A lot of crazy fashions have come and gone (mullets, backwards clothing, anything Lady Gaga wears) but some fashions can actually have deadly consequences. This is a rundown of some of the most famous and deadly fashions through the ages.
A crinoline is a steel structure designed to support a woman’s dress and give that dress a certain shape. In the mid-to-late 18th century, crinolines became very popular across all classes, especially the middle class, and crinolines became wider and wider until they reached maximum capacity at 1.8 metres!
You’re probably wondering how these could be deadly, and the answer is- many ways. Wind was the biggest killer (not THAT kind), as gusts could swop under the crinoline and lift the wearer up and off to sea or off cliffs/ tall buildings. If you were whisked off into the sea, the sheer weight and way it was tied to the waist meant the poor wearer had no way of getting out and susquently they drowned. They were also known to knock over candles and catch light quickly and if there was any danger there was no way of getting away quickly or manoeuvring through tight doorways/ hallways etc.
Corsets are used to pull in the waist and give the wearer an hourglass look, but there’s always someone who has to take a fashion too far.
Corsets were tight laced by servants and involved pulling the corset as tight as possible, which caused, over time, irreversible damage to the wearers insides. If you go to your bathroom and squeeze the middle of the toothpaste that simply shows you what corset wearers were doing to their body, anything in the middle would be squeezed either up or down into unnatural forms.
With breathing a major difficulty when wearing a corset, breaking a rib wasn’t uncommon and, in the 19th century, this could prove deadly because of the poor medical treatment in those days.
Footbinding, also known as “lotus feet”, was very popular in China between the 10th and 20th centuries, especially for the upper class and it proved that the future husbands of these woman would be able to afford for the woman not to work.
When the girl was between 2-5 years old, before the arch of the foot had a chance to properly develop, her toes and arch were forcibly broken and then bandages were wrapped around the foot.
The common way people who had their feet bound could die would be from gangrene, although gangrene was seen as an attractive thing since it meant the toe might fall off and make the foot even smaller.