1. 1. The inventor of the sewing machine came up with the idea for the zipper.
Six years after inventing the modern sewing machine, Elias Howe patented the idea for an “automatic, continuous clothing closure” in 1851. The metal zipper we use today was first produced in 1918, but didn’t catch on until the ’30s.
2. 2. The first socks were created to be worn with sandals, making this the original (proper?) way to wear socks…
3. 3. Boxers and briefs were invented less than 100 years ago.
Everlast invented boxer shorts in 1925. And the first briefs were sold in Chicago in 1935.
4. 4. Buttons were used as decoration centuries before anyone thought to create holes for them.
The first functional buttons appeared in Germany in the 13th century.
5. 5. Jeans were invented by Levi Strauss in 1873.
Strauss, along with his partner Jacob Davis, patented the copper rivet for denim work pants.
6. 6. Sunglasses were originally prescribed to people with syphilis.
Syphilis causes sensitivity to light so, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, doctors prescribed brown tinted spectacles to people with the STD.
7. 7. The inventor of the bra also helped guide the careers of James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, and Henry Miller.
After patenting the modern bra in 1914, Caresse Crosby started a publishing company with her husband in Paris. They published works from Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and D.H. Lawrence, as well as an in-progress version of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Crosby was friends with Picasso and Dali, and had a reputation for throwing the best parties. She lived an absolutely amazing life.
8. 8. U.S. soldiers are the reason T-shirts exist.
The U.S. military began issuing T-shirts to soldiers during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Following World War II, veterans started the trend of wearing T-shirts as casual wear.