71 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Clothes You're Wearing
YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
1. There is a bra that doubles as a gas mask. It's meant to be snapped off and put over the mouth in the event of an emergency.
2. It was Mark Twain (yes, that Mark Twain) who actually invented and patented the bra-strap clasp.
3. When Disneyland opened in 1955, it had a lingerie store right on Main Street, called Hollywood-Maxwell Intimate Apparel. It included an animatronic figure called the Wizard of Bras. WHAT?
4. Actress Julie Newmar, who starred as the original Catwoman, actually holds the patent for "pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derriere relief," a forerunner to Spanx. She was granted the patent in 1975.
5. According to Icelandic folklore, if you don't get new clothes to wear for Christmas, there is a giant Yule Cat that will eat you.
6. Up until the 19th century, children were dressed as miniature adults.
7. Up until around 1910, it was totally common for little boys to wear dresses until they were around 5 or 6.
8. The inventor of the modern bikini, Louis Réard, named his creation after the Bikini Atoll — where the U.S. did tons of its nuclear testing — because he hoped it would make as big of a bang as the atomic bomb. Réard declared it wasn't a real bikini unless the fabric from it could be "pulled through a wedding ring."
9. After its modern debut, the bikini was banned in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Australia, and it was declared a sin by the Vatican.
10. A woman was actually arrested in Boston in 1907 for wearing a formfitting one-piece on the beach.
11. Bathing suits were so scandalous that the Quakers created a bathing machine with a "modesty tunnel" that allowed women to enter the sea or ocean and retain their modesty.
12. Designer Rudi Gernreich took the bikini to the next level in the 1960s with the monokini, which was a one-piece swimsuit with a completely exposed top.
13. Barbie's first outfit? A black-and-white striped one-piece swimsuit.
14. Princess Leia's bikini in Star Wars — probably the most famous bikini in the world — was actually two. She had a real metal one she wore for much of filming, and then a rubber one she wore during action scenes. There's a whole website devoted to her bikini.
15. You can thank former New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia for popularizing the modern-day thong. He introduced it in 1939 to make NYC's nude dancers cover up a little bit.
16. The first miniskirt was unveiled by designer André Courreges in 1965. It ended a modest four inches above the knee.
17. During the 1860s, dresses were so wide that women were often stuck in doorways.
18. South Korea used to have actual fashion police who would go around measuring the miniskirt length of women. If skirts were deemed too short, they could be fined or arrested.
19. A man designed GPS-programmable shoes that are activated by — you guessed it — clicking your heels together three times.
20. Michael Jordan's dad, James Jordan, was murdered by a guy wearing a Michael Jordan T-shirt.
21. After a student was suspended for wearing one of their tees, the band Korn gave away hundreds of their shirts to a Michigan high school. Police actually helped hand out the tees.
22. Men didn't wear underwear until the 17th century. Women didn't bother wearing underwear until around 1800.
23. Bill Nye the Science Guy owns a patent for ballet pointe shoes.
24. The world's longest wedding dress has a train that's 1.85 miles long. It required approximately three miles of taffeta and 18 feet of lace to produce. Crazy.
25. Before Queen Victoria's white wedding, white was a color traditionally associated with mourning.
26. Speaking of weird queen things, in 1571, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that all women over the age of 7 had to wear hats on Sunday. OK...
27. Marie Antoinette was actually super modest and wore a high-cut flannel gown while bathing so nobody could catch a glimpse of her naughty bits.
28. Jeans were named after Genoan sailors from Genoa, Italy, who popularized wearing the material.
29. The word "denim" most likely came from a French material called serge de Nimes, which is from the French seaside town of Nimes.
30. The first pair of Levi's was sold around 1853 for $6 worth of gold dust.
31. The brand got its distinctive 501 label from the storage lot number it was assigned in 1890. It just stuck.
32. Levi's once made the singer Bing Crosby an all-denim tuxedo after he was turned away from a hotel for wearing jeans.
33. Platform shoes are nothing new: Chopines, which were popular across Europe and Asia since the 16th century, were outrageous platform shoes that offered a platform of anywhere from 6 to 24 inches. They were the predecessor to the modern-day high heel.
34. Greek prostitutes had sayings etched into the bottoms of their shoes like "follow me" (that would show up in the sand) to attract customers.
35. The first high heels were worn by both men and women. Men wore them because the heel allowed for extra stability when riding horses — it kept the foot secure in stirrups. By around 1740, the trend had died out.
36. In the 18th century, even children wore high heels.
37. In the 1670s, Louis XIV decreed that only members of the royal court were allowed to wear red heels. It was an easy way to distinguish someone of the upper classes from a commoner.
