Q&A: When did wigs and tights go out of fashion and why?

Question by Brandon Robb: When did wigs and tights go out of fashion and why?
Ok, so I was just wondering, why and when did they go out of fashion. If your not sure what I’m talking about, I mean the clothes that people wore in the 1700’s and stuff. Like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington’s clothes.

Best answer:

Answer by ammianus
During the reign of George IV in England in the early 19th century.

The government introduced a tax on wig powder,so George stopped wearing them,which set a fashion quickly followed by the rest of London society,which then spread abroad.

The kind of trouser worn around the same time were too restrictive for George IV,who was enormously fat. He started wearing darker colours and more loose fitting trousers which again set a fashion soon followed and exported.

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3 thoughts on “Q&A: When did wigs and tights go out of fashion and why?

  1. SheyneinNH

    This style was on its way out of fashion by the late 1780’s, for several reasons.

    One reason is that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s writings had made popular a more natural look, and a rustic simplicity was beginning to be preferred over the artifice of the rococo. For women that meant the “antique draperies” which evoked ancient Greece and Rome, but for men it meant adopting the clothing styles of the working classes. So mean began to wear the greatcoats worn by coachmen, and the “overalls” (trousers) worn by sailors, farmers and day-laborers. It became fashionable to display your own natural hair. Benjamin Franklin rocked the Rousseau “natural” look when he came to Paris in 1778 as the ambassador from the new United States, wearing plain woolen coats, a badger-skin hat and his own loose hair.

    Another reason was the French revolution.
    Paris has always been a style-setter, and as the French revolution unfolded, the French deemed it unpatriotic to wear any of the fashions previously associated with the aristocracy. So out went the embroidered and spangled coats for men, the silk velvet breeches, silk stockings, powdered wigs and swords. As the French adopted the new working-class styles, so did everyone else.

    A democratization of style not only suited the politics of the new democracies in France and America, it also suited the new technology as well. As the Industrial Revolution got under full swing, for example in Great Britain, ordinary people who were working long hours in the close-quarters of the new factories wanted clothing which was easier to wear.

    BTW, it wasn’t tights, men wore long stockings with their knee -breeches.

    I may come back with more reasons, as I think of them.


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