Spanning the contemporary as well as the historical world, accessories affect the defining dress of cultures in both the Western and non-Western world. Their role today, as in the past, continues to be one of function, fashion, and status. Items such as the aglet began as a functional means for attaching men's hose and doublet in the fifteenth century and later morphed into a fashion accessory for shoes, which during colonial periods in Europe could not be worn by the lower classes. African jewelry, which is beautiful as an accessory, can also be an item of sexual attraction—its movement creating sound to attract attention. Belts, gloves, handbags, hats, scarves, and shoes are the items that accessorize fashion. During the 1950s, accessories were the key to creating a "look," and it was the hat that took center stage. Gloves, handbags, and shoes matched in color and style. A "lady" always kept her hat on in public. At this time, Hermès created a leather bag that was fastened with a distinctive leather strap and hardware; it was worn by Princess Grace of Monaco (the former Grace Kelly, a Hollywood movie star). The "Kelly Bag," as it was known, has remained popular for more than fifty years. In 2005, the "hot" accessory became the cell phone cover. Designers were teaming up with wireless service providers. Accessories are a vehicle for many people to acquire ownership of high fashion. Firms such as Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuit-ton have become household names in the accessory arena.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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