38. The Russian military only started wearing socks in 2007. (Before that they'd just wrap pieces of cloth around their feet.)
39. In 1909, the U.S. Navy banned naked lady tattoos on service member's arms. In order to join the Navy, men had to have clothes tattooed on their nude bodies.
40. There's a sock company that sells "sock jars" — slightly mismatched collections of socks — with the idea that you're probably going to lose your matching pair anyway.
41. The YKK you see on most zippers? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, which roughly translates to the Yoshida Company Limited. YKK is the most popular zipper maker in the world.
42. Victorian men used to wear locks of their lover's pubic hair in their hats as mementos.
43. Napoleon had brass buttons sewn on the sleeves of his soldiers' uniforms to discourage them from wiping their noses on their uniforms.
44. Edward Jones might have been the first celeb stalker: He got caught trying to steal Queen Victoria's underwear four times, and was sent to live in a penal colony in Australia.
45. Up until 2001, Disney employees weren't allowed to wear their own underwear under their costumes, and had to share Disney-issued undergarments. But after several employees complained they got pubic lice and reported stained undies, the company changed their policy.
46. The Hermès Birkin bag is named after singer Jane Birkin. The most recent singer to get a bag named after her? Lana del Rey, for whom Mulberry named the "Del Rey" in 2012.
47. Ralph Lauren — real name Ralph Lifshitz — started out as a tie designer.
48. Speaking of, a tie fanatic, or collector, is called a grabologist.
49. Michael Kors began designing when he was just 5; he designed his mom's wedding dress for her second wedding.
50. Panties and a bra that was flushed down a toilet caused the collapse of a sewer system in Northern England, which caused damage to more than 20 homes.
51. Ever wonder where your missing baggage ends up? There's an Unclaimed Baggage Store in Scottsboro, Ala., that sells whatever isn't picked up.
52. Coco Chanel invented the concept of "costume jewelry" by creating designs that mixed fake pearls and stones with real pearls and diamonds. Chanel is also credited with inventing the "little black dress."
53. People used to wear live chameleons as brooches in the late 1800s. They'd pin them to their lapels like regular jewelry.
54. On average, people in Manhattan spend the most on apparel per month — $362. For comparison, shoppers in Tucson, Ariz., spend the least — $131.
55. The spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were actually created by bra maker Playtex.
56. According to astronaut Chris Hadfield, astronauts don't bother doing laundry in space. Instead they just throw their dirty laundry out into the earth's atmosphere, where it gets incinerated.
57. Abercrombie & Fitch actually offered Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino money to stop wearing its clothes because the company felt he was ruining its reputation.
58. Lacoste's little embroidered crocodile was the first-ever designer logo. He created and manufactured it in 1933.
59. Prior to the 19th century, designers used dolls to showcase their designs instead of models.
60. The first fashion magazine was published in 1678, in France (of course). It was called Le Mercure Galant and aimed at male readers. A female fashion mag followed 16 years later.
61. The most expensive pair of shoes are the ruby slippers designed by Harry Winston, inspired by the ones Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz. They cost a cool $3 million.
62. Speaking of those red slippers, someone actually stole the originals from a museum in Minnesota in 2005. Not cool.
63. Victorian detachable men's collars were so tight that guys sometimes asphyxiated from wearing them, which is how they got the nickname "father killers."
64. Victorian women would often wrap themselves in wet muslin so that their dresses would fit as snugly as possible. The downside? They'd often get sick and sometimes die. Doctors at the time blame the practice for an outbreak of influenza in Paris.
65. Pink for girls and blue for boys is a relatively new phenomenon: A 1918 catalog advised blue for girls because it was a "much more delicate and dainty tone" and pink for boys because "it's a stronger and more passionate color, and because it's actually derived from red."
66. Romans loved Phallus jewelry. Ancient Romans wore penis charms on necklaces or hung them in doorways to ward off evil spirits.
67. The first shopping mall to sell clothes was built in ancient Rome.
68. The most expensive bra ever made is the Heavenly Star Bra, which was created by Victoria's Secret in 2001. It's valued at $12.5 million and has 1,200 Sri Lankan pink sapphires and as its centerpiece a 90-carat emerald-cut diamond worth $10.6 million.
69. The world's largest bra has a size 1222B cup. It was created to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
70. It was apparently in vogue among Victorian women to pierce their nipples. After they were pierced, a gold "bosom ring" was inserted into the nipple, and sometimes a chain between the two nipples was also worn. Hmmm....
71. Oh, boobs: Two women died in 1999 after being struck by lightning. Their underwire bras acted as electricity conductors and transferred the current between the two women.