The history of clothing that changed the history of the world

The history of clothing is intertwined with the history of mankind. An outfit is considered sort of a second skin for people, such as its strong connection with the body. New discoveries have been found about the origins of clothing. Read more.

New archaeological investigations have shown that the beginning of the use of clothing was before the Ice Age 

Actually, clothing wearing lowered the deaths rate from hypothermia. Therefore, humans' life span increased because of deaths from hypothermia. Nevertheless, it was not the only reason as thought by the early archeologists.

By the ending of the ice age, people began to wear less heavy clothing. As the ice sheets melted, the environment became even more humid. So due to the wetter weather - known as Holocene - in the "Quaternary Period", clothing styles became different than before.

Different clothing styles changed people's lifestyles!  

This new cycle of humanity transformed humanity's way of dressing and so new styles of outfits were created, whether to better adapt to the warmer climate or due to the people’s vanity. Lighter clothes began to be made from fibers that allowed more wind penetration. Hence much fresher.

Nomads were also responsible for new clothing customs.

They brought home new fashion styles from places they've been. This very exchange of acknowledgments turned out to reduce hunting for a living. Thus, a new era was born:

The "Agricultural Age" was a period of human history that was crucial in man's relationship with the environment.

So due to the agricultural period, the first cities began to form new societies. Each place would have its specific kind of outfit that worked like the place's signature.

This event spurred the advent of the "Textile Revolution", allowing technology to replace manual work. And so new "clothing making machines" were invented to follow the high demand for new items of clothing. 

The "Industrial Revolution" has changed everyhting!

The new age in human history has changed a lot due to the Industrial Revolution, mostly in terms of outfits. New fashion, new styles, and not only garments have switched. Now shoes, bags, gloves, and accessories are part of the whole team.

Since demand increased exponentially, natural fabrics gave room to artificial-made fabrics. A new phase in fashion then began.

Artificial silk (the raw plastic material) was employed in industrial clothing as well as other textile initiatives such as semi-synthetic viscose and rayon, a cellulose polymer derived from wood pulp.

From plastic came the cellophane, also used for packaging, and later vinyl, used for raincoats. As the most conscious people became aware of the "dangers of plastic", the idea of recycling clothes started to be known worldwide. 

For instance, the PVC-made products made it possible to create lighter and more flexible clothing and were also cheaper for the fashion industry, which began to use the product to imitate leather.  

Timeline of Clothing History


Hunting was prevalent for living. To protect themselves from extreme cold weather, men hunt and made their clothing from animal furs.   

Ancient Greece

Vanity began to be part of the greek richest people. Now they no only protect themselves but show off as well. They fulfill their beauty with beautiful outfits. Fancy people would wear pieces like "chitons", a kind of tunic, and also a "clamid", a cloak tied around the neck or shoulder.  

The Late Middle Ages

A turbulent period in human history. Nonetheless, Western started trading with Eastern and so exchanging fashion. Women go wearing veils or tieing their hair up with nets. Rich men began to wear tighter pants to be different from others. They also wear loose-fitting garments.  


An "enlightened" period of humanity that made brilliant minds. Society starts to change its customs and behavior for the better. Therefore, new sciences made men pay more attention to their bodies and so fashion changes their lifestyle. 

17th Century

France started to run the new European fashion, and no longer Spain, as it was during the Renaissance period. It happened because of the great support from Louis XIV, whose vanity contributed to creating the first fashion school in the world.

18th Century

The new art of the time did influence the fashion steps. Once women’s dresses were pretty bulky and heavy it was time to change this uncomfortable fashion. Time for new ideas that came from great stylists to correct these anomalies in clothing. Here come fashion legends like, Madeleine Vionnet and Coco Chanel who were considered the pioneers of new fashion. Following there was the also great Paul Poiret, who freed women from corsets.

XIX Century

A period where money began to shake up the fashion market, an effect of the Industrial Revolution. So bankers’ hobby was to show off in new suits and so their wives. In other words, the bourgeoisie shook the world of fashion with new and different outfits designed by worldly famous stylists, 

The 20th Century

Conscious people's minds began to change. New concepts about environmental sustainability emerged. Avoid fabric or furs made from animals. Cruelty-free movement shook up the fashion world. Later came recycled items for clothing. Now creativity takes place more than ever. New designers, new stylists got involved in the new trends like outfits in retro/vintage style and so on. What matters is to imprint your identity on your "second skin".  

21st Century

Currently, personal adornments fulfill the whole way of clothing, such as necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets.  Recently, technology starts to influence new garments. Time for wearable technology. Intelligent clothing adapts to your body, according to your desires as well as to the outside climate. Coming up there is the "clothing of the future" that incorporates flexible electronics and batteries into the woven structure of the garments.  

So clothes are people's second skin because they not only protect in any season of the year, they are also synonymous with memories of all of life's moments!

By Marco Veado - THINK GREEN