Fashion Through the Decades: Drawing Inspiration from Different Time Periods

Fashion Through the Decades: Drawing Inspiration from Different Time Periods

From the classic sixties mod look to the glamour of the roaring twenties, fashion has long been a source of inspiration for modern trends. In this article we take a look back at some of the defining moments in fashion through the decades, exploring how these looks have been used to inform, define and reinterpret today’s fashion landscape.

The 1950s fashion was a classic era full of glamor and femininity. Inspired by the post-World War II optimism, the fashion of this period reflected new-found enthusiasm and hope. Many iconic designs that are still popular today were created during 1950s decade, here are some fashionable trends that stood out:

  • Full skirts: These were the popular choice during the 1950s. They usually hit anywhere below the knee and provided a great hourglass figure.
  • Jumpers: Women wore these sleeveless dresses with a fitted waistline and skirt over a collared blouse.
  • Accessories: Accessories played an important role in 1950s fashion and included big button earrings, tortoiseshell sunglasses, and handbags.

Some of the surefire garments of the 1950s were Breton striped T-shirts, halter or Bardot necklines, gingham check dresses, and berets. Women around the world would often wear a blazer with matching trousers for a chic, smart-casual look. One of the most famous fashion trends of 1950s were the poodle skirts. These were often made of pink or black wool and had an applique of a poodle or French embroidery.

Due to the booming economy of 1950s, people had extra money to spend on fashion. Women would buy floral dresses with pastel colors or patterned prints to look stylish and sophisticated. Animal prints were often seen as well, from zebra prints to leopard spots. For casual occasions, jeans and t-shirts moment was just beginning, with jeans being considered as the standard fashion for teenage boys and girls.

The 1950s was a golden era filled with memorable styles that never seem to go out of fashion. Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe brought the dresses to life in a glamorous, sexy and stylish way. This decade is known for being conservative but imaginative at the same time, and the fashion trends it created will remain timelessly fashionable.

2. Sixties Style: The Revolution of a New Era

The 1960s was a decade that revolutionised the culture of fashion, and it was a time of seismic change and innovation. The one-word that defined the sixties was ‘youth’. What separated this era from the decades before it was the rapid rate of social