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In the old days, people did not bathe regularly. This is not a joke, by the way. Indoor Plumbing was rare, and some people even believed bathing was harmful. In Shakespeare's day, people covered themselves with perfume to hide the fact that they did not bathe often. Upper-class men wore wigs partly to represent status and authority, but they also wore them for a practical reason-- they hid lice. And they were powdered to hide dirty hair.

Interestingly, the custom of wearing a wig-hat persisted even into the era when people DID begin to bathe regularly, and today, in British courts, male attorneys and judges still wear the wig-hat. Americans began to wear it in the early republic, but they rejected it, as they rejected other customs that reminded them of being a British colony.

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Q: Why were powdered wigs worn?
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Related questions

What did the framers wear?

powdered wig


Why were wigs worn in the 18th century?

Wigs were an outward manifestation of social status. Wigmakers held important positions in society. Elaborate powdered wigs were the fashion in the 18th century. By the end of the century, however, many young men and women were powdering their own hair instead of buying wigs.


Why were wigs powdered?

To make them look white.


What were the wigs called that are worn in Parliament?

Wigs worn in the British Parliament are called perukes or periwigs. These wigs were popularly worn in by judges, barristers and members of Parliament. Judges and barristers started wearing them in the 17th century.


What is powdered wigs?

Wigs that have a white powder on them. Washington is often pictured with one. His true hair color was red.


Who can use a wig?

Wigs can be worn by personal or theatrical purposes. Wigs are worn as a style trend, to cover hair loss and by actors in theater and film.


In 1492 did men wear powdered wigs?

they did cause they did not have good quality back then


Did the Italians wear wigs during the colonial times like the English?

Wigs were worn in Italy and elsewhere, but Hollywood has much exaggerated the extent to which wigs were generally worn in those days. Soldiers might wear them on ceremonial occasions, but for most of them wigs were very impractical in everyday service and hardly ever worn then. The better-off citizens (and only them) might wear them, but mostly when they had to dress up for some occasion, to cover a bald head or ward off the cold. Men with a good head of hair just powdered it a little and pulled it in a tail. Wigs were warm, itchy and often ill-fitting, which probably induced Italian men to really only wear them if an occasion required it.


Why were wigs worn in Parliament?

Wigs were worn in Parliament as a way to show of in the eighteenth century. It was a sign of wealth to have a wig. The bigger the wig the better.


What was the most loved fashion trend?

Of old: powdered wigs and hoop skirts. More recently: miniskirts.


Why did men wear powdered wigs?

They used the powder to get a white or off white color. Later they had developed ways of getting white wigs. The was a tax on wig powder that ended the style. Men shaved their heads and were powdered wigs because of lice, fleas, bedbugs etc...


Did Thomas Jefferson have a wig on in his pictures?

It was not uncommon for men to wear powdered wigs in the 1700s/early 1800s.