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Starter: What does Fashion mean to you?
MOTIVATOR: A Calvin and Hobbes comic will be used to introduce fashion and how it takes someone thinking outside of the box to create interesting and fun designs year after year.
Activity #1 Description: The students will complete a fashion assessment to see how much they already know about fashion and the industry.

Supplies: paper for each student




  1. In your opinion what is the greatest fashion item to influence the fashion world? Why?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What era did the mod look start?________________________________

  1. What eras were known for the inverted triangle silhouette? __________________________________________________________________

  1. What culture was the first known culture to use a corset?____________________

  1. Was Madonna the first to wear a corset as regular clothing? If not who was? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. When did haut couture come into fashion? _______________________________

  1. Name 3 fashion designers_____________________________________________

  1. Name 3 top fashion cities in the world___________________________________

  1. Who made make-up popular?__________________________________________

  1. What is a monobosom? __________________________________________________________________

  1. What exemplified the Edwardian silhouette? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Draw a leg of mutton sleeve:

  1. When was the Romantic Era? _________________________________________

  1. What is a gigot sleeve? ______________________________________________

Use your answer to question #1 to design an outfit that incorporates your answer.


Time: about 15-20 min

Process Questions and Answers: I will walk around and make sure that the students understand the questions being asked.

Activity #2 Description: As a table, the students will be given a piece of paper with pictures of different garment styles of today. They will try to name the style and what era or who made that style famous. After they have finished as a class, we will go over the styles briefly so the students can see how much they know already.

Supplies: 1-2 copies of the paper for each table

Content: See attached sheet

Time: about 15 min

Process Questions and Answers: I will walk around and try to prompt the students into figuring out which style is what.

Activity #3 Description: After the students have gotten the chance to show what they know we will go through a brief fashion history overview to get the student’s excited for the days to come.

Supplies: computer, computer program the Magic Wardrobe by Crayola

Content: the computer program

Time: about 25 min

Process Questions: Do you notice any similarities as we go through the periods? How has clothing changed over the years? Have any styles come back?
Summary: The students will demonstrate a brief understanding of the history of fashion.
Optional Activity: The students will design an outfit using a historical style as their focal point. This outfit should be something that could be worn on the streets today.




STARTER: What cloth became popular in the 70’s? (Polyester)
Activity #2 Description: We will start talking about Fashion History by looking at how fashion has changed over the years. We will start by learning about the time period of B.C. to the 1890’s.

Supplies: overhead or PowerPoint projector


Fashion History

B.C. to Present Times


  • Fashions of this period come from several groups in existence at this time: Egyptians, Cretes, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantine.

  • Most is known about Egyptian fashion due to their burial procedures. Linen was used exclusively as a textile with the Egyptians because it was all were able to grow in their area.

Egyptian Fashions
  • The Shenti was the loincloth worn by Egyptian men.

Movies representing the
B.C. Time Period

  • Cleopatra*

  • The Mummy

A.D. Movies 500-1050

  • The Knights of the Round Table

  • Sword of Lancelot

  • First Knight

  • Camelot

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (932 AD)

1200-1300’s, 13th & 14th Century

  • The Bliaud was a dress worn by woman or men in this time period.


  • The Hennin, was worn in the 14th and 15th century, was a cone-like hat resembling the spires of the cathedral spire.

  • The Tunic was often one of the stylistic features of the classic businessman.

Movies Representing the

13th and 14th Centuries

  • Robin Hood (1100)

  • Braveheart (late 1200’s)

1400-1500’s the 15th & 16th Century

  • Fashion in this era was greatly influenced by the high class society and the European Kings and Queens.

  • The Surcoat was a popular fashion accessory for the men of this era.
  • Peasants had a lot of different clothing styles because each particular style identified the woman with her hometown.


  • Women of this time used Pregnancy Pillows when the maternal look was fashionable.

  • Men of this time wore a Codpiece, a decorative triangular piece of fabric attached at the groin.


  • The Farthingale was a stiff metal cone-shaped article worn under skirts, while the Ruff was a large stiff collar worn at this time.

The women of Georgian high society looked beautiful in their satins and silks, but they hardly ever bathed.  Sanitation was still quite crude and they preferred to douse their clothes, their bodies and their belongings in toilet waters and perfumes.  They wore scented pomanders and carried small scent bottles about their person.  They had false teeth, false hair, false bosoms, false calves and induced large eyes which they made to falsely dilate by using Belladonna extracted from the Deadly Nightshade plant.  They were a walking deception.

Earlier in the 1600s, patches had been used to cover smallpox scars and the fashion lasted well into the 18th Century.  The patches were small plain dots of black taffeta or velvet and the shapes developed into various symbols such as stars and moons.  These were then gummed to the scars. 

Movies Representing the 15th & 16th Centuries

  • Shakespeare in Love

  • Taming of the Shrew*

  • Ever After*

  • The Three Musketeers

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • Joan of Arc: A Portrait of a Legend (1428 France)

  • The Princess Bride
  • Snow White (Disney)

  • Sleeping Beauty (Disney)

  • Willow

  • The Sword and the Rose (Disney; about Princess Margaret, sister to Henry VIII)

  • The Mission (late 1500s South America)


  • The French Courtiers influence for this time was a fashion which said “I don’t have to work for a living.”

  • The Puritan costumes were very simple. When religious values are ascendant, dress becomes austere.

1600’s Fashions

  • In Denmark the Short Jacket and Breeches were the style of the day.

Movies representing the

17th Century

  • Much Ado About Nothing*

  • Romeo and Juliet*

  • Hamlet*


  • The 1700’s started with the drastic extension of both the hips and the hair for women. Women were beginning to make contributions to society by becoming writers, business women, artists and doctors. The drastic visual display of their dress was a spectacle which far outweighed the proportions of a man.


  • This shows the hoop and mask used under a ladies dress to extend the hips drastically.


  • Hair was piled high on the head in the Pompadour style and atop the mountain of hair (which usually included pieces of someone else’s hair called a Rat) sat large hats topped with feathers, bows and ribbons.


  • The Justaucorps for men was the forerunner of today’s suitcoat. The Spencer was a short jacket without tails.


  • Near the end of the 1700’s women began to wear dresses that followed the simple lines of the Greek silhouette. The hair softened at this time as well. Women left behind the corset for a brief time.

Movies representing the
18th Century

  • Amadeus (1750)* (Mozart 1756 – 1791)

  • Emma (1816)*

  • Catherine the Great

  • The Aristocrats


  • Fashion at this time went through some very distinct changes. The 19th century starts with the Greek influence, then woman gradually add to the dress until the Greek is not noticeable. The corset returns!

  • The high society had rich fashions, while the common people dressed simply. It was an era of romance and manners


  • The well-dressed man of the nineteenth centruy England was called a Dandy.

  • The well-dressed woman wore a large bell-shaped skirt supported by crinoline. The Worth creation brought the fullness of women’s skirts around to the back.

Stays Worn about 1810.

Click thumbnail.

The unnatural hourglass figure.

Images which suggested a woman's internal organs before and after restraining in tight corsetry in the Victorian era.

Click thumbnail

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