5 Inventions That Forever Changed Clothes

November 19, 2015

Fashion and technology are becoming more and more intertwined.

In fact, it has modified our clothing so much, that we may not even realize some of the horrors that our ancestors experienced in the fashion department.

Think about life before zippers – trying to button, lace, or do up the safety pins (yes, safety pins) on your pants after a visit to the frosty outhouse.

Thankfully, we have come a long LONG way from that level of suffering.

Instead of putting up with the discomfort of clothing to protect us from the elements, we can now take advantage of them to enhance our lifestyle while we look freaking fabulous.

Here are 5 inventions that have made our closets and our lives so much better.

1) Zippers


Speaking of zippers…

While there’s the obvious improvement in the fly department, the zipper has modified so much more. Things are just better with zippers – backpacks, jackets, tents – and the list goes on.

2) Right and Left Shoes


This one is just scary.

I mean, I guess it probably wasn’t that bad in the case of sandals and soft footwear like moccasins but can you imagine the horror of the “sabot” or wooden shoe?

It wasn’t until the early 1800s that shoes for the right AND left foot were created. Before this period, shoe pairs were identical and raw foot blisters were just an accepted part of humanity’s cursed existence.

3) Velcro


This gem of an invention came along in the 1950s and has been used to transform a wide range of products in a variety of industries.

Like the zipper, it has been used to replace buttons, snaps and laces and is a versatile alternative.

What’s the best thing to come from the Velcro invention, you ask? Probably the Velcro Sticky Wall ;)

4) Synthetic Fabric


This category is really a bunch of inventions all crammed into one slot.

Synthetic fibers are typically much stronger and durable than natural fibers and are also more cost effective to produce. A few of them include Rayon, Nylon, Spandex and Gore-Tex.

- Rayon: This fabric has basically been used as a form of artificial silk and has been used to produce a slew of shiny products like Aloha shirts.

- Nylon: While this fabric started out as the face of women’s pantyhose, World War II snagged it for other uses like parachutes. Today, it is used for a whole host of purposes including outdoor gear.

- Spandex: This material is responsible for both revolutionizing workout clothing and some particularly hideous fashion items. Meggings, anyone?

- Gore-Tex: Developed in 1976, Gore-Tex is a waterproof membrane that has become a popular solution for lightweight, rain-proof clothing.

The clothing revolution has continued to evolve to bring you number five on the list.

5) Heated Gear


There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel of layers.

Say goodbye to lumpy, itchy mounds of clothing that you harness to your shivering frame every winter.

Heated outerwear makes it possible to adjust the temperature to suit your preferences and ditch the bloated yeti look.

What other inventions would you add to this list?

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