Fashion

When did women begin wearing pants?

Before men started wearing the crotch-covering legging we call trousers, everybody wore skirts in one form or fashion (see also: loincloths, tunics, togas, kilts, etc.). And why not? Skirts are far simpler to construct and facilitate more cooling air flow to the nether regions, which would've been a godsend in the pre-air conditioning days. But then, thanks to the rise of horseback infantries, trousers (see also: breeches, codpieces, tights, etc.) became the below-the-belt manly uniform of the masculine masses. Western women, meanwhile, continued wearing skirts, and not just simple wrap-around numbers. We're talking multi-layered, heavy, floor-length ensembles often further supported and puffed out with the assistance of cage crinoline, petticoats, bustles, or other clunky foundation garments, depending on the era (see also: corsets).

Boys of Summer: The Corset Liberator

Paul Poiret was a French designer credited with unlacing women from corsets. Cristen and Caroline explore the intersection of fashion history, industrialization and gender equality in the first installment of their Boys of Summer series.

When Four-Eyed Women Became Fashionable

The Designer Who Unlaced Women From Corsets

A few weeks ago, the Internet was atwitter with a preliminary study finding out of France that bras correlate to sagging breasts over time (and meanwhile, we've apparently all forgotten about the the most powerful culprit of sagging breasts: gravity). Ever since the 14th century, people have experimented with various kinds of brassiere designs to reign in pesky female breasts, help clothes lay smooth and, yes, supply some extra perk to the chest region. But it wasn't until the 20th century that women began to don bras en masse, thanks in part to the couture contributions of French designer Paul Poiret, whom I bet would be scandalized at the thought of fashionable women eschewing undergarments.

Summer Shorts: Pricey Swimsuits

Why do itsy bitsy bikinis cost so much for so little cloth? Join Cristen and Caroline as they look at the average women's swimsuit price, the life cycle of a swimsuit and more.

Summer Shorts: Vajazzling

What is vajazzling, and why did women start gluing crystals on their bikini lines? Does vajazzling pose health risks? And what about the male equivalent -- pejazzling? Join Cristen and Caroline as they explore the unique body art known as vajazzling.

Why do we paint our nails?

Nail polish sales have skyrocketed since 2011, and historically nail polish and colors denoted class from ancient China to Victorian England. Tune in to learn how Revlon turned modified auto paint into a billion-dollar beauty industry.

Whether or not you're a fan of thongs, there's no denying that they attract attention. But where did these flimsy strings come from? Join Caroline and Cristen as they look into the origin of one of humanity's most controversial pieces of clothing.

What is the history of ear and body piercing? How does the underground sexual culture of piercing work? What does Alicia Silverstone have to do with the popularization of belly button piercing? Join Cristen and Caroline as they explore body piercing.

Who were flappers? Were flappers feminists? In this episode, Caroline and Cristen take a closer look at the iconic women known as flappers, touching on everything from Zelda Fitzgerald to flapper fashion.