Stripes are easy to spot in fashion these days and the trend is worn without a shred of concern that it’s quite hard to imagine that clothing with stripes was once the subject of debate and ridicule and even banned a few hundred years ago.
Read on to familiarize yourself with the background history of stripes and get inspired by modern colored stripes.
While today nobody would bat an eyelid or two if you wear stripes, in 1310 you’d be in serious mortal trouble.
So why were stripes controversial then?
In 1310, a cobbler in the French town of Rouen was condemned to death because, according to the local archives, he “had been caught in striped clothes”.
His harsh fate probably owed something to the fact that he was also a member of the local clergy. But even for Europe’s unordained citizenry, says Michel Pastoureau, who relates this incident in “The Devil’s Cloth: A History of Stripes and Striped Fabric” (Columbia University Press), the Middle Ages were a time when wearing stripes of any kind was a perilous act.
“Stripes were the devil’s clothing,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Paris, “the dress of prostitutes, of hangmen. They were considered transgressive.” (link)
It all started then in Paris after monks who were called the Carmelites arrived from Palestine wearing their official robe with brown stripes. They were viewed in a bad light and immediately nicknamed as the ‘barred brothers’. Their striped clothing was a major point of contention to the extent that it was banned from all religious orders by Pope Boniface VIII in 1295.
Beyond the religious limits, stripes were then associated with deviants of the time; from heretics, clowns, prostitutes to the lepers and the handicaps. Here we’d be tempted to point out that this could explain the later days’ prisoner’s striped clothing but it is yet a proven fact.
Not only was striped clothing looked upon demeaningly, animals with natural stripes including the zebras (which they’d heard of but never actually seen) were viewed as evil creatures of Satan.
Today though, people have the freedom to rock in all types of stripes, thin or broad, vertical or horizontal, black and white and and other multi-colored lines without fearing for their lives.
Time went on and what was then repulsed, turned into a wondrous thing that soon was accepted by the masses, so much so that the stripes then became something that was deemed exotic.
Nowadays, among all of the other busy graphic patterns (of animal, geometric, tribal and floral) on clothing, mere lines have finally shed their exotic appeal and are easily sported in comparison.
Thus, in the spirit of stripey fashion appreciation, let us scroll down for some fun colored stripes fashion ideas for 2012. May you be inspired!
I hope you appreciate just how lucky you are the next time you put on some striped piece of clothing! History does put things in perspective, don’t you think? What do you honestly think about the colored stripes trend? How would you wear it? Shoot your thoughts down below!
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Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.