Fashion History: 1700s
December 31, 2013 § Leave a comment
While “less is more” is a common phrase used in modern-day society, it certainly was not used in the terms of fashion in the 18th century, the word “excessive” is more like it. To accurately illustrate the appearance of a woman or man living in the 1700s, picture the biggest and most extravagant hairstyle, dress, accessories etc., and triple your image’s intensity. Women’s hair was pinned high, completed with ornate jewelry and pins, some even hosted miniature birdcages and model ships. Yes, women’s hair styles became an art form, seeing who’s hair could hold the most ridiculous creations was somewhat of a competition.
The motto was to outdo one another; faces drowned in heavy makeup, width of gowns inflated beyond one’s arm span and earrings emulated weights for earlobes. Dresses held jewels, feathers, lace and more to establish the most over-the-top look. Under garments were laced tight to create a tiny waist. To achieve the goal women needed the tiniest waist and the largest , most extreme gown.
The style for men didn’t stray much further. Wigs held curls effortlessly; they were large just like women’s hair and had the perfect amount of volume. Buttons and stitching on fitted jackets sat immaculately, every detail of vests and outerwear were flawless. Even children looked just as fashionable as their parents. Though their hairstyles weren’t as large and excessive, boys and girls still dressed sharply in miniature outfits as their mothers and fathers. To say that men and women “dressed to impress” is a bit of an understatement.