Friday, March 20, 2009

Is there a Mary-Jane behind Mary Jane Shoes?

While looking through an old copy of Real Simple magazine I came across this article on strange-but-true questions with stories behind the clothes and accessories you know and love. I thought some were interesting- that's if your into fashion- so I thought I would share. Have a Great Weekend~



Is there a real Mary Jane behind Mary Jane Shoes? Not quite: The most widely held theory is that the single-strapped footwear was named for a character in "Buster Brown," a children's comic that was popular in the early 1900's. Mary Jane was either Buster's Sweetheart or Sister, depending on which source you consult.



Why is underwear nicknamed "drawers"? In the 16th century, drawers became a common term for both women and men's underpants. Made of linen, the items were no-frills and looked more or less interchangeable ( decorative lace trim started appearing on the garments only in the middle of the 19th century). Most likely, underwear earned this distinctly unsexy epithet because it describes the way that people put on their unmentionables- drawing them up and over the lower part of the body.



How did the trend for pointed-toe shoes start? Manolo Who? 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 Krakow, 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 was the first person known to have pierced ears? No one knows who originated the style, but there's evidence that as early as 2500B.C. Sumerian women wore pierced earrings- gold half moons hoops. And guys tired of defending their diamond studs can rest easy: Men have been wearing earrings since ancient egypt, where the jewelry was introduced in 1500B.C.






How did pumps, stilettos, and sneakers get their names? The term pump 1st popped up in the 1550 in England, where male servants wore the style. It is said that the noise they made while wearing the loose-fitting shoes resembled the sound of a water pump. The word "sneaker" entered the language in 1870; the rubber soles made the soles quiet and therefore "Sneaky."
The modern usage of stiletto, a renaissance-era Italian word for an assassin's narrow blade knife, made its debut in 1953. The word turned out to be especially appropriate, because the shoes' pointy heels were murder on wooden floors.





Have women always carried purses? Once upon a time, ladies stored their essentials in a little waist sack tied under their clothing and accessories through slits in their skirts. Around 1800, thinner, silkier fabrics and slimmer cuts came into vogue, and women could not longer hide the bulging sacks around their midsections. The solution? They began carrying their belonging in small pocketbooks instead.



Have bikinis always been so popular? Hardly! Named for the nuclear-testing site Bikini Atoll, the suits first appeared in 1946, but American women thought them immodest. Not until the 1960's were they accepted, possibly helped by the hit song "Itsy bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-dot Bikini."


Images Via: We Heart it