While many people throughout time have worn jewelry and other accessories as good luck charms, some of these items of adornment weren’t so “lucky.” As a matter of fact, some were straight up dangerous. Take your average boutonnière or corsage (flower pins used as fashionable adornment on men and women respectively) of the Victorian era.
Arsenical dyes were also a popular addition to artificial flowers and leaves, which meant they were frequently pinned to clothes or fastened on heads. In the 1860s, a report commissioned by the Ladies’ Sanitary Association found that the average headdress contained enough arsenic to poison 20 people.
The British Medical Journal wrote of the green-clad Victorian woman: “She actually carries in her skirts poison enough to slay the whole of the admirers she may meet with in half a dozen ball-rooms.”
Fashion should always slay them…but not literally!