Ladies and Men Died Due to Fashion Style

There have been some of the weirdest and most lethal fashion trends over the decades that ultimately led to the death of many ladies and men.

One of the worst was the wearing of the corset – an undergarment of the 1800s, that women always wore. Think of the scene in “Gone with the Wind” where Scarlett was getting laced up in her corset to have a very thin figure. But there was a major hazard. Corsets were laced so tight that they caused constipation, indigestion, internal bleeding, and fainting from the pressure placed upon the lungs. In the worst-case scenario, the complications that resulted from wearing a corset led to death.

Not just ladies, but men wore the high and tight collar, popular in the nineteenth century. The high and tight collar was also known as the “father killer” as it was a fitted collar that often cut off blood supply to the brain. It was particularly dangerous to men who would drink while wearing the collar as most men would suffer from asphyxia while passed out from the alcohol. The deadly collar should have ideally come with a “do not wear and drink” warning. This may have reduced the number of high and tight collar deaths in the nineteenth century.

Another lady’s style in dresses was called crinoline. In 1858 it was estimated that there was an average of three deaths a week from crinoline-related fires. Oscar Wilde’s two half-sisters died when their crinoline dresses caught on fire and they were burnt to ash. Despite these shocking statistics women still chose to wear the perilous crinoline dresses. Their enhanced silhouette during the nineteenth century. They were very wide dresses and a large hoop to push the lower part of the dress out several feet. There were made of extremely flammable material and ideally shouldn’t be used for clothing. So if a lady got too close with the dress to a fireplace, the dress caught fire. But, back in the day women were willing to risk their lives to stay on trend.

During the 1700s, ladies wanted a very pale face, no suntan for them. So they used lead paint, spread over their face to achieve that ‘white’ face. But some of the side effects included hair loss, stomach pains, rotting teeth, headaches, and sometimes death.

To have a natural thin figure in the 1800s ladies tried many different things, including consuming tapeworms. Although the tapeworm diet could result in weight loss it could have other detrimental side effects. The tapeworms could attach themselves to organs outside the digestive system which results in an invasive infection with horrible side effects that include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and weakness.

Having a bright green color known as Paris Green for a lady’s dress was very much in demand. The color was achieved by dyeing the dresses using arsenic, a poisonous compound. It became popular In 1814 as a new-and-improved version was invented and widely known as Paris green or emerald green. It contained arsenic, a known poison.

Doctors noticed that the cases of cancer were increasing and many women were dying young. The common denominator between all the women was their love for Paris Green dresses. The arsenic used to dye the dresses would be slowly released into the skin of the wearer. This would cause diarrhea, skin sores, headaches, and cancer which would ultimately lead to death. This green was used in the production of garments, wallpaper, carpets, paints, and more throughout the century. It was the factory workers who were creating these items and working closely with the pigment that suffered the most. By the late 1800s the Paris Green was less popular due to its dangers and the green fabric was then made without arsenic.

Photo: A classic 1840s Paris Green Dress.

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< Return To Blog How interesting! And sad.
Sara N Martin 17/11/21

That is why it is so interesting to see what many of our ancestors accepted in their times.
alice 17/11/21

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