Killer Fashion: Trends That Proved Fatal

Nowadays, it doesn’t take much for a new fashion trend to spread across the country. Sometimes you just need one celebrity to wear a cool new skirt to see an incredible boost in sales. But you’d never think your life might be at risk before buying something, would you?

That wasn’t always the case. Throughout history, new fashion trends emerged and were quickly adopted by everybody, but sometimes, unfortunately, with dire consequences. In the past, you could easily have died just by wearing a hoop skirt, poisonous makeup, or even a detachable collar. Read on to learn about the trends that proved fatal.

1. Paris Green Color

In the past, people could only make the color green by mixing blue and yellow. However, in 1775, Carl Scheele invented a new pigment which was later improved into Paris Green. The problem was that it was a mix of copper and arsenic, a highly poisonous compound.

During the Victorian times, the pigment was everywhere from wallpapers to lady’s dresses. The first to suffer were the factory workers with skin lesions, diarrhea, and vomiting, but it didn’t take long for others to fall victim to it. Rumor has it that Napoleon was killed by arsenic poisoning.


2. Super Tight Corsets

The corset was invented during Victorian times to shape a woman’s body into an hourglass figure by shrinking their waistlines. Unfortunately, the tight lacing squeezed the organs and lungs creating a myriad of health problems. They caused constipation, internal bleeding, and difficulty in breathing (hence the term: heaving bosoms).

By 1874, there were 97 diseases attributed to corsets. In one case, a woman died as two pieces of corset steel became lodged in her heart.

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3. Chinese Lotus Feet (Foot Binding)

Foot binding was the Chinese process of tightly binding the feet of women, so they could remain small, which was considered a mark of beauty. It started in the 10th century with court dancers during the Song Dynasty and was only banned in the 20th century.

Girls as young as four had their feet soaked in warm water with herbs and their toes pressed into the soles of the foot. The toes would eventually break and be bound with three-meter long cotton bandages. Foot binding led to nasty infections and some claim as many as 10 percent of girls died from gangrene and health problems.

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