Essay on 18th Century Fashion and It’s Influence on 21st Century Trends

Essay on 18th Century Fashion and It’s Influence on 21st Century Trends

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Have you ever noticed how fashion is constantly repeating itself? There are several trends that have come, gone, and come again. A few examples are bell bottoms, skinny jeans, leg warmers, and flannel shirts. But how far back do the repeating trends go? Styles from the 20th century repeat but some trends and styles you see today go back much further than that. Although 18th century clothing was a lot more elaborate then todays you can see its influence in fashion today. Although there are several examples of this two that will be discussed are the corset and the mens suit.
During the 18th century Americans started to develop their own style slowly but were influenced by European fashions, most of which started in Paris. Other aspects of American culture such as music and art were also influenced by Europe. Some clothes were imported, others were made in the colonies by copying styles from the West.
The industrial revolution made mass production of clothing and textiles possible. The advancement of the production of weaving in 1733 known as the flying shuttle improved the way textiles were made. It allowed wider pieces of fabric to be woven at a dramatically faster speed. In 1764, the spinning jenny was invented and was an instant success.since it could spin eight threads of cotton yarn, instead of the spinning wheel's one. It reduced the cost of production while speeding up the process. Water wheels originally powered textile mills, forcing them to be located near rivers. After the steam engine was invented textile mills could be built anywhere. (Tortora and Eubank 225) The ability to mass produce made it possible for men of lower classes to dress like those of a higher class.
During the 18th century in E...


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...G. Bailey. "The Corset." Fashion & Merchandising Fads. New York: Haworth, 1994. 58-63. Print.
Hoffmann, Frank W. Fashion & Merchandising Fads. New York: Haworth, 1994. Print.
Kuchta, David. The Three-piece Suit and Modern Masculinity: England, 1550-1850. Berkeley: University of California, 2002. Print.
Mays, Dorothy A. "Body Image and Beauty." Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2004. 49-51. Print.
Mays, Dorothy A. Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2004. Print.
Pedersen, Stephanie. "Before the Bra." Bra: a Thousand Years of Style, Support and Seduction. Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 2004. 22-28. Print.
Pepys, Samuel, and O. F. Morshead. The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Selections,. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1973. Print.

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