A mustache can transform a face so much that a man can be almost unrecognizable post-shave. With some effort, you might be able to recognize a man without his facial hair--but can you recognize the facial hair without the man? Read more
Been on the Internet recently? You’ve probably seen photos of Jaden Smith wearing a pleated skirt in Louis Vuitton’s SS16 womenswear campaign. Many people (and media outlets) were puzzled by the actor’s androgynous ensemble. Upworthy recently published an interesting article pointing out that gender Read more
Who What Wear was kind enough to put together a stunning photo gallery of New Year’s Eve outfits from decades past. If you still haven’t figured out what you’re wearing tonight, these vintage Vogue photos probably won’t help. Look at them anyway. On good terms with your fairy godmother? Ask her for Read more
Facial tattoos used to be all the rage in the rugged Aures Mountains of northeastern Algeria. Although men also participated in the practice, the elaborate designs were considered to be the ultimate female beauty enhancer. Many girls were forced to undergo the painful process at an extremely young a Read more
The first time I heard about The Straw Hat Riot, I laughed. I had recently arrived at a cocktail party, spirits were high, and the hosts were dispensing encouraging amounts of gin. When a vintage-obsessed acquaintance mentioned that straw hats plunged New York City into a maelstrom of violence in 19 Read more
1. How to lose your reputation in ten days: Write poetry or fall for the cute shop-boy The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine prided itself on giving good advice to young ladies, especially those looking for husbands. As a writer enthused in an 1866 issue, “a bevy of fair damsels, all tremulous with e Read more
April Callahan, a writer for Material Mode, a blog run out of the Fashion Institute of Technology, recently got her hands on a rare French exercise guide from the 1920s. Intended to help women achieve the trim physique ideal for flapper fashions, La Culture Physique de la Femme Elégante (The Physica Read more
Things were going great for Tracey “Africa” Norman in the 1970s. The African-American transgender model became a fixture in Balenciaga’s Paris showroom, booked photo shoots with Essence, and landed an exclusive contract with Avon. In 1975, the statuesque beauty got another big break. She was chosen Read more
Have senior photos always been awkward? Watch this one minute video from Slate producer Aymann Ismail and find out. Based on research from University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D student Shiry Ginosar, the video condenses more than a century of yearbook photos into a one minute video. Make sure to Read more
Before flour came neatly packaged in a paper bag, it was packaged in cotton fabric. During an era when American households were at their most frugal, these fabrics were reused and repurposed in every way possible. According to the History of the Flour Sack Towel, “From the 1800’s to around 1950, foo Read more
In 1939, Pathetone Weekly, a newsreel cinemagazine produced by the venerable British Pathé, asked American fashion designers to imagine the fashions of the year 2000. The results? Not exactly prophetic. For women, the designers predicted fussy gowns in odd materials, such as transparent netting ( Read more
Ever heard of the Teddy Girls? We didn’t think so (the Teddy Boys tend to get all the attention). AnOther magazine recently ran an awesome feature on this forgotten 1950s subculture: “On reflection, the paring of the aristocratic flamboyancy of an Edwardian gent with the rebellious attitude of Ameri Read more
It’s easy to fetishize 18th-century fashion. The period conjures up images of towering wigs, extravagantly embroidered gowns, and powdered ladies lazing about in silk stockings. Now that I’ve read Sarah Jane-Downing’s Beauty and Cosmetics, I’ve decided to refocus my sartorial daydreams on the 1920s. Read more
Vogue has added a collection of fall looks and past covers from its archives. The gallery spans over 100 years of autumnal fashion and design. Here are some of our favorites. (via Vogue) Must-have fall look: a maple tree beset by a Gibson Girl with a big bow and a dispassionate visage, 1904. (via V Read more
The history of facial hair—much like the best mustaches—is one of curious twists and turns, ambitious innovations, and bitter failures. From the well-manicured men of the Victorian era to the handlebar anarchy of Elizabethan times, pogontrophy (the art of cultivating facial hair) has often meant so Read more
The last quarter of the 19th century saw its fair share of wacky health ideas, from graham crackers to Vin Mariani. One of the most popular and lasting health tips of the era, however, wasn’t something you ingested but something you put on your body. Health underwear, or more colloquially Union suit Read more
Don’t feel like navigating the drunken masses at the Village Halloween Parade? We don’t either. Throw on your best bustle and go to Shanghai Mermaid’s Victorian séance instead. Isis Images via Shanghai Mermaid The occult soirée will take place on October 24th at The Down Town Association, an opulen Read more
Don’t feel like going to your Halloween party as Trump or sexy Pizza Rat? Go vintage. In the early 20th-century, costumes tended to be DIY, which means they were weird, terrifying, and entirely original. We’ve sourced some inspired options that are guaranteed to make you stand out on Instagram. Here Read more
Nothing says “style” like a black suit and tie. But in the 19th century, the tuxedo was originally designed to be less formal than the stuffy tailcoats of the time. According to London tailors Henry Poole & Co., the origins of the tuxedo stems from a royal prince with a wandering eye  and a posh tow Read more
Empress Elisabeth of Austria was one of the great beauties of 19th-century Europe. The fifteen-year-old Bavarian duchess, known to her family as Sisi, met Emperor Franz Joseph when she came to court in 1853. Rumor has it that Austria’s most eligible bachelor fell for her on the spot. The only hitch Read more
Is shoe history repeating itself? These 16th-century chopines look decidedly Gaga-esque.  The high-platformed shoes were purportedly worn by Renaissance women to keep their feet and dresses out of the filthy streets. That’s one rumor that Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum Read more