10 Ridiculous Fashion Fads In European History

Patches

Patches were fake “beauty marks” made of velvet, silk or leather, affixed to the face with tree sap glue. While early patches were circular, after the fad spread like wildfire starting in the late 16th century, patches started appearing in shapes like stars, hearts, flying birds and sailing ships. Women would adorn their faces with multiple patches to accentuate different features or to send code messages. There was a whole system of symbolism by which a woman’s patch placement could indicate if she were feeling flirty or bold, actively seeking a date or already married or engaged. Ladies would carry little boxes of extra patches in case they lost one or decided to change their facial fashion statement on the go.