samuel Plimsoll, 1824-98), because the edge of its sole resembled this line. Plimsolls were displaced by trainers (see 2000).

12/2/1831, J W Goodrich of Boston, USA, invented the rubber galosh.

1817, The original Wellington Boot was produced. Named after the Duke of Wellington, it comprised a leather boot, high and covering the knee in front, but cut away behind. By the mid 1850s there was a variation, also known as the Wellington Boot from around 1907, or gumboot from around 1850, a waterproof boot treaching to just below the knee. In the 1970s Green Wellies became an icon of the English rural haute bourgeoisie. Also in the 1970s the term �welly� came to mean the application of sudden force to something, as in accelerate a car rapidly, �give it some welly�, as in akick from a wellington boot.

1463, The Mayor of London banned excessively long pointy shoes, setting a limit of 2 inches beyond the toe; some shoes went as far as 5 inches. Worn mainly by men, they were known as Crakows or Poulaines. The fashion for these shoes may have originated in Cracow, Poland, around 1430 (but see 1390, 1102). Their impracticality signified that the wearer was wealthy enough not to have to do manual labour.

1390, Male fashion in England was becoming more extravagant, with padded shoulders, tight waitbands, close fitting hose and pointy shoes.

1102, Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, criticised the �effeminate� longcurly hair of male court fashion, along with beards and pointy shoes.


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