The Stories Behind Your Favorite Fashions
Why did women start carrying handbags? Here, the answer to this and other puzzlers.
How Did the Trend for Pointed-Toe Shoes Start?
Long before they ever made an appearance on Sex and the City, pointed shoes were favored by Polish nobles, who introduced the fashion to England on a diplomatic visit in the 1300s. The
shoes, dubbed “crackowes” or “poulaines”―after Kraków, Poland―were so long that a chain running from the toe to the knee was
often required to keep them from dragging. In 1363 the English attempted to rein in the look by law, assigning shoe spans
to social classes. Commoners could sport footwear with toes of up to six inches, while those in the royal ranks were allowed
a full two feet in length.
Who Invented the Sports Bra?
In 1977 University of Vermont student Lisa Lindahl was running 30 miles a week―and her bra wasn’t holding up. With the help of two classmates, Lindahl sewed together two jock straps and―presto!―the sports bra was born. The coeds founded the company Jogbra a year later, garnering eternal gratitude from exercise-loving women everywhere.