5 Men’s Fashion Items that Have Entered Women’s Wardrobes
Women’s fashion has something to be grateful to men for. Not only male fashion designers, but also their clothing styles. Whereas at one time, male clothing trends were kept just for the guys, they are now items that most women find in their wardrobes today . In the list below, we will be looking at the 5 men’s fashion items that have entered women’s wardrobes over the last 100 years. Originally, these garments were created exclusively for men, and nowadays are a basic element of women’s styling. As you will find out in this article, men’s clothes are not intended only for men! Read the story of popular items from women’s wardrobes that have their roots in men’s clothing.
High Heeled Shoes
Yes, you see – heeled shoes were originally made for men! Their history dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. Initially, they were not intended to emphasise the calves or add a few inches to the height, but they had mainly a practical function – but as riding heels that were needed to support the feet in stirrups. Over time, heeled shoes began to determine their social status – only members of the upper classes of society could afford them. In this way, they became a hallmark of high-ranking men.
Catherine de ‘Medici is considered the first woman to wear high heels. She put them on for the first time in 1533 at her wedding to Prince Henry II of Valois of Orleans. For the next 200 years, these shoes were considered the calling card of the bourgeoisie – until the French Revolution, when flat shoes became fashionable to emphasise the equality of all citizens. That’s when men stopped wearing heels. 100 years later, they become basic footwear worn mainly by women.
There is probably no more basic element of a man’s wardrobe than trousers. The first models were known at the beginning of our era and were worn by representatives of nomadic peoples to ancient Rome. At that time, trousers were abandoned in favour of loose tunics that were considered barbaric clothes. A clear division of women’s and men’s clothing took place in the Middle Ages, and the first men’s trousers looked more like tights and were worn under knight’s armour. Over time, pants have evolved and become a major element of women’s and men’s wardrobe, instead of being worn as underwear.
For many centuries, a woman in trousers was not only an unusual sight, but even outrageous. For example, whether Jeanne d’Arc, who rode a horse, wielded a sword and wore trousers, was actually a woman has been questioned for years. This was one of the reasons she was burned at the stake. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that the strong movements of emancipation began to remove restrictions on women’s clothing. Amelia Blumer was the woman who stood behind this by publishing the aforementioned slogans in her monthly edition of The Lily. From her family comes the definition of “bloomers”, or the buffalo pants she often wore.
Elizabeth Smith Miller is considered the designer of the first women’s pants. This happened in 1850. In the 20th century, designer Coco Chanel, actresses Catherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich played a huge role in making this item of women’s clothing more and more famous. Today, a woman in trousers is not uncommon – ladies wear them as eagerly as dresses and most of all – have the right to choose how to dress.
Did you know that…? The ban on female Parisians wearing trousers was officially lifted in 2013.
Oxfords have already changed the ideals of women’s fashion forever. However, their history began in the 19th century when Oxfords were men’s shoes. Back then, students at Oxford University began wearing elegant shoes with lower socks. Until then, Oxfords were ankle boots fastened with buckles. Today, they are usually low shoes with laces. They appeared in women’s wardrobes after the First World War, when ladies were forced to “take the place” of their husbands, who were then fighting on the frontline, and began to dress like them. Women’s oxfords can be worn not only for elegance – for example with a suit. They fit perfectly for more casual looks, both with skirts and dresses.
And since we are discussing formal, men’s clothing, let’s trace the history of the suit itself – after all, it is also a garment worn frequently by women these days. One of the most famous supporters of this style was Georges Sand – a French writer of Romanticism. Her nickname is not the only male attribute she was known for. She did everything that was not decent for a woman – she smoked a pipe, cursed and wore a suit. However, this was not an expression of emancipation, but an attempt to fit into the then exclusively male world of art and – simply – a way to find comfortable clothing!
For a long time after that, the women’s costume was a hallmark of the attention-grabbing artists. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was worn with pleasure by actresses such as the aforementioned Marlena Dietrich and Catherine Hepburn. In the 80’s, when women began to command responsible positions in the workplace, women’s suits became extremely popular. Enter “The Power Suit!” Their professionalism was emphasised by the clothes. Nowadays, suits are not only for the so-called business woman, but for every woman who wants to feel elegant and stylish. You can successfully wear a women’s classic black suit for any occasion!
Loafers are shoes that were made to order by the King of Great Britain himself, namely George VI. The monarch wanted to have shoes without low-heeled ties. He wanted to walk around the palace with them, so Raymond Lewis, a descendant of the founders of a small shoe store called Wildsmith Shoes, sewed these shoes by hand. This is how the Wildsmith Loafer model was created. Over time, this fashion was adopted by English aristocrats – but this still only applied to men. Then the loafers later became popularised in a women’s version. The everyday and quite universal cut of the loafers makes them a comfortable shoe for women as well. These shoes successfully replace the ballerina pump, as a more functional alternative.