a fashion {r}evolution

The other day, while waiting for The King’s Speech to begin at the Alamo Draft House, my sister and brother-in-law and I watched the pre-show “entertainment” (I’m using quotes because it was NOT entertaining!) and engaged in various conversations about what we were watching. At one point in the discussion, I made a comment about how people sound different now than they did back then. I wanted to know why men and women not only speak differently, but sound different now. John (my BIL) commented that radio technology and sound recording was obviously less high-tech than it is now, and that perhaps the sounds we were hearing weren’t exactly what they sounded like back then. Maybe we DID in fact have the same intonation, but that it was difficult to hear from less than stellar sound recordings. While I agree with John in that aspect, it brought me to think about the other ways in which we are so different from our predecessors. Not only do we speak differently, but we also look different. Granted, style is constantly evolving, and therefore it is only natural that we style ourselves differently than our ancestors (I mean, petticoats and corsets are still here, but not exactly used by the majority of women nowadays!), but the evolution of our changes is still so fascinating.

Here are some of the ways in which we’ve changed styles over the years:

The 1900’s

Narrow shoes, straw “boater” hats, lace up collars and feathered hats. The style was conservative, not showing any legs or arms for the women. Men’s suits were also tailored for a slim fit. Trousers were not baggy and coats were long.

1920’s

Women’s hemlines begin to rise. Fits become baggier and stocking trends start to rise as more leg is being shown. Due to the influence of the Middle Eastern colonies on England, exotic prints and patterns show up in fashion houses. The “Flapper” era takes off.

1940’s

 Wartime causes fashion to be more practical than flamboyant. Women begin to embrace a masculine silhouette at home, as more and more wives begin to work while their husbands are at war. Jeans become more popular with the younger generation, worn rolled at the ankles. Both men and women embrace comfort over style.

1950’s

The “Grease” era: men wear motorcycle jackets and slick back their hair. Pedal pushers and poodle skirts are popular with women. Men wear their hair short, while women prefer pony tails and bouffants. Grace Kelly and Cary Grant were icons of style during this time.

1960’s

Bell bottoms and mini skirts were all the rage, and flower power was everywhere. Men began to wear their hair longer while women started experimenting with bold makeup and patterns. Heel height soared to new levels with the platform craze. It was the start of the disco age.

1970’s

One word: HIPPIE! Denim became the material of choice. Earth tones and logos on t-shirts were common. Afros and long straight hair became more popular. Track suits and tight fitting pantsuits were seen on men. Disco was in full swing a la John Travolta.

1980’s

Men’s clothing became tighter, while women went baggy. Shoulder pads and large lapels were common on suits. It was the age of the perm. Makeup went bright and bold, and layers were the new craze. Madonna and Billy Idol became fashion gods for their trendsetting.

1990’s

 It was the age of grunge and Vanilla Ice look-a-likes. Girls continued to layer and err on the side of baggy, while guys brought back the slicked hair style. Rap music artists influenced a large part of the men’s look, while moms all around the world embraced the “MOM JEANS”. Keds and Espirit were popular brands with teen girls.

2000’s

Clothing began to get smaller; pants got tighter; skin was “in”. Girls softened their makeup, and tamed the permy frizz that was the 90’s. Guys started following the Abercrombie trend: prepster hip. Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe exploded in the teen girl realm. All over the world, women cut their hair in the “Rachel” style.

As you can see, style has evolved drastically since our days in shirtwaist and lace up boots. However, the 2000’s have been the years where we’ve brought it all back. From corsets to bell bottoms; stirrup pants to baggy tees; neon bangles to blue eyeshadow. We’ve incorporated so much of the past 100 years into our style now. Yes, we may be moving forward in other areas of our lives, but it’s clear that in the world of fashion, history really DOES repeat itself!!

I for one consider myself a child of the 60’s/70’s. I love the hippie chic look, and often wear flowy patterns, flowers in my hair, and feather earrings. To me, that era was all about freedom in dressing. It was about expressing yourself while being comfortable. It was finding femininity in bold statements. It was flirty and fun. And I love it! 🙂

What era does YOUR style reflect?

hearts and hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. Have you noticed how this season there is something in style from each and one of those eras? Watching old movies I no longer think: “their clothes look so funny” It’s all back! Obviously with a modern twist, but vintage shopping has never been as easy and chic!

    • I know! come to think of it, I do have:

      platform clogs
      bell bottoms
      leg warmers
      long prairie skirts
      lightwash denim
      50’s housewife inspired dresses
      1920’s inspired hair (at the moment)

      hmmm…..weird! i love it though, we are able to now mix and match decades to create our own look!

      🙂

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  1. […] reading this post, on the evolution in fashion over the decades, I came to the realization that in this […]

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