Men’s Fashion History – The Origin of the Top Hat

Humans have covered their heads since the start of time. Initially the head wear was introduced as a protection product but then a whole generation of head wear came into being with top hats being the most favourite among people. The top hat, more commonly known by the nickname “topper” is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat. Starting from a mere head covering, this hat was worn mostly for ceremonial or religious occasions in the beginning but it ended up as a fashion accessory all around the world.

The origin of this hat dates back to the 17th century. It is difficult to exactly tell who invented these hats but generally the first silk top hat in England is credited to George Dunnage, a hatter from Middlesex, in 1793. John Hetherington was actually the person to invent this remarkable head wear. When he wore the hat in public for the first time, rumours have it that women fainted and children screamed, even the dogs got scared which caused an absolute uproar in the elite class and ultimately led to the arrest of this daddy of these hat. The charges filed included “intimidating people with a tall structure having a shining lustre.”

After this incident the game flipped, within the next twenty years almost all the social classes including the working class started wearing them and it was the 19th century when they started to get considered as being the symbol of urban respectability. Hat manufacturers in England made a good amount of money from these hats. These hats gained massive importance in politics and international diplomacy. They made so much of a statement that the word “Gentleman” got directly related to these hats.

This famous hat was not meant to be worn in a simple way. Style and fashion trends were introduced regarding the decision of how they should be worn. It is not known who set the standard but the fashion was to wear it tilted at 10 degrees, in any direction. This act shows that people had fashion and style sense even at that time.

In the 1950s, men wore these hats for business, pleasure and formal occasions, but later in the 1960s this trend started getting too old and classy, only the old men were seen wearing them. Soon the naked head became the new fashion. So, now the trend has become limited to people of a particular age. It’s really remarkable to see how fashion trends change over time.

Turtlenecks Steeped in Fashion History

Turtleneck Origins and Acceptance

The popular turtleneck of today came about as a necessity rather than a fashion option. During the turn of the century, seamen and deckhands were in need of a clothing accessory that could protect their neck from the bitterly cold winds. A scarf was impractically dangerous, exhibiting the potential for snagging on deck hardware or being caught up the rigging. This prompted the invention of the first polo-neck sweater, which was a collar extension for the neck. The first material was comprised of heavy worsted wool. The first collars were fitted with buttons, and then later replaced with zippers. Zippers and buttons were excluded some time later with the invention of more lasting and stretchable fabrics that allowed a permanent attachment. The general public began to take notice and accept the turtleneck as popular wearing apparel, taking advantage of the many colors and styles

The 1940s saw the turtleneck sweater adopted by the female audience, who found favor with some of the more elegant materials like cashmere and silk. The ’60s brought about a more frenzied interest in the turtleneck when many of the rock musicians began wearing them. Noel Coward, respected for his artistry and station, began wearing turtlenecks for all occasions and the public took immediate attention. He was, after all, known as a walking fashion statement, regarded for his flamboyance, pose, poise, chic and cheek. A groundswell followed, cementing the turtleneck in the concrete foundation of fashion and style.

It seemed every clothing manufacturer wanted a piece of the pie. Some of the old stylistic trends came back into vogue-zipper or no zipper, with or without buttons and the inclusion of pleated designs. Some turtlenecks were loose fitting, having shallow or large fold-down collars. Business men began to wear them under suit jackets and sports coats, and they were popularized by such luminaries as Ted Kennedy and Steve Jobs of Apple Inc.

Today, the turtleneck has shown resurgence, reminding us of an era that spawned bold, new looks. It’s as practical and classy as ever, harkening to a time of fond memories. It’s here to stay, fondly engrained in our consciousness.

Love them or hate, turtlenecks are here to stay and are recapturing popularity in the fashion trends of today. They appeal to men and women of all ages, whether they’re used for formal or leisure attire. They are applicable to a wide range of outfits, styles and themes. Smart and classy looking, turtlenecks also serve the practical function of keeping the neck area warm and cozy, negating the need for a scarf. They blend well with sports activities like golf or venues that require just a little bit more warmth for the occasion. The short sleeve turtleneck allows easy summertime wearing, but still retains that classic look. The history and application of the turtleneck is short, but interesting.

Costume and Fashion History of Jewelry

In the ancient times, gold was in great demand for making jewelry. Gold was rare, it would not get dull and the best part was that it was flexible; therefore it was quite easy to make various designs out of it. Fantastic necklaces, diadems, bracelets, earrings, pendants, armlets, head ornaments, rings, pectoral ornaments and collars created out of gold were all manufactured in ancient Egypt.

You must be aware that ancient Egypt was the land of the Pharaohs. In the year 1922, Howard Carter in one of his excavations stumbled upon the grand discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb along with a lot of gold funerary relics; each and every piece depicted the work of art that was prevalent in ancient Egypt. Then comes the Gold and Gems that was available in Greece in the 1400 BC era.

During the ancient times in Greece, beads that were in the shape of natural forms such as beetles, flowers and shells were created on a huge scale. Gorgeous and fragile earrings and necklaces were discovered in burial locations in parts of Northern Greece. By 300 BC, the Greeks were busy manufacturing multi colored jewelry and they made use of pearls, emeralds, amethysts and garnets.

In addition, they made use of materials like enamel, colored stones and glass. They also created carved cameos of Indian Sardonyx together with filigree gold work. Indian Sardonyx basically is a brown pink and cream agate stone with stripes. Beads were manufactured in a method by sticking two flat pieces of gold together and packing them up with sand. Now let us know about the magnificent Italian Gold and striking Roman Coinage.

During the Eight century BC, the Italian Etruscans in the Tuscany region manufactured gold work that had a texture of granules. They manufactured huge earrings, necklaces, bracelets and fibulae or clasps. In addition to all this they manufactured pendants that were unique. These pendants were created to be hollow so that perfume could be filled in it. To this day and age the Italians are well known for their excellent quality as well as stylish fashion of manufacturing gorgeous designs in gold.

The Romans used to make use of 18 and 24 carat gold in coinage. The coinage happened to be the craftsman’s raw material for ornamental jewel work, as it was quite easily accessible. Some 2000 years back, the Romans used to make use of sapphires brought in from Sri Lanka, amber, cloudy emeralds, Indian diamond crystals and garnets. When England was ruled by the Romans, fossilized wood known as jet from the North of England was shaped into remarkable pieces. Then there was the Pearls and Gems Authentic and Artificial Jewelry.

Jewels at all times have been made use of as symbols of love. Excellent quality gems and precious metals were used to make good quality artificial jewelry in order to trick people into buying them instead of the authentic ones. Authentic pearls and gemstones were brought in from the east and the Italians were the ones who mainly purchased them. The Italian traders after that went on to sell the merchandise in Europe.