dare to wear a Duttenkragen today? Probably, you’d ask if ‘it’s a
Can you think of life without jeans and T-shirts or skirts and tops?
Velvet tops, tank tops, smock tops, you name it. If capris and
dungarees are your favorites, how would you feel about slacks or bell bottoms,
the rage of the seventies? Isn’t it funny, how fashion keeps
changing? Let’s take a quick look at some outfits and accessories
that were a rage in earlier times.
In the mid sixteenth
century, the Duttenkragen was ‘in’. Where? Want to hazard a guess?
It was the craze in Germany. Made of fine linen, starched and made
to stay folded and close to the neck, the Duttenkragen was a wide
shaped collar, white in color.
It became such a craze that it was considered a traditional part
of the Jewish dress.
People who frowned at the fashion of the wide collar referred to it
as the cartwheel! It was popular in Germany until the eighteenth
century. The Duttenkragen, however, was a mid-1950s Spanish
creation, when Spanish men, women and children used to wear it.
Girls, if you’ve wanted to go swirling in one of those frocks with
layers and layers and layers of clothing, here’s something that
could be of interest to you. In the mid nineteenth century, a
gorgeous gown was the craze in Paris. Known as the crinoline, the
lower (skirt portion) was supported by an underskirt, for the dress
was massive. Made from silk or satin, the dress was embellished with
flounces. It had a flowing effect and hoops were used to support the
almost circular flounces. The rage was, however, short lived and the
crinoline faded away by 1870.
Can you imagine leather or cloth-wear for the ankles and the lower
leg, with side fastenings? These special kinds of outer stockings
did not have any soles, but they covered the shoes and protected the
leg and the shoes from rain. Known as gaiters, they were first
introduced in France in the seventeenth century. Until the
eighteenth century, they were used with army uniforms, but they
slowly paled into oblivion.
If you’ve been amused by a grand parent’s monocle, try taking this
one. Lorgnettes were an early form of magnifying lens that our
grandparents held when reading a newspaper.
However, the similarity ends with the concept. Lorgnettes were
spectacles with a long handle. Naturally, they were not to be worn
but held when reading. It was a favorite with women during the
During the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth
century, there were stockings for men known as galligaskins. The
specialty of the galligaskin was that it reached up to the knees
much like the stockings that we are familiar with, but they ended at
the hips. Between the knees and the hips, they were either padded or
smooth. Sport trousers like knickerbockers were reminiscent of the
galligaskins, but they ended at the knees. Probably some
experimentations and improvisations later led to the stocking and
How would it have felt sporting any of these? Strange. Maybe not,
had we belonged to that age.