In an age where everyone is posting pictures on the internet, hoping to be seen by millions, fashion has become even more important than in the past. It often seems as if fashion is in a constant state of flux, ever-changing. Other times it seems as if certain fashion trends are constantly coming back into the spotlight. Each decade has a handful of fashion trends that it becomes known for, be it mini skirts or bell bottom jeans. There is always some new, unique tend on the horizon of fashion, but at the same time, some things never change. Also, fashion is completely different depending on where in the world you are. Here, you will find a compilation of the most popular trends in the United States for several decades as well as a comparison with the current fashion trends.
The ’20s – Often referred to as “The Roaring ’20s”, this decade broke the mold set down by past years in more ways than one. This includes the area of fashion. Past decades had serious restrictions where clothing was concerned, especially for women. The 1920’s made major strides in this area. One of the most popular fashion trends of this decade for women was a dress known as a flapper dress. These dresses were short and loose and they revealed far more skin than a woman would have dared to previously. Feathers were another major aspect of fashion during this period of time, particularly attached to wide headbands often worn with the flapper dresses. The popular clothing for men consisted of tailored pinstripe suits with wide shoulders along with fedoras, mens designer hats of that timeframe.
The ’40s – The 1940’s was another time for groundbreaking fashion choices. One of the most notable fashion choices of this era was the frequency at which women were wearing trousers. Previously, it was all but unheard of for a woman to wear anything other than a dress or skirt. However, because most of the men were away fighting in the war, women had to take on many of the jobs previously only filled by men. It was not possible to perform most of these jobs, women had to ditch the dresses and learn to love pants. For men, the most popular trend was undoubtedly an armed forces uniform.
The ’50s – The 1950s was the era of the poodle skirt, pedal pusher shoes, and flared brightly colored dresses. For the men, the “greaser” look is what was sought after. To achieve this look, the men would wear white t-shirts with black straight legged pants and black shoes or boots. TO complete the look, they would slick their hair back away from their face. The ladies dressed in light sweaters that matched their poodle skirt over top or a simple blouse or t-shirt. The pedal pusher shoes were always worn with bobby socks and the most common hairstyle for women was a high ponytail.
The ’70s – The 1970’s are often remembered for the peace movement or as it is sometimes referred to, the hippy era. The fashion for this decade revolved around an abundance of flower patterns, loose shirts for the men, generally worn mostly open. Bell bottom pants were what everyone, male or female was wearing. Also very popular was fringe vests, round tinted sunglasses, and headbands. As for shoes, platforms were the only way to go and the taller they were, the more “rad” they were. It is also worth noting that beads were on everything.
The ’90s – The 1990’s were a time of crop tops, oversized sweaters, turtlenecks, flannel shirts, and army surplus clothes. Basically, the 90’s were a strange time for fashion with so many seemingly opposing trends. One day a woman may wear a crop top with a mini skirt and leggings and the next day wear an oversized sweater with leggings. Both outfits would have been considered equally trendy. Another major aspect of 90s trends if the fact that denim was everywhere. Denim jackets were the most popular, but everything came in denim; shirts, jackets, pants, shoes, hats, skirts, dresses, shorts, purses, anything you can imagine.
The ’00s – Some trends from the 90s carried over into the early 2000s such as crop tops and denim, but other trends changed drastically. One example would be that flared jeans, much like the bell bottoms from the 70s became very popular. On the flip side, another popular trend for women was to wear tight fitting jeans with a dress and boots. There was also the “jelly shoe”. Essentially, this was a plastic, see-through sandal. This is also the time period when the punk/goth look became incredibly popular. This meant wearing a great deal of black and having all of your jeans strategically ripped. Also popular was skirts with asymmetrical hems, matching jogging pants and jackets, layering tops, belts that tied on and left strings hanging down to the knee.
Today – As for today’s fashion trends, they are truly unlike any other decade. There seems to be a myriad of different trends coming into play recently. Bold colors, mismatched prints, and wide-legged pants just to name a few. Both solid colors and patterns seem to be acceptable. Pink seems to be one of the key colors along with leopard print. Dresses seem to be on the rise again, whereas jeans have been the dominant choice for the past few decades. Designer hats also seem to be on the rise. It is never easy to predict what will happen in fashion next. As we near a new decade, it is all but impossible to determine how fashion will change as the years change. Be prepared for anything.
If one thing is for certain, it is that fashion is always changing. What is trendy today, may not be tomorrow. To keep up with the latest and greatest trends, it is advisable to follow fashion blogs as well as all of your favorite designers. Fashion is often equal parts fascinating and frustrating, but it is well worth the time and effort to understand more about trends from decades past. If nothing else, it is quite interesting to see how things have changed. Hopefully, you have learned something new about fashion throughout recent decades!