“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” “People will stare. Make it worth their while.” Columnist, Diana Vreeland, and fashion designer, Tom Ford, spoke of fashion as if it were a necessity, in today’s world. Fashion has come a long way, during the past century. In a sense, it is a revolution: overthrowing the current standards and expectations and establishing a new conventional level of practice. To better illustrate this design, let us look at the full circle of fashion. Starting at exactly a hundred years ago.
1.) The 1920s
The Flapper era, also known as the “Roaring 20s,” was a blow. It was the decade of loose fitted, below the knee, dresses, Mary Jane or t-strap heels, feather headbands, long pearl necklaces, short bobbed hairstyles, and crochet hats. The decade of fashion got its name the “flapper” from what women were called when they were seen wearing certain dresses in the evenings. Loose fitted, below the knee, dresses that were decked out—head to toe—in beads and tassels. Women would oftentimes finish the look with a beaded or feathered headband. Men called these women flappers because of their intention of enjoying themselves and going against what was considered standard behavior for a woman. A modern film that can help you get an accurate illustration of this fashion is “The Great Gatsby.” A character in the film, Daisy Buchanan, portrays the ideal image of a flapper girl, in the 1920s.
2.) The 1940s
Fashion in the 40s, in short, was primarily focused on the hourglass figure: knee-length A-line dresses and skirts, high waists, and padded shoulders. Every suit, dress, skirt, and pant was made in the shape and silhouette of the hourglass. Accessories were regularly worn and boldened the women’s everyday look. Such accessories included hats, headscarves, and gloves. During this decade, the fashion industry primarily focused on colorful patterns. The reason for this was because women wanted to soon forget the depressing war that had just ended (World War 2). The women of the decade looked to embracing the cheerfulness that multicolored designs commonly brought.
3.) The 1960s
Having been born with an extreme sense of attitude, the 1960s fashion trend was striking, bold, and one of the most impactful eras of fashion. The beginning of the decade’s fashion began with idol Jackie Kennedy and her perfect white pearls and modesty. However, towards the end of a decade, Twiggy, a supermodel and soon-to-be fashion icon decided to dismiss the idea of modesty. What started as a decade of perfect white pearls and always being modest, turned into “there is no such thing as too short.” During the change of the era, it was said that the shorter a woman’s dress or skirt was, reflected her level of confidence. According to Vintage Dancer, the purpose of wearing short dresses and skirts was not to attract men and their sexual attention, but instead was a way for a woman to attract attention and decide if it was wanted.
Shift dresses were the first to surface in the fashion industry. The loosely fit, narrow looking dresses lacked all, if any, waistline structure. The dresses were worn above the knee and were the most comfortable dresses to wear, during the time. Drop Waist dresses were next and unlike the shift dresses, they were not as loosely fitted. They were knee-length and made to be more fitted than the shift dresses. Matured women favored this dress the most, due to its fit and the way it showed that they were no longer a girl, but a woman. Jumper dresses were the last to surface. Conflicting with the drop waist dresses, jumper dresses were primarily made to create the illusion and the women who were wearing these dresses appeared as innocent little girls or baby dolls. The dresses were full, had big bows, large round collars, were commonly made in pastel colors, and polka dots.
4.) The 1980s
When discussing fashion in the 80s, the one term that comes to mind is excessive. In the 80s, everyone was modeling the slender silhouette trends with big shoulder pads. At the time, women were the center of attention as they were becoming more involved in the workforce. Indicating that they can be just as strong, laborious, and powerful as men.
Big hair was one of the hottest trends, during the 80s. Both men and women would get the perms that were needed to emphasize the ‘poof,’ and ‘frizz’ of their hair. Now that wasn’t the only thing you could do to follow the trend. Many people, much like my mom, teased their hair insanely to match the frizzy fashion trend.
Colors were a big deal in the 80s. I would even go as far as to say that they were out of control. Neon colors were what made the decade bright and daring, as well as the continuous flow of leopard, cheetah, and zebra prints that were being seen, regularly. A common way people incorporated these colors and prints was in their athletic wear. Whether women were running, doing yoga, Pilates, or going to dance lesion, neon leotards worn with neon leg warmers (different colors and patterns) was the way to go.
One last thing that comes to mind when I think about the 80s is the punk rock fashion. Leather pants, leather jackets, lace bracelets and gloves, skirts (short or long) worn with a tank top, leggings, flats, and wrapped around their necks are layers of necklaces. The 80s was the era that daring and vivid fashion made its debut, and there is a good chance it will resurface soon. I don’t know about you, but I hope it does.
5.) The 2000s
The 2000s continued the slim silhouette, throughout the decade. Accentuating waistlines with low rise jeans, baby tank tops, and tee shirts, not to mention the silk strapped tops and crop tops that always hung above the belly button. Accessories were not too eccentric as you might think they were. You only had your hair clips and baguette purses. One trend that struck me as odd, during this time, was that every woman owned a lime green silky strapped top, dress, or skirt. I don’t particularly know why. Next to the lime green was cargo pants. Cargo pants were slowly making their appearance in the fashion world. I think they became a hit when singer, Britney Spears, was seen wearing the too-many-pockets pants in many of her music videos, and on the street.
It is the year 2020. Our decade began less than three months ago. It is too early to say what our fashion trend will. It could be the VSCO girl: high waisted pants and shorts, white tank tops or logo tee shirts, Birkenstocks, and the Kanken backpacks. It could be the “Bad Girl”: leather jacket, red lipstick, fat high heeled ankle boots, and dark ripped jeans. It could be something completely new and nothing that has been done, invented or worn before. Fashion trends for our decade are still open for discussion. However, I am confident that it will bewildering and stunning.