26 April 2010

The Birth of Modern Attire

The Victorians transformed the way we dress to-day. As a result of a rise of Protestant ethic and industrialism, a movement in men’s fashion called the Great Masculine Renunciation came into existence. Men began to dress more practically and less flashily, as is most often the case to-day. However, both then and now had its share of fops and dandies. Men may have been more practical than their baroque predecessors but they were by no means unconcerned with their appearance. Men’s clothing also exhibited a narrow, defined waist, a style that is observably re-emerging to-day in modern designers’ lines.

Several inventions of the Victorian era have also heavily influenced our contemporary fashion. Blue jeans, now a staple in modern casual attire, were invented when Jacob Davis added rivets to hard-wearing denim trousers in 1872. Another modern article of clothing stemming from the Victorian era is the brassière, invented by Marie Tucek in 1893 as a replacement for the corset. At the time of its invention, the brassière was never overly popular but today it has all but completely replaced the corset.

Many will note that the differences between Victorian clothing and the styles of to-day are more notable than are the similarities. While we can not deny this truth, that certainly does not stop us from expressing a desire to return to the more fashionable Victorian era. Top hats and frock coats should be embraced by the modern gentleman. It is said that clothes make the man. Why blend in? Be bold by hinting at the more refined, eloquent days of yore. Victorian fashion is timeless, but forgotten by the modern man, distracted by novelties. It's time to remind the world of its precious past.

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