Fatal Fashion: 21 Historical Fashion Trends that led to the Death of Many

History’s most dangerous fashion and beauty trends

JustAnnet 👑


A 1862 cartoon titled “The Arsenic Waltz” alluding to the use of arsenic in dresses and artificial flowers. (Source: National Geography)

There is no beauty without pain

WeWe have all heard this saying mainly because historically the quest for beauty has sometimes led to pain and sometimes even death. People have often gone to extremes to achieve beauty. Below, I list some of the weirdest and most lethal fashion trends that ultimately led to the death of many.

1. Corsets

Death through tight lacing cartoon (Source: Police News, 1870)

In 1903, Mary Halliday’s autopsy revealed that she had two pieces of corset steel in her heart. As strange as this may sound, she was not the only woman to fall victim to this extreme fashion trend that dominated the Victorian era.

Corsets were an essential undergarment for the Victorian woman, women who dared not to wear them were considered loose and scandalous. No self-respecting woman in the Victorian era would be caught dead without her corset. However, this fashion trend did lead to many women becoming fashion victims in the literal sense. Corsets were laced so tight that they caused constipation, indigestion, internal bleeding, and fainting from the pressure placed upon the lungs. In the worst-case scenario, the complications that resulted from wearing a corset led to death.

2. Belladonna eye drops

Toxic belladonna fruit (Left) and homeopathic preparation of belladonna (Right) (Source: Wikipedia)

Belladonna eye drops would dilate a woman’s pupils. The dilated look during the Renaissance era was considered beautiful and seductive. Although many achieved the desired seductive look by administering the toxic eye drops, it was not without sacrifice. Belladonna is an extremely toxic herb that often led to skin irritations, heart problems, and potential blindness.

3. High and tight collar



JustAnnet 👑

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