Is Anything “NEW’ In Fashion?

When looking at an image of a fashionable young man from 1827, nicknamed the “poodle,” the white baggy trousers he sports bear a remarkable similarity to contemporary fashion items.

Several decades later, the look has been adapted for the Victorian lady and now takes the form of a bloomer costume, albeit with the trousers gathered at the ankle to give a cleaner overall shape when worn with a jacket.

Bloomer, circa 1850s.
Bloomer, circa 1850s.



Bloomer Costume, circa 1832
Bloomer Costume, circa 1832.


White Baggy Mens Trousers, circa 1817
White Baggy Mens Trousers, circa 1817.

Jump to 1922, and note an image of the glamorous Denise Poiret (complete with dangling cigarette), wife of the French designer Paul Poiret who caused a revolution in fashion design with his bold use of simple classical lines.

Denise Poiret_Pyjama de Harem, 1922
Denise Poiret Pyjama de Harem, 1922.

Denise wears an outfit that includes “Pyjama de harem”. Surely these may be seen as the precursor of the leather culottes on sale in a trendy high street store today. Mary Quant wears her flares in 1972, yet the same look is currently mooted as a “new trend,” one vying for favor in an attempt to oust out the beloved skinnies.

Mary Quant, circa 1972.
Mary Quant, circa 1972.

Fashion comes, fashion goes! The must-have NEW trend lasts maybe for a couple of seasons and then vanishes. Or does it? When placed under the microscope the above examples demonstrate an adage that can be applied to the design of garments – there is nothing new under the sun. A look comes into vogue, lasts for a season or two and then dies. But, it will be resurrected again, in another form at a later date.


Leather Coulottes (Topshop)
Leather Coulottes (Topshop).


Flared Jeans
Flared Jeans.

Love or hate culottes or flares, neither the easiest shape to wear unless processed of a pair of long legs, both looks will be purchased and worn as a badge of honor, one shouting this is the latest trend. It is NEW. Of course it isn’t. It has been around before!

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