Fashion Down Under
By Catalogs Editorial Staff
Fashion from Down Under is inspired by traditonal and new Australian designersWhen in Rome do as the Romans do. Same goes for Down Under. When in Australia, dress like the Aussies do.
Fashion “Down Under” takes into account the weather and activities the inhabitants routinely take part in. There is no one distinct dress uniform; in fact, the clothing is eclectic because the Aussies generously borrowed from other cultures, creating their own unique look.
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Those living and working in the bush wear the rugged Australian clothing favored for generations. Riding boots, oilskin coats, fur felt hats, wool vests and coats and durable fabrics such as tough cotton drill and khaki are a trademark of Australian fashion.
The first Australians were a hearty lot of cast-offs, who learned to subsist in a rugged territory. The bush was comparable to American’s Wild West, an area pioneers were eager to explore, despite the dangers and hardships. If you hear the expression ‘bush-ranging,’ this means living or ranging off the land. They had to dress appropriately to survive the extreme hot and cold.
Their clothing of choice has passed down for generations and is still worn because it makes sense and, in the bargain, looks damned good.
The required clothing had, and has, to be reliable work wear and outwear, made of durable material and based on purpose and function.
The Victorian Mounted Rifles wore slouch hats, made of khaki fur felt. The hat features a sloping brim worn with a puggaree, a thin scarf or turban made of muslin. The hat provides protection from the elements. Non-military people wear them, too. An emu feather is typically attached to the hat.
That hat turns up on the right side. However, the brim can be turned down if necessary to provide additional protection from the weather. These purely Australian hats are functional and good-looking (think Hugh Jackman in the movie Australia.)
If traveling to Australia, a bush hat (or Australian Outback hat) is a must.
Proper footwear is essential especially for those living and/or working in the bush. The typical boot is made of leather uppers bound together with pull tabs on the front and back of the boot, with elastic sides. The boot does not have a tongue or laces and often features a steel toe cap.
Ugg boots originated in this country. Made of sheepskin, Uggs are popular throughout the world, especially with celebrities, who put them on the map. The name comes from fleece-lined boots worn by pilots in World War I. These boots came to be known as FUG (flying ugg boots.) However, some maintain the name comes from ‘ugly boots.’
This type boot was worn Down Under in the 1930s by farmers needing to keep their feet warm when working outdoors. Fast forward to the 1960s when Australian surfers began wearing Ugg boots, which kept their feet warm when they got out of the water. People like these boots because of their unique look, their warmth and softness.
The Aussies typically dress more casually than their European counterparts; however, they have been influenced fashion-wise by other countries. Chinese silk appeared Down Under in the late 1800s and was a big and enduring fashion favorite. Japanese silks are also popular.
Women have worn trousers in this country for years because it made sense. Pants are uncomplicated, functional and chic and look particularly good on Aussie women who tend to be tall and well built.
As is most countries, the objective it to say warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot and hopefully look good and feel comfortable while doing it.
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