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aka “Bad Fashion Ideas Through The Ages.”

We look at fashion today and wonder what we’ll make fun of in 10, 20, or 30 years.

Sadly, people have made fashion faux pas throughout history.

The real killer is the quest for the tiny waist!

In an effort to fight that midriff muffin top, designers have used several torturous devices.

Farthingales, panniers, the hoop skirt, and the bustle (not to be mistaken with the Hustle, an awesome dance from the 70s), and the corset.

Farthingales were developed by the Spanish – you know, the folks who brought us the Inquisition.

Catherine Parr wearing a Farthingale.

Designed to enhance the smallness of the waist, whether it was or not, it was ornamental and not all that restricting.  The bigger the waist, the bigger the farthingale.  The English took to it big time when Catherine of Aragon came to be the bride of Prince Arthur.  Artie died shortly after the honeymoon.  His brother Henry (soon to be Henry VIII) married her to keep the Spanish Dowry and stay out a of a pesky European war – and the Farthingale took England by storm.

Not to be outdone, and in a move to one-UP English, the French created the panniers.  Popular through out the 18th Century, big hips and big hair made Marie Antionette the Queen of Fashion.  One would think she was from Texas!

Marie Antoinette in panniers by Vigee LeBrun.

The doors at the palace were widened so she would not have to turn sideways, and her carriage was specially made so as “not to destroy her coiffure!”

The 19th Century brought us the hoop skirt and the corset.

The corset had a two-fold purpose.  It cinched the waist, usually causing internal damage, and “kept the breast from sagging”.  These were the “pre-bra” days.   Gravity’s a be-atch, and ya’ gotta keep the girls UP!

NO one looks like this!

This is a modern version, which some people actually wear.  Didn’t women fight during the 70s to avoid crap like this?  Seems like I remember a dust UP called Women’s Lib.

The corset was so bad, doctors tried to convince women to shun them with pictures like this…

Internal Damage!

Pretty shocking for the 1800s, and they didn’t work anyway.  Fashion ruled.

Wrapped around that Scarlett O’Hara 16 inch waist was a hoop skirt. 

Frankly, Scarlett, this looks stupid!

It accented the smallness of the waist and gave rise to the term “Southern Belle”.

Suck it in Honey!

After the War of Northern Aggression, came the bustle.

Does this make my butt look big?

Underneath all that fabric was this…


The 1950’s brought us the waist cinching belt!

Why am I wearing this?

Still yearning for the tiny waist, women of the 50’s (and even some today) wore elastic straps, once again to accentuate the “tiny waist”.

In the 70s, 80s and 90s anorexia was the key.  But after a lot of resarch, we found it doesn’t work so well.

The 21st Century options…P90x, the Ab Lounger, Crunches and of course, the GYM!

You are what you are, do the best with what ya got, and keep it real!

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