How did the zipper change clothing?

Asked on by roz58joy

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Zippers started to become popular in the 1910s.  Their major impact was to simplify the whole process of getting dressed and undressed.  Before zippers, all clothes had to be fastened with things like buttons, tie ribbons, or hooks and eyes.  These things worked, but were not as convenient and easy to use as the zipper.  The zipper, then, did not so much change clothing as it changed the way that people interacted with their clothing.  Zippers made it easier for children to dress themselves or for parents to help their children get dressed.  Zippers were seen by some as being sexualized as they made the mechanics of undressing easier.  In these ways, zippers didn't so much change the styles of clothing, although they did allow for more form fitting shapes.  Rather, they made clothing easier to use.

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