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History

Seersucker’s Curious Class Struggle

The lightweight material seems to belong to the leisure class, but it wasn’t always that way.

The Bloody Consequences of Wearing a Straw Hat After Summer

In the 1920s, refusing to switch to a felt hat was a very, very serious fashion faux pas.

Sorry, Cleopatra Didn't Wear Nail Polish to Feel Powerful

The modern manicure is relatively new, but people have been buffing and coloring their nails for millennia.

The First Celebrity Fashion Line Was Amelia Earhart’s

The famed aviatrix may have been the first designer to sell separates.

Your Stars and Stripes T-Shirt Technically Violates the Flag Code

Wearing the American flag might be more controversial than you think.

A Brief History of Lego Hair

From little plastic heads to big-time politicians.

The Birth of Vintage

It all started with a raccoon coat.

Wealthy New Englanders Sure Love These Pink Pants

The story of Nantucket Reds.

Flappers Didn’t Really Wear Fringed Dresses

The iconic flapper costume wouldn’t fit in at one of Jay Gatsby’s parties.

Colonial Williamsburg Has a Luxury Historical Spa

A brief history of bathing.

This Coat Never Goes Out of Style but Really We Mean Never

The trench coat has gone from the battlefield to the runway and everywhere in between.

A History of the Humble Tote Bag

From ice schlepper to fashion accessory.

The Evolution of the Cheerleading Uniform, From Bulky Sweaters to Crop Tops

These days, cheerleading uniforms reflect the athleticism of the sport, but keep the glam.

A History of Sequins, From King Tut’s Tomb to Your New Year’s Eve Outfit

Some early sequins were money, sewn to clothes for safekeeping.

How the Henley Went From Workman’s Undershirt to CW Staple

Before it was popular with vampires and superheroes, the henley was what the poor wore for work and the rich wore for play.

The History of Green Dye Is a History of Death

Happy St. Pat’s!

Red and the History of Leftist Politics

Leftists revolutionaries have been wearing red for centuries, for reasons more complicated than “radical love.”

What Mrs. Claus Wears

Sometimes Santa’s wife dresses like her husband. Othertimes she’s a little sexier.

Embellishment Killed the French Aristocrats — Now It’s Back

Covering yourself in gems and gold is in style again! What could go wrong?

A Brief History of Presidential Campaign Merch

Beyond buttons and tees there have been handkerchiefs, hats, dresses, vests, and more.

Why Sunglasses Make You Look Way Cooler Than You Actually Are

It all comes down to their shady, shady history.

Political Pins Have Been a Thing Since George Washington

And the slogan "Make America Great Again" was on a button 35 years before Trump.

The Sexist History of Pockets

Your daily reminder to never accept a pocketless pant.

Honestly, Why Do Clutches Even Exist?

A bag that carries three or four of the twenty plus things you need.

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The Politics of Pockets

The history of pockets isn’t just sexist, it’s political

How the Pencil Skirt Became America's Sexiest Staple

How the iconic skirt contributed to the rise of the Twist and Marilyn Monroe’s walk

Who Was Stan Smith, Exactly?

Perfume, Power, and God

Examining perfume’s centuries-old holy war

The Rise and Fall of Khaki

What happened to America’s one-time favorite fabric?

A History of Fake Tanning

In the 2000’s, the spray tan ruled us all

The Sparkly Evolution of Gymnastics Style

Olympic leotards used to be pretty plain — now some have 5,000 crystals.

A Look at Flight Attendant Uniforms Through History

A new exhibit at SFO examines flights of true fancy