Ello der fellow readers! Today, I will be telling you a story about the changes in fashion! I must say though, I was a bit concerned with my title: I don’t want anyone to think that I am trying I say our fashion is better now than in the past (which is what evolving pretty much implies), so please for this article, think of it as just change:)
This will cover the 1920’s to Present.
It was the decade that brought fashion into the modern era. As widely referred to as the Roaring Twenties, it was the most defining style time period of the flapper; as they dressed more comfortably rather than wearing constricting clothing and defined this new era by showing their discontent with society.
The economy and community have always played a large role in what was seen on the runways and on the women who loved fashion in their day. The 1920’s was a time of rebellion from the past constricting Edwardian style. At this point, you begin to see that women make a bold statement as the wear pants now, thus the Flapper being born shortly after. It was a time of freedom with the end of the First World War, and many changes were made right after this altered time in history.
Previously, high fashion was only available to the wealthy but with the simplicity of the flapper dress and other styles of the time, women were able to make their own clothing. Most of the clothing such as the skirts and dresses were either knee-length or mid-calf. The Art Deco style was born, as most of the clothing at this time was inspired by architecture. Also notable from this time period was the fact that these women wanted to look like slender, flat chested girls rather than a curvy one. 🙂
Today, with the release of Baz Lehmann’s The Great Gatsby 2013 remake, and the fall 1920’s inspired looks on the runway, you can be sure that the modern day has not forgotten this time period of women finally getting more recognition as they dared to dress differently no matter the consequences which ended up being a very stylish era.
This time period was known as the “Stylish Thirties”, which brought back the more contemporary lady like look whose main feature for this period being the emphasis of the shoulders. This was a time of great economic troubles with the Great Depression, as Americans turn to Europe for inspiration. As for the fashion that came out of this era, the silhouette was still slender and elegant coming from the 1920’s, however the flat chest and no curves idea totally vanishes at this point. “The 1930’s women sported her figure, emphasized by fabrics cut on the bias for a more feminine drape and stretch”-(Jessicaboivin.com)
The norm quickly became daily grooming taking up countless hours or a woman’s day, as looks were now priority. The female appearance became softer in a way and more refined with the artful use of makeup and a hair perm to enhance their natural beauty. Since women had a more productive and busier lifestyle in this time period, their clothing matched their daily routines. Clothing was simple paired pieces that allowed women to move freely and function with freedom and ease. This is now simply known as daywear.
Nonetheless, there was still nightwear. More luxurious gowns were kept for the evening and fabrics were now being sorted into to categories of day and night. For the evening, fabrics such as metallic with plastic sequins and glass beads made every night look all the more elegant. Ooohhh, so sophisticated! Why its called the Stylish 20’s perhaps?
The 40’s was a time where fashion was basically put almost entirely aside when WW11 started in 1941. When the men went off to war and the women stayed on the home front, these women went to work in the factories to help the war effort and support their country.
However, there was a restriction on wool and other fabrics because of the great demand for uniforms and other war materials. Japanese Silk was for obvious reasons now banned in the U.S. after Pearl Harbor. As a result, women’s fashion made out of Japan’s fabric exports (such as nylon) were stopped.
Nevertheless, women found a way to cope with the low supply of fabric, and used different materials resulting in shorts and jumpsuits. The one piece bathing suit now turned into two-piece as well because of their fabric restrictions.
In 1947, Christian Dior introduces the New Look: this brought the famous A-line skirt, later made famous by stars such as Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday:)
In the 1950’s Christian Dior’s New Look was still very popular and it served for more designs inspired by his, in the near future. Grace Kelly and (as mentioned before) Audrey Hepburn were introduced as the decade’s style icons.
At this point, the wartime restrictions had been lifted by the nylon was still in heavy rotation. A very significant feature of this era was the great transition and awareness of feminism. Independence ideas and equality to the men that came back from the war was recognized. They played a huge price and helped immensely in the war effort and the men saw this, and at least for this time, women got to be a lot more outspoken than before.
Aside from feminism, FEMININITY (pretty much contradicting if you ask me) also grew during this time as women wanted to resemble their favorite movie starlets.
Fashion was all about soft silhouettes, corseted waists and a full A line skirt. It was pretty much their uniformed look:p Besides the A line, the pencil skirt also arose. This was normally paired with a blouse and a boxy jacket. During this memorable era, women always wanted to have a sense of connection or force with other American women (kind of like a social nationalism but for females)
“To this day, Dior pays homage to this decade and it’s elegant style” (examiner.com)
The 60’s kept a lot of the aspects that began in the fifties, until 1965. The mini skirt was made popular in 1967 when young girls all over America caught on to the British invasion of the “Chelsea Look”. A woman named Mary Quant waned to provide these girls with something new and innovative and she gained inspiration from Correges’ 1964 designs of the mini skirt. So, she created a mini that was 6 to 7 inches above the knee and made out of fabrics like PVC.
It was a time of innovation, trial and error and yet it was a bit reminiscent of the 50’s with the conservative and restrained look. It was a classic style and design. But, just as the late 1960’s hit, a drastic change was made. Bright colors, tie-dye, a mini skirts erupted and sold everywhere in America. :It was almost like the 1950’s bottled everyone up so much that the late 1960’s exploded like an old pressure cooker!”(retrowaste.com)
One thing that is really worth mentioning is the fact that Paris was no longer the fashion center in the world. The British invasion didn’t stop with the Beatles, but swept in and definitely had strong spheres of influence in the American fashion life.
Finally, lost into the center of conservative and bold were the mid-60’s. Long slender shapes, bright colors and a young London look. (This look was really pretty but unfortunately didn’t last that long)
Similar to the pattern that other decades had followed, the 70’s changed drastically from the beginning to the end. But, seriously this ear was waaaayyy different than the 60’s! A way of thinking of when the trends really changed, think of it this way: early 70’s are the late 60’s, and the late 70’s are like the early eighties.
Now how can I begin to describe this…interesting style of the 70’s? Umm…flamboyant? Extreme bright colors, long flowing skirts and pants were all on high demand. Oh and hey, it was a bit crazy: Winter or summer, short-shorts didn’t know seasons or boundaries because it never faded throughout the year! (As well as the skin-tight tees) Oh and don’t forget those roller skates!
Every year, the pants seemed to get wider and wider flares, and it was actually common to have a pair of pants that had an…oh I don’t know..32″ hem on the bottom! This quickly turned into bell-bottoms and couldn’t go anywhere but smaller from there!
Business suits for women emerge as well, when finally all women made the transition into wearing pants. Leisure suits, jump suits, track suits, you name it is was probably widely worn in this era. Gender roles were definitely constrained to a real minimum at this point, and women didn’t really put their appearance as a top priority anymore. This meant, hats weren’t as popular, jewelry was ok, and hair was done in like 5 minutes!
At this point, it is a bit too recent to actually explain or even see this era as history, so I will just explain a bit of the trends in this era:)
Leg warmers: They were not just for exercising when it came to the 80’s! These were actually commonly seen as a fashion item and paired with mini skirts. They became extremely popular among teens in this age after the film in particular: Fame and Flashdance came out.
Member ONLY Jackets: first introduced in 1981, they were widely worn during this time, men and women alike. They came in a variety of colors although grey being the dominant color worn.
Acid Wash Jeans (or shorts): Basically soaked in chlorine or some other product that removed the top layer of the blue denim color and resulted in a white jean with blue undertone. (I actually heard they were coming back in style. Is this true?) Anyways, if you were really cool in the 80’s chances are you owned a couple of these. (Because apparently in the eighties there was no such thing as owning too much denim!)
Shoulder Pads: Yup. Not just for football players! Women actually went for that squared-shouldered look putting shoulder pads in the majority of their outfits. “Because you know, what woman would not want to look like a football player?”(thegreat80s.com)
Ray-Bans!!!: They were by far the most popular sunglasses worn in the eighties (and even now) They were originally designed in the 50s but Wayfarer had declined in popularity in the 70’s But, it obviously redeemed itself by the time it was 1983 when Tom Cruise wore them for a role in the movie Risky Business. Obviously at this point everyone wanted a pair and they were sold out immediately and the business was back and booming. They were later spotted on other stars such as Michael Jackson, Don Johnson and Madonna.
The Grunge Look was really popular, as it was popularized by a grunge music scene based in Seattle. This usually included thrifted store type apparel like flannel shirts paired with a hat such as a beanie.
As for the hairstyles: The “Rachel” look from Friends was the most popular haircut that you could get:p
Overalls: These actually gained you a lot of popularity in the 90s, so points to you I guess if you had some. Any color and any pattern.
Doc Martens: AKA the best shoes in the world were made popular in the 90s as well. The were THE thing to wear if you were a teen in the 90s. Hopefully the trend is back in right now because I was basically like a 1 year old when this trend was going on so..yeah.
Ripped Jeans also were a trend back them sometimes in cohersion with the older 80’s acid wash and oh maybe you can roll up one pant leg while you’re at it because you know if the rappers do it then everyone should right? LOL. 😀
Preset Day: Well, we don’t really need to explain what we are living so I’ll just share some pictures with you:)
(Oh and fun fact, this post is 2014 words exactly including the title:) Figured it be fun to match to the year)