Sometimes it’s hard to understand the world of fashion. It is constantly changing and things from the past come back.  But what is having a comeback at the moment is fashion that was originally workwear.

The Flannel

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The Flannel can be traced back to  around the 17th century, where farmers wore flannel shirts to protect themselves. The fabric was originally made from either carded wool or worsted yarn. A process called Carding is used to break up the wool fibers so they lay more or less parallel to one another.

The flannel can sometimes be confused with Plaid swell, which is also an ‘in trend’. Basically plaid is a pattern which is believed to have originated in Scotland, whereas flannel is a fabric, as mentioned above . The print and fabric are often used together and quickly became one. Stereotypically representing the lumberjack,  popular culture in 20th century  was always depicted with a pair of boots and a plaid flannel.

Flannel shirts today often associate with the grunge or hipster look.Modern day flannels are usually made with cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers.


Flannel isn’t the only workwear that has come back into trend.

Denim Overalls

The overalls first appeared in the U.S. in the 1700s and were known as ‘slops’.  Overalls became the uniform of the working stiff,  they served as an emblem worn by railroaders and farmers Overalls were introduced  as a protective article of clothing intended to prevent work related wear and tear. Overalls are also worn by housepainters, and carpenters in white rather than blue denim. 
While overalls were for the workers, they became a fashionable item around the 90s when grunge music became popular. Teens could be found wearing overalls with one strap hanging down and a flannel shirt tied around their waist.

another huge trend that came from workwear..


I am sure we have all heard of Timberland’s and Dr Martens, they were also originally made as workwear.

– Timberland’s

The yellow boot was originally made for hard working New Englanders. Eventually the boot started selling in stores like Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue – Beginning the new era of the yellow boot, the boot as a fashion icon. In the early 80’s in Europe the Timberland brand was known for handsewn boat shoes not the yellow boat. By the mid 1980’s it began to get some attention and was sold at high end sporting goods and department stores around Italy, United Kingdom and Germany. The Hip Hop style first started in Hong Kong around 1984, sweeping through Japan which caused a demand for the yellow boot. The boot stands as a symbol of individuality and a symbol of independence for young adults in Asia.

 – Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens were originally a  work-wear boot that was even sold as a gardening shoe.  The boot was initially worn by postmen and factory workers, their first few years of existence was based on the £2 work-wear boot. Around the 1970’s the boot had become a symbol of self expression and become a fashion icon from there. Without music, Dr Martens would have remained a workwear boot.

So many past trend are returning, Where will fashion go next, or what else will make a comeback?


Dr Martens. “The History of Dr.Martens” (Accessed 4th October)
Fashiontag. 2014. ” Do we still like OVERALLS?” . (Accessed 3rd October 2016)
Rachel. 2011. “History of the trend: Flannel shirts” (Accessed 2nd October 2016)

Rotenberk,Lori. 2013. “Bib Overalls:From farmwear to fashion icon”. (Accessed 2nd October 2016)

Staff, Rue.2014. “Fashion Flashback: The return of the Overalls”. (Accessed 3rd October 2016)
Timberland. “Timberland’s Original Yellow Boots”. (Accessed 4th October 2016)