We're often chasing for the now and next in fashion. And in the process, we tend to take for granted the fashion innovations that have already made life easier, more exciting and definitely more stylish. From the ones most of us probably weren't even born yet to experience a life prior, to the more recent, we highlight 10 fashion innovations that have changed the way we dress. Thank you, fashion gods.
The humble zipper went through different inventors from as early as the middle of the 19th century. But it was electrical engineer Gideon Sundback who devised the zipper as we know it today. Imagine having to fiddle with buttons on everything from the front of a leather biker jacket to a backpack. What a timesaver.
Are ankles the sexiest part of a man? Who even knows for sure. Whether you're for or against freeing the ankles, there's no denying that no-show socks are revolutionary. It's a godsend for those of us who want the illusion of going sock-less without actually doing so because that's rather unhygienic. And it aids in helping legs look longer too, especially when you're wearing shorts.
A shoehorn protects two things: the back of the shoe from getting out of shape and the cuticles on your fingers from separating. There's a lack of specific evidence as to when the shoehorn was invented, but some of the first shoehorns were used in the 15th century. And since then, little has been done to reinvent it, which just goes to show how ingenious the invention is.
If ready-to-wear clothes were never a thing, we'd all be dressed in purposefully tailored pieces. Which, to be honest, would make for a more sustainable fashion environment but also would mean that buying clothes would be a lot more expensive. The concept of ready-to-wear originated in Belgium by department store Maisons Dewachter, which introduced clothes for men and children in pre-made sizes.
Actor Jason Biggs proudly showed off his men's shapewear while appearing on a talk show recently. There's no sexist, toxic masculinity-induced shame in wearing one. Hey, if it helps us look better in clothes—and in some cases, wearing shapewear has helped with back pains—we say, thank goodness for that.
Sneakers are arguably the most comfortable pairs of shoes a person could ever own; at least one that offers full coverage. But more than that, sneakers have become a form of tangible investment with limited-edition and one-off pieces fetching big bucks on the resale market. Fashion is frivolous? Think again.
Who would've thought that wearing a T-shirt with the name of your favourite band (or pop star, if you're so inclined) scrawled over it would become a ubiquitous part of a person's wardrobe? Whether you wear one during concerts or to show allegiance on any given day, the band T-shirt has propelled the expansion of concert merchandise to the business it is today.
We all know how jeans came to be—they were first created for miners and other labourers who needed strong and sturdy trousers for work. The fact that jeans are now an integral part of every wardrobe, and available in a multitude of washes, colours, cuts and compositions, goes to show just how indispensable it has become as a fashion innovation.
Interestingly, men were the only ones in the late 17th century with pockets sewn onto clothing. Women carried 'pockets' that were more like purses. There's always the age old debate of why pockets on womenswear are hardly ever sizeable, but let's come to a consensus here: a pocket should hardly be used for bulky knick knacks.
Let's face it, we don't wear them enough these days. But thankfully, the always dependable suit is there to make sure that we look our spiffiest. Wearing one is akin to wearing armour—something that's defined and refined. The way the suit looks today is all thanks to Beau Brummell, an arbiter of men's fashion in the 1800s.