The Evolution of Women's Fashion: A Look Back Through the Decades
As women, we all have different personal styles that help define who we are and how we feel. Over the years, fashion trends have come and gone, but our desire to express ourselves through clothing has remained constant. From the voluminous skirts of the 19th century to modern athleisure wear, fashion throughout history offers a unique insight into what life was like for women at each moment in time – as well as just how far society's view of gender roles has evolved. In this blog post, let’s take a look back through the decades at some of the most iconic styles that have become part of women’s fashion history!
A Brief History of Women's Fashion in the 1910s
Women's fashion in the 1910s saw a dramatic shift from the previous decade. The combination of increasing income, ownership of boutique clothing stores, and involvement in women's liberation movement meant that women had access to higher quality fabrics and fashion that was inspired by the latest French trends. From this emerged garments with a closer fit to the body and looser waistlines due to corsets no longer being seen as necessary for making an impression on society. Skirts continued to get longer throughout the decade but sharp tailoring meant that outfits still embraced modernity, making suiting and tailored dresses very popular amongst female wearers.
The Jazz Age and the Flapper Look of the 1920s
The Jazz Age of the 1920s was a fascinating period of American history. It was an era of influential jazz music, prohibition, and female liberation as embodied in the popular flapper look. Seen as modern-day revolutionaries, '20s women embraced freedom from constricting clothing and conventional behavior. They styled themselves with bobbed hair, knee-length skirts, drop waist dresses and plenty of makeup. Even the traditional corset was abandoned for a simple brassiere to accentuate the new post-war silhouette of youthfulness. Overall, this trailblazing look symbolized a newfound confidence that pushed changes in politics and society moving forward.
The Rise of Hollywood Glamour in the 1930s
The 1930s was an age of Hollywood glamour and chic, ushered in by dazzling stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable. Loose-fitting, functional dresses made way for chic gowns with cinched waists and daring necklines, the glinting sequins drawing attention to their timeless beauty. Their hair was swept up in chic bobs or curls and make-up perfected to a glamorous sheen. These movie stars graced the silver screen with their polished femininity - redefining beauty standards for decades to come.
The Sophisticated Style of the 1940s
The fashionista's of the 1940s had their own signature style - sophistication. Whether it was in clothing, hair or makeup, fashionistas during this decade understood how to make a statement without overdoing it. They held our attention by mixing classic fashion staples with new and innovative pieces to create seamless and timeless looks. Poise blended with modernity is what made the fashion sense of this era so unique and exciting. It remains an inspiration to fashion lovers even today.
How women’s fashion changed with the 1950s
The 1950s brought about revolutionizing changes to women’s fashion. As the post-war economy spurred new production methods and cheaper textiles, women’s clothing transitioned from conservative, boxy garments to more fitted styles. Fashionable teenage girls would favor high skirts with layers of petticoats worn underneath and pretty dresses with gathered waists; a definite departure from the straight-cut dresses of their mothers’ day. Women also began wearing fitted jackets and bolero-style blouses, paired with tight or wide legged trousers. The accessories changed too – notable was the introduction of sunglasses in bright colors, allowing hairstyles to remain sleek under the newly intense sunlight. All in all, it was a dramatic transformation that has greatly impacted fashion over this decade and beyond!
The Bold Look of 1960s Mod Fashion
In the 1960s, mod fashion was taking the world by storm. With its bold, bright colors and daring looks, it was both a statement and a way to express individual style. People were starting to embrace modern couture like never before, wearing outfits that included miniskirts, knee-high boots, geometric prints, and outrageous hats. There was no limit to what people could do with color combinations or shapes – if you dared to try it out in the sixties you could make a trend out of it! The progressive youth of the decade made sure their unique personalities and spirit of rebellion were broadcasted loud and clear in their fashionable choices. Who knows how different our lives would be now if mod fashion hadn't blazed through the sixties?
The fabulous 1970s
The 1970s have been coined the 'Fabulous 70s' for good reason. With an iconic style that evolved from the mid-1960s and revolutionized fashion with its bold patterns, fresh cuts, and bright colors, it's safe to say this decade brought a whole new statement to fashion. From bell-bottom jeans and platforms to knitted shirts and sweatbands – and don't forget about the hair! – there was no shortage of stylish trends for everyone during the 70s. As one of the most celebrated decades in history, the 70s had something uniquely special to offer in every corner of culture. Whether it be music, art, film, or fashion - 'The Fabulous 70s' will stay forever part of our collective pop culture history.
Craziness of the 1980s
Ah, the '80s, the decade of glam and excess. The '80s were the time when neon and pastels ran rampant in fashion and hairstyling was an art form. Even popular music went through a significant shift during this decade. While it may be hard to remember now, synthesizers and drum machines dominated the airwaves back then. With new genres such as hip-hop, house music and synthpop emerging, there was something for everyone. For many people who grew up in the '80s, it will always stand as a time remembered fondly for its boldness and creativity; after all, that's what made the '80s so crazy in the first place!
To summarize, women’s fashion has changed drastically over the 20th century. From the sophisticated style of the 1910s to the craziness of the 1980s, each era has its own characteristics that have made a lasting impact in fashion history. Each decade brought something new to fashion and let us experience an evolution of style from decade to decade. Women at different times in history embraced trends that fit with different eras, illustrated our appreciation for uniqueness and creativity. As we review these styles and look forward to what lies ahead in 2020, why don’t you join us here on Scarlet Avenue? Share your favorite looks or find new inspiration by looking through those classic decades – it’s always important to keep the past alive!