Although fashion has progressed since the sixteenth-century, the meaning and reasoning for fashion has remained the same. The main reasons for needing fashion are for protection, individuality, identification, and representation. By the sixteenth-century, the recently developed printing press was turning out books that were used to give other places around the world the experience of this “fashion.” Styles worn in Italy in the early sixteenth-century showed similarities to Northern Europe in the thirteenth-century.
Bodices were attached to gathered skirts. Many gowns and men’s doublets or jackets were made of figured velvets. The decorative idea became a future of men’s styles all over Europe in the early years of the 1500’s when Spain, France, and Austria came to dominate the Italian city-states. By the sixteenth century, international events helped to move Spanish styles to the center of the fashion stage for this time period. Dark, rich textiles were made into women’s garments with fairly rigid, hour-glass silhouettes. A stiff, hooplike structure held out skirts. These were significant to those of the higher social class of royalty. The dress of the period clearly reflected these tendencies. Those who could afford to wear fashionable dress did so. (Clothing of the Middle Ages)
The courts remained the most important stage on which to display opulent clothing. For example, it has been said that Louis XIV used fashionable dress as a political tool, keeping courtiers so busy following court etiquette and style that they had neither the funds nor the times to plot against him. Clothing also played a role in England. The royalist supporters of the King opposed the Puritan faction. (Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing through the Ages)
The most characteristic North American fashion trend from the 1930’s to the end of World War II was attention at the shoulder, with the butterfly sleeves and banjo...