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7 Important Inventions That Revolutionalized the Fashion Industry

Fashion is, as we know it, the trend of changes, or maybe the change of trends. However you would like to define it, one thing is for sure: what is trendy now can lose its value in the future and what is common now have been a sensation in the past.

Several inventions have shaped the fashion industry to what it has become of today. Important creations in the past became “trendy” and was widely used, morphing them into essential apparels like the bra, and bikini. Other important creations made the production of clothing more efficient like the spinning jenny and the sewing machine. The others listed here are considered as women’s must-haves and staple attires in the wardrobe like the miniskirt and the simple black dress.

Fashion Revolution

The Spinning Jenny

The spinning jenny was created in 1764 by James Hargreaves. This innovation made the production of cotton yarn larger by eight to 120 spools at a time. Hargreaves lived near Blackburn in England which supplied “Blackburn greys” which were linen and cotton. During his time, Blackburn could not keep up with the demand for cotton until he developed the spinning jenny. His creation was further developed by other inventors to better accommodate the increasing demand of the world for cotton.

The Sewing Machine

Before there were sewing machines, people sewed cloths manually. As the demand for cloths increased, the supply had to keep up. However, the manual production was not effective to meet the demand.

In 1755, a German engineer who was working in England that time created the very first machine that aided sewing. His name was Charles Fredrick Wiesenthal. Many developments were made since, then, a French tailor in 1829, Barthelme Thimonnier, created the very first functional sewing machine. He used his machine to create uniforms for the French Army.

During the Industrial Revolution, the sewing machine was even more improved for better clothing production.


It’s hard to imagine a world without zippers but, believe it or not, it actually existed. It was only introduced in 1851 but did not take off probably due to the booming business of sewing machine. In 1913, it finally took off after many developments and alterations to the zipper we know today.

Little Black Dress

Black dresses were only worn during funerals and for mourning before the 1920s. Any situation outside this context did not allow the wearing of black dresses. After this decade, this simple black dress with long sleeves, and calf length became a uniform probably after the great number of deaths after the First World War

It was also suggested that it became commonly used since you can dress up or down with its simplicity and elegance co-existing.


Dresses that were below the knee in length, hats, gloves, and pantyhose were the staple outfit of women before the 1960s. Then, miniskirts became a hit.

Many claim to be the first designers of miniskirt but the alleged hit-maker was British model Jean Shrimpton for wearing a dress above the knee, with no gloves, hat, pantyhose, nor sleeves, during the first day of the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival, and kind of went against the conservative society then.

The Bra

Today, the bra is seen as something women cannot live without, let alone go outside the house without. However, in the past, before it was considered as a daily important underwear, it was nothing but a supporter – an option.

It was said that supporters for the breasts were worn as early as the 1880s. However, it was not as it had been in the 1910s wherein women were wearing fashionable bras.

The developments in bra designs were revolutionary and allowed women to sport different looks. In the 1920s, bras were designed to flatten the breasts to sport flapper dresses which were commonly worn in those days. In the 1950s, bra designs increased its function as a bust supporter and later on inspired the sweater girl look sported by Hollywood actresses. In the 1960s, a different revolution transpired and bras were not used until 1990s. During this time, the Wonderbra surfaced and became a hit. Later on in 1994, lingerie was developed and is now used by most women ever since.


The more commonly worn swim attire for women was a pair of a halter top and high-waist, wide-leg shorts, in the 1930s. On July 5, 1946, a French engineer introduced bikini to the public but was not used only until the prominence of youthful liberation in the 1960s. Today, bikinis have become a staple outfit in every woman’s wardrobe that online bikini shopping became a trend.

This is a guest post by Sunny who works at PrivyPleasures. He loves everything about clothes and online shopping. Also he understands that female buyers find it difficult to buy lingerie from retail stores, and nowadays, most prefer to buy it online.

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