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History of Fashion: 1920s-2020s

Fashion over the years has been used to express culture, identity, and historical setting. The world of fashion has advanced incredibly with new textiles, trends, machinery, and styles. It also reflects the advances we have made in society: more acceptance, breaking gender roles, and increasing equality and rights in order to end discrimination. Looking back at fashion through the ages is a fascinating way to dive into history and explore various styles.

1920s: Glitz and Glamour

  • Influences: Colleen Moore, Marlene Dietrich

  • Low waist line and straight torso (more androgynous)

  • Men had soft collars, one or two button jackets, and straight figures

  • Designers: Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin

  • Flapper dress

  • Plus-fours, pants that gather under the knee with four inches of extra fabric

1930s: Hollywood Stars

  • Influences: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable

  • Cinched waist and strong shoulders giving a slender, feminine physique

  • Men's clothing was less formal and structured than the 20s

  • Designers: Madeleine Vionnet, Chanel

  • Beauty and makeup, wavy pinned curls

  • Men wore open-necked shirts

1940s: Influences of WWII

  • Nipped-in skirts and dresses to accentuate curves and slimness.

  • Men's clothing was much more tailored to the body to save material for the war

  • Influences: Katherine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth

  • Designers: Christian Dior, Claire McCardell

  • Women started wearing trousers to better move around and work (especially in the war effort). "Utility clothing" was also a very common staple for women

  • "Zoot suit" (very oversized coat, trousers, and tie)

1950s: The Gender Divide

  • Influences: Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly

  • Women's silhouette was very form fitting

  • Men's silhouette is much narrower than the large suits of the past, though much more relaxed. There was a clear difference between men and women based on their styles of clothing

  • Designers: Chanel, Balenciaga, Givenchy

  • Poodle skirts in later years of the decade

  • Matching accessories to all garments (color coordination, matching jewelry, long gloves, etc.)

  • James Dean "greaser" look

1960s: Space, Music, and Hippies

  • Influences: Audrey Hepburn, Janis Joplin

  • Less curvy, more boxy and loose while still being slender and "lady-like"

  • Men's silhouettes continued to slim

  • Casual wear was progressively more common

  • Designers: Mary Quant, Pierre Cardin

  • Mini skirts and dresses

  • Hippie clothing, such as Bohemian maxi skirts, unkempt beauty, and beads

  • Men's clothing was more and more colorful and patterned

  • Musicians had a huge impact on both male and female fashion trends

1970s: A Decade of Many Movements

  • Influences: Diane Keaton, Mick Jagger.

  • Designers: Yves Saint Laurent, Halston

  • Women's fashion was much more flowy and less form-fitting, especially early in the decade as a continuation of the hippie style.

  • Men's clothing kept getting slimmer, showing off a lean figure

  • Handmade materials, patchwork, and flow

  • Suits

  • Turtlenecks

  • Bell bottom/flare pants

1980s: Material Girl!

  • Influences: Princess Diana of Wales, Jane Fonda

  • Shape could either be skin tight, boxy, or more A-line

  • Men's athletic wear was tight and short, day-to-day clothing more baggy and puffy

  • Designers: Haute Couture, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood

  • Gym apparel, bodysuits, "street style," baggy graphic t-shirts and sweatpants and tennis shoes, inspired by hip hop and dance culture

1990s: Beauty and Grunge

  • Oversized and grungy or slender, elegant, and sensual

  • Men's clothing was also oversized and casual

  • Designers: Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger

  • Influences: Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow

  • Slip dresses and silk material

  • Grunge and oversized clothing

  • Men wore torn up jeans, oversized clothing, and lots of layers

2000s: New Millennium Denim

  • Influences: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears

  • More figure flattering, tight apparel to show off shape

  • Men’s clothing was either straight or oversized

  • Rap and hip hop icons often wore big and loose clothing, pop and indie singers wore skinny or boot-cut jeans and t-shirts

  • Start of fast fashion and online shopping

  • Designers: Juicy Couture, Von Dutch

  • Metallic looking materials, black, and geometrical design

  • Jeans became appropriate at every type of event. For women in particular, low rise jeans reigned supreme

2010s: Athleisure and Status

  • Slim figured clothing like "skinny" jeans and leggings

  • A-line figure

  • Men's clothing tended to be straight (not extremely baggy or extremely tight)

  • Designers/brands: Gucci, Nike

  • Influences: Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber

  • Athleisure (tennis shoes, sweat sweatpants, leggings)

  • Skinny jeans

  • Mom jeans

2020+: Aesthetics

  • Influences: Harry Styles, Kendall Jenner

  • Comfortability

  • Boys can wear dresses and skirts and tight clothes, girls can wear straight jeans and oversized clothing. Anyone can wear anything, as long as they feel good wearing it

  • Designers/brands: Gucci and Nike

  • "Aesthetics" (ex. "Cottage Core," ethereal, floral, light, and feminine)

  • Masks (matching them to your outfit, making them statement pieces, and even making them your own)

  • Nike Air Forces, Converse, Doc Martens

Fashion will continue to adapt and expand. We all have the right to expression, and fashion is the coolest way to do it. Show your true colors, and express yourself!

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Mar 08, 2023

90's fashion still undefeated 😈👑🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

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