5 Ridiculous Modern Fashions With Badass Historical Origins

#2. Eyeliner

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Makeup trends come and go, but classic black eyeliner is here to stay. But we all know that makeup is nothing more than pretty frosting on a sex-cake. What practical purpose could painting your face possibly serve?

But Originally ...

You've probably heard the rumor that Cleopatra invented eyeliner, which of course isn't true, but it did all begin in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians weren't making themselves up just to feel pretty, however, but to reduce the glare of the harsh African sun on their eyes. Ever watched a football game? It's the same reason the players smear grease paint on their cheeks.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
"He didn't even notice ... I spent a lot of time on this, dick."

There's also quite a bit of evidence that the eyeliner served a medicinal purpose. In ye olden days, bacterial eye infections ran rampant, and the eyeliner was helpful for keeping flies and other nasties out of your seeing bits. Furthermore, researchers have recently discovered the addition of lead salts in the eye makeup of ancient Egyptians. It was a puzzling find, because the salts required a painstaking process to create, and lead is generally pretty low on the list of things a reasonable person wants to poke in their eye. Then the researchers did some tests on the salts and found that they were pretty damn effective at killing bacteria.

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And Egyptians.

So there you go, kids: Got pinkeye? Shove a pencil in there. The ancient Egyptians did it, and those smart dudes built the pyramids.

#1. Cuffed Sleeves

Photos.com

You, dear Cracked reader, are undoubtedly a suave and dashing specimen. You own a suit for every day of the week, and two for Friday (the weekend gets messy, ladies). We don't have to tell you about cuffs; you take for granted those buttoned sections on your suit's sleeve. Although you might have asked yourself, whenever there was a brief respite in the sexual tornado that is your off-hours, why would I need to open up my suit cuffs? I'm not going to suddenly need to get elbow-deep in a dude's torso or anything ...

But Originally ...

If you were wearing a suit in the 19th century, it was very likely that you would suddenly need to get elbow-deep in a dude's torso.

Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
And if not in a dude's torso, then in your great-great grandmother.

Those things at the end of your jacket sleeves are actually called surgeon's cuffs. Back in the 1800s, men of high social status, like doctors, had their suits tailored to their needs -- needs that very much included rolling up their sleeves to get elbow-deep in some guts on a whim, and a gentleman did not remove his coat in public, even in an emergency.

textbookofbacteriology.net
"Can I at least loosen my tie?"
"Not unless you want me to revoke your license so fast your head will spin."

As the suit became more commonplace and more likely to be worn by someone who wouldn't need to medically cut a bitch on a moment's notice, tailors started just slapping some buttons onto the fabric to emulate the style. So, much like an unpopped collar, you've been frontin' like a surgeon every single time you've worn a suit, and you didn't even know it.

Photos.com
"So I pushed the doc aside and said, 'See this coat? I got this.'"

Thanks a bunch, history.



Find out which items on this list didn't make the cut (and why they wear those stupid things) at Mannafesto, then follow Amanda Mannen on Twitter, where she's just constantly spilling things on herself.



For more fashion trends that were just plain bizarre, check out 4 Fashion Tips For Being Left Alone This Summer and 6 Popular Fashion Trends (That Killed People).

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 23 Jokes That Never Made It Into Our Best Videos .

And stop by LinkSTORM to learn the best way to wear your pink thong.

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Related Reading: If you've got an eye on fashion's future, click this link and see why blindness is about to blow up. More interested in the crazy explanations behind historic fashion trends? Click here and learn how the wig and male pattern baldness are intertwined.

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