10 Historical Fashion Styles We Should Bring Back

By Stephanie Weber

1. Crakows

Crakow Poulaine

Let’s bring back shoes that make you look like a jester. Specifically, crakows or crackowes which had extremely long, pointed toes. These Polish shoes – thus the name – were very popular throughout Europe  in the 15th century. A 14th century monk wrote in Eulogium Historiarum described the style as men wearing “points on their shoes as long as your finger that are called crakowes; more suitable as claws… for demons than as ornaments for men.” These long-toed shoes were worn primarily by men, but their popularity waned as complaints arose about how difficult they were to move around in. A 1388 poem whined about how the shoes made it hard to kneel for prayer. There’s a price to pay for fashion, honey! In 1463, the king-of-no-fun Edward VI banned the shoes entirely. Boo! Let’s bring this inconvenient footwear back!
 
 
2. Bloomers

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back bloomers

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Skorts are cool, but we want to give a big shout out to the OG pantalettes: bloomers. Bloomers were introduced to the fashion world as a “health dress” as corsets and skirts were restrictive to exercise. Plus people fainted a lot wearing those heavy dresses. It wasn’t that women were delicate flowers, it was that they wore forty pounds of fabric around their waist. In February 1851, Elizabeth Smith Miller wore the Turkish dress aka Bloomers to Seneca Falls, New York, home of Amelia Bloomer and her magazine, The Lily. The next month Bloomer included an essay on the bloomer in The Lily and printed a description of her dress and instructions on how to make it. By June many newspapers had dubbed it the “Bloomer dress”. By 1851, America was in a full-on Bloomer Craze. The bloomer became the symbol of women’s rights as fashion-forward suffragettes adopted the look. Keep bloomin’ girls!
 
 
3. Chiton

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Chiton 2

Credit: Flickr

You may have seen homage to the Chiton at frat parties across the country, bit the Chiton was worn in everyday life in Ancient Greece. It wasn’t quite a toga because the fabric was sewn together rather than draped. Colors, sleeves, and patterns were worn to indicate status and job. The chiton was also the chosen outfit for Aphrodite, although the look was most popular with men. The Romans totally copped this look after the 3rd century B.C.E., but called it a tunica. Okay, nice try, guys we see you out there in a chiton.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Chiton 4

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

 
 
4. Phrygian cap

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Phrygian cap 3

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Would you like to look like Link from Legend of Zelda? Then look no further than the Phrygian cap. The cap came to fashion during the Hellenistic period of Greek rule. This felt cap went through a lot of evolutions which is weird considering it’s literally just a triangle fabric on your head that covers your ears. But it was pretty popular for a very long time. Phrygian caps first hit the scene in Greece and were associated with Attis, a Phrygian god and consort to Cybele whose priests were all eunuchs. Even King Midas was depicted in art sporting the floppy little hat.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Phrygian cap 3

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Rome also got super into these little hats, being used as fashion in everything from cults to symbols for freed slaves. Oddly enough, these hats had a comeback in revolutionary France and became a symbol for liberty. We think perhaps the #resistance can adopt these Phrygian caps as a new symbol for revolution and cuteness.
 
 
5. Muffin cap

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Muffin cap 2

Do you know the Muffin Man? Do you know what he wore? It was a GD muffin cap. This floppy little bugger were fitted at the crown of the head and then loose and floppy for the rest of it. While muffin caps seem best reserved for a renaissance fair, we think you could pair this bad boy with crakows and go about the town like a real medieval lord.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Muffin cap

Credit: Polyvore

 
 
6. Caligae

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Caligae

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

You may have seen a pair of caligae before. They are those incredibly strappy sandals that seem almost too-strappy. Like why would you ever need this many pieces of leather around your feet? The Romans were super into leather and they invented the caligae as heavy-soled military boots for soldiers. Today they refer to sandals, but back in the day they were very much boots. An original caliga honestly looks kind of scary, so if you want to get a little gothic with your look then rejuvenate this dead fashion trend.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Caligae 2

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

 
 
7. Bycocket

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Bycocket 2

Credit: Pinterest

While bycocket is obviously a hilarious word, the hat with the long pointed brim looks a lot like something Robin Hood may have worn. It was super fashionable for both noble men and women in Europe from the 13th to the 16th century. These hats have a wide brim that is turned up in the back and pointed in the front like a bird’s beak, so perfect for a day at the beach! Or, in Robin’s case, a day stealing from the rich.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Bycocket
 
 




8. Macaroni

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Macaroni 2

If you’re a history buff then you know the line in Yankee Doodle “stick a feather in his cap and call him macaroni” was meant to make fun of Americans for not being as sophisticated as the British. Macaroni was a precursor to the word “dandy”, but macaronis were more gender neutral. Yas, non-binary fops! Macaronis used pretentious language, wore extravagant clothes and high wigs, and ate exotic foods. They were basically OG hipsters. We’d love for hipsters to trade in the facial hair for exceedingly high powdered wigs!

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Macaroni
 
 
9. Greek hairstyle

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Greek hair

Credit: Pinterest

Want to look like a powerful, strong, complicated woman? Look no further than a Grecian hairstyle that will make you look like a goddess…or at least a woman painted on an Athenian vase. These extravagant hairdos include lots of curls and braids that would make Aphrodite proud.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Greek hair 2
 
 
10. Flapper

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Flapper

The flapper style is iconic, but it is on this list because we’d love to see bobs and shapeless dresses back in a big way. Flappers were not just fashionistas – it was a whole lifestyle! Flappers smoked, drank, flaunted their sexuality, wore short skirts, and listened to jazz. That’s right – jazz, the most sensual of all types of music.

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Flapper 3

Flappers followed the uniform of short bobbed hair, long strands of pearls, dark lipstick and higher hemlines. Actresses Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, and Josephine Baker embodied the flapper spirit as did writer Dorothy Parker, Zelda Fitzgerald, and even cartoon character Betty Boop. The stock market crash caused the end to the flapper era, but we want to see these bad girls in bobbed curls back at it!

History Hustle 10 styles we should bring back Flapper 2

About the Author

Stephanie Weber

Stephanie Weber is a comedian and writer whose work has been published on Atlas Obscura, Slate, The AV Club, Reductress, The Whiskey Journal and more. She performs stand up comedy at The Lincoln Lodge in Chicago.

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