How it all began

According to anthropologists, the appearance of clothing is related to the need manifested by the human being to hide nudity and to protect himself from cold, rain and heat.

The advantages of using animal skin were soon discovered by our ancestors. Besides the cold, it was possible to protect oneself from stones and thorns.

The use of clothing by humans dates back 600,000 B.C. This fact is easily proven by the various excavations in which needles made of bones were found.

Taking a leap, we came to the emergence of weaving in Mesopotamia. At that time, the clothes were wrapped around the body and it was possible to keep the original color or dye the fabric with different colors.

In Egypt, clothes and identity walked together. The pharaohs differed from the others by not using ornaments. The syrup of a lion and a false goatee symbolized power.

The Romans, as well as the Egyptians, attributed different meanings to clothes. The toga of Roman magistrates, for example, was used as a way to demonstrate authority.

Big events in fashion history

The standardization in clothing dates back to the time of the Roman and barbarian invasions (a term used by the Romans to refer to people considered uncivilized) were recognized by the way they dressed.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the Middle Ages did not bring great changes in terms of fashion history.


Expeditions to conquer Jerusalem and contact with a more refined lifestyle were essential for the emergence of nobility. The feminine pattern highlighted the silhouette of the woman.

In the middle of the 13th century, footwear stood out in the history of fashion. Women gave preference to shoes that highlighted the delicacy of their feet.

The differentiation between female and male clothes in the history of fashion began in the mid-fourteenth century. Dresses were worn only by women, academics and members of the Church. The tight pants were restricted only to men.

The Renaissance stands out in fashion history for representing a period in which men and women were concerned with highlighting certain characteristics of their bodies.

Men wore clothes that left their shoulders visibly wider and women sought a shape similar to that of the guitar. Women’s interest in their waists was essential to the emergence of the corset, the predecessor of our well-known corset.

The king of exaggeration

The extravagance in fashion history has the name of king. Louis XIV is known in the history of fashion, among other things, for wearing extravagant clothes. The idea was to emphasize French superiority through dress.

During the reign of Louis XV, the frames responsible for giving volume to the skirts of French women took on a great volume. Historians report that it was almost impossible for two women to occupy the same sofa due to the volume of the frames.

The “father of couture

When telling the fashion story it is impossible not to mention Charles Frederick Worth, the craftsman responsible for opening the first couture workshop in Paris in 1858.

Known as the “father of haute couture”, Worth’s name has become fashionable forever. The English designer is remembered for having replaced the crinoline with the anquinha, a type of frame used to give volume to the hips and back of the woman.

The silhouette of Worth’s models dominated the Belle period.

Époque. The hourglass body style with volume in the hips and shoulders and thin waist dominated the period.

The First World War and the women’s closet

Traumatic moments like World War I have had an influence on fashion history.


Due to the moment, comfort became the watchword. Women, forced to work during the war, preferred to wear practical and comfortable clothes.

Another transformation in women’s clothing was the shortening of skirts. The lack of fabrics to make clothes demanded that the skirts be shortened to the height of the ankles.

Hats, as well as skirts, were reduced in size. The style known as “cloché” became popular. The hat’s shape allowed it to fit perfectly to the shortest haircut, dominant at the time.

Chanel’s importance to fashion history

When we talk about the 1920s it is impossible not to mention the name of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the stylist symbol of the modern woman. The relationship of Chanel or Coco, as she was known by her friends, with fashion started in 1910, the year she worked in a hat store.

In a short time, Chanel became the owner of two stores where she sold hats and clothes. The iconic address No. 31 of Rue Cambon de la Maison Chanel, in Paris, remains today.