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Step this way to hear rants about pockets, bare midriffs, and gigantic flowing powdery wigs.


The student of history views the past through all kinds of lenses that layer atop one another.

There are the events, of course. We study the wars, coronations, and frequent redrawing of boundary lines over the course of time. These comprise the staccato heart beats the drive the core of global happenings.

And then there is the ideological layer: which political movements gained traction, how religions picked up speed and exerted influence, the role that scientific advancements played in the dynamics of human civilization.

Those are the key layers, but certainly not the only ones. What about, for example, fashion trends as they developed throughout history? Perhaps the development of recreational tastes demands some examination. And how about mundane household products?

After all, these smaller dynamics are top of mind most often in our daily, contemporary lives. It follows that mundanity drove people's experience of life way back when as well.

One recent Reddit post came at the mundane corner of history in a creative way.

NativeBarbarian30 asked, "What's something that was designed for the use of one sex but is now predominantly used by the other?"

The Woman Your Man Can Smell Like

"Old Spice."

"Old Spice was launched by Shulton Inc. in 1937. William Lightfoot Schultz was inspired by his mother's potpourri, and as a result, the first Old Spice product in 1937 was a woman's scent called Early American Old Spice."

"The product was received well and therefore followed with Old Spice for men in 1938."

-- ianagiizanami

The Great Pocket Debacle 

"Large pockets. Pockets were originally meant for women to have in their hoop skirts and such, while noble men had pockets (but they were quite a bit smaller)."

"Now women have practically no pockets and men can literally fit a water bottle in their pants."

-- DragonIce01

A Flexible Brand

"Marlboro cigarettes. Before 'The Marlboro Man' became an icon of rugged masculinity, they were marketed towards women."

"They even offered red colored filter ends that would hide lipstick marks."

-- ladykatey

Functional Jewelry 

"Wrist watches were originally thought to be too feminine for men but during WWI they were found to be easier to use than a pocket watch." -- Due_Holiday8478

"Just guessing but I'd say it was probably its resemblance to a bracelet. If you'd never seen one before (i.e. when they first became a thing) you'd probably have a thought process of something like 'that bracelet has a tiny clock, that's handy!'" -- Creature_03

Full Circle

"Crop tops were originally designed for men to show off their abs" -- FatHeadedGoose

"I'm loving the resurgence of this trend!" -- 4ThaLolz

"Lol after we showed them Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, my 6 year old stepson went into his room and cut the bottom off all his t-shirts so he could be like Ted 😂. People always respond very positively to his crop top look." -- alizarin36

A Store for Everyone 

"Victoria's Secret was originally supposed to be a place for men to buy clothes for their wives without feeling embarrassed, but now it's almost exclusively shopped at by women" -- Shuckles116

"Yes, but these days if you go into one as a man looking for something for your girlfriend or wife, the people who work there are SO helpful and nice about everything." -- Lyrre

Different Needs, Same Product 

"A lot of the things women wear nowadays: makeup, wigs, high heels, and tights, were brought into fashion by aristocratic European men."

"The makeup they wore was primarily used to cover up the scars and marks from syphilis."

-- StevesMcQueenIsHere

Covert Riders 

"Women didn't use to be allowed to ride horses at all, or had to ride side-saddle because of their dresses."

"In 2002 when filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the production crew couldn't find enough skilled equestrians to be extras, because it was mostly women who still rode recreationally. Most of the Rhohirrim in the movies are actually just like Eowen, women pretending to be men."

-- Charyou-Tree

A One-Way Street 

"Names. Baby names traditionally used for boys will transfer over to girls never the other way. As soon as a boy's name becomes more frequently used by girls it ceases to be given to boys."

"Names like Sydney, Carol, Avery, Shirley, Allison, Robin, Whitney....were all originally boy names."

-- crinnaursa

Always Useful 

"Kleenex was originally marketed as women's makeup cleaner, but they started complaining because guy were always sneezing into there tissues" -- Tobin_L

"It's even sillier than that. They were designed as gas mask filters, and Kleenex had a ton of them left after WW2, so they sold them as makeup removers, which then became popular as disposable handkerchiefs." -- I_might_be_weasel

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