In the context of clothing, the phrase “accessory” refers to an item that plays a supporting role. Choosing the right accessories is a frequent way to finish a stylish ensemble. Bags, gloves, jewelry, hats, belts, and scarves are a few of the many fashion accessories available. Various sizes, colors, materials, etc., are used to create these accents. Personality and individuality can also be expressed through one’s choice of fashion accessories. Of course, clothing accessories have been around for quite some time. But is there a better way to learn about accessories without digging deep into fashion accessories history?
Fashion Accessories History-Overview
Fashion accessories complete a perfect look and have the power to transform a flawless outfit to make it more glamorous. Accessories like earrings, necklaces, and headwear add final touches to most outfits. Other types of these accessories as mainly classic and timeless, like pearl earrings and leather belts. Same way fashion changes over the years, accessories evolve too. But some people still try accessories that have been out of fashion for a while. From the start of civilization, people have been wearing accessories. The topic of fashion accessories history is lengthy and broad. However, we are here to help you understand how accessories have been used since ancient times.
Fashion Accessories History: Accessory Types
Because there are so many different kinds of accessories, focusing on just one would be nearly impossible. That being said, this section will look at the history of several accessory items.
Necklaces and Chains
It is estimated that necklaces and chains have been used for at least 40,000 years, having been used by ancient civilizations worldwide. The earliest necklaces were made of shell teeth, bone beards, bird feathers, carved wood, seed stones, and other natural elements of the environment. Some designers used more precious metals from hard-to-find locations. For example, a charming necklace made of Mediterranean red coral beads was discovered in neolithic remains in the Alps around 4,200-3,400 BC.
Metalwork evolved, providing people with more jewelry options. Several necklaces are made of metal; for example, a flat, crescent-shaped piece made of metal or lunula was discovered in Bronze Age Scotland and Ireland between 1,800 and 1,500 BC. Meanwhile, the torc, a massive, rigid necklace made of twisted metal, was discovered in Celtic, Scythian, and other cultures during the European Iron Age, which lasted from 800 BC to 300 AD. These items were made of gold, copper, and other precious metals.
Egypt sported the most sophisticated ancient necklaces. Bead necklaces were worn by the poor and common, but they evolved into the elaborate collar and pectoral styles favored by the affluent and royal. Ancient Romans were the first known to wear a jewelry set with precious stones. Women began to wear multiple necklaces at once, and the practice persisted until the necklaces fell out of favor. In the 14th century, this fashion accessory began to rise in popularity. The necklace, not the brooch, became the standard jewelry item during the Middle Ages.
It became famous for people to wear necklaces featuring precious stones or gold chains with pendants. These necklaces served as a symbol of wealth and social standing. Necklaces made of precious metals and stones, like gold, pearls, silver, and diamonds, have always been and continue to be popular. The primary connotations of these metals and substances are luxury, status, and wealth. All these can be found in modern-day top-tier professional chains, businesses, and bridal materials.
After the invention of photography in the 18th and 19th centuries, locket necklaces became popular. The necklace was primarily given as a betrothal present. During this time, matched jewelry sets became popular. There was at least one matching earring or brooch in the collection. It could, however, have bracelets, tiaras, or buckles. Both men and women wore necklaces until the 18th century when they became primarily feminine.
Since then, men have used necklace chains to this day. Necklaces for men were re-evolved in American pop culture. Some of these necklaces featured gold chains with charms such as a gold cross or an Italian gold horn, while others used amulets, treats, and beards. As fashion accessories statements, black and African American hip-hop artists of the twentieth century wore platinum and gold chains encrusted with diamond pendants, also known as “bling-bling:”
Brooch and Lapel Pins
Brooch pins were traditionally considered to be men’s only accessories. Knights and kings used these accessories during the Greco-Roman era to fix robes and maintain the majesty of the warriors. Women began to wear them later in the Middle Ages, and the brooches’ designs became more varied. Albright, the first female secretary of state in the United States, wrote a book called ‘Read My Pins.’ She wrote the book: “A lapel pin is born with the function of telling the meaning.” Unlike other accessories, the pin can sense the aura and bring a sense of strength. They are distinct in jewelry, not only in rich styles but also in their dressing methods. Personalized lapel pins play an essential role in any clothing style.
Bandanas were first created in India as brightly colored silk and cotton handkerchiefs with white spots on colored grounds, typically red and blue Bandhani. By the beginning of the 19th century, Europe made its bandanas, especially in Mulhouse, France, where dye makers made a Turkey red version, the color most people think of when they think of bandanas today.
Sheep dung, madder root, and olive oil were the original ingredients in the dye, and the application process was so laborious that it sparked “all sorts of industrial espionage.” There are records of bandanas bearing maps, which were used as navigational aids in colonial America. They were also influential in the war for independence from Britain. The words were printed on a bandana that featured a picture of George Washington riding a horse surrounded by cannons. Historians believe Martha Washington had John Hewson, a textile manufacturer in Philadelphia, make this cotton bandana for her in 1775 or 1776.
Since then, bandanas have become a staple in political campaigns across the United States. Theodore Roosevelt’s bandana in his 1912 campaign featured music and words to the upbeat campaign song “We Want Teddy.” In 1942, soldiers also used the ever-versatile bandana to tie up loose ends during World War II. Adlai Stevenson’s 1956 presidential campaign bandana featured a photo of the candidate smiling and encouraged voters to “Go the Whole Way with Adlai.”
According to research into the history of fashion accessories, bracelets for the wrist are among the oldest items of their kind. You can put these on your wrist, arm, or ankle. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first bracelet was created in Turkey around 7,500 B.C. Ancestral peoples used stones, wood, and shells to make bangles. Wooden, jade, and gold bracelets were all worn by ancient Chinese people. According to the Hebrew Bible, bracelets were worn by both sexes in biblical times.
Gold and bronze bracelets date back to antiquity. Unlike gold bracelets, bronze ones featured intricate designs. Beaded bracelets were popular among ancient Egyptians, as were hoops and hinged bracelets made of gold. Bracelets were typically coiled spiral sakes or penannular armbands with enameled sphinxes and heads of lions or bulls during the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Assyrians. However, spiral bracelets depicting animals were popular in Europe during the iron age.
Conversely, the Etruscans first created bracelets with a hinged panel. However, this fashion remained popular well into the 21st century. Ancient Greek soldiers’ upper and lower arms were confined in metal cuffs. When the Roman army caught wind of this, they quickly made their own version of the bracelets to wear on their arms. Accessories like these were unheard of in the Middle Ages but came back in the 17th century. Bangles and ribbon belts became popular for women to wear.
Bracelets with charms and pendants were popular in the Victorian era. Plastic was developed in the 20th century to be used in bracelets. This accessory was meant for young people. In the 1980s, armbands made from thread or embroidery became popular, primarily friendship bracelets. Gold-plated brass and Serling silver were used in the first charm bracelets created by jewelers. Bracelets are fast making a comeback into the fashion scene.
Sumerian women wore earrings around 2500 BC. Archaeologists believe these women wore crescent-shaped gold hoop earrings. Earrings were worn by both men and women in 1,500 BC Egypt. Early Egyptian earrings were typically mushroom-shaped studs or plugs with long holes stretched in the earlobe. Greeks and Etruscans wore earrings to symbolize wealth in the first millennium BC.
They wore leech earrings, hoop earrings, and disk earrings. These accessories were made of thin gold sheets and embellished with scrolls, flowers, and fine palmettes. As a result, the Romans began to wear gems or colored stone earrings. Other civilizations then replicated this until the Roman influence began to fade.
Earrings became unsuitable from the 11th to the 16th centuries because fashionable hairstyles concealed the ears. They were popular during the English Renaissance in the late 1500s. By the late 17th century, these accessories had become an essential part of men and women’s clothing. It became lighter and simpler as time passed. Ear piercing resurfaced in the 1950s. The trend began as a fad for college girls, and Queen Elizabeth II set an example when she pierced her ears to wear diamonds at her wedding. Ear piercing has grown in popularity among women since then. Thanks to famous male musicians, men began to wear earrings again.
Most men who wore earrings were homosexuals, sailors, or gang members; however, earrings for men have become popular and acceptable in this era. In the 1970s, several piercings on one or both ears became popular. Wearing multiple earrings quickly became fashionable. Asymmetric double and cartilage piercings are also acceptable and trendy. Earrings have evolved into various types and styles. These accessories have become a form of expression and primarily a matter of choice rather than an indication of social standing, moral or religious standards.
The Bottom Line
From this ‘fashion accessories history’ article, it is clear that these accessories help to express an individual’s personality relative to the distinct shapes, sizes, and colors they wear. They can change and shape lives through their connection to us all. Fashion accessories define an occasion; the 21st century is incomplete without these materials. Today accessories can give a simple outfit a million-dollar appearance. Since we are in the 21st century, you order your fashion accessory online. Many e-commerce websites offer a wide range of trendy fashion accessories that are easy on your pocket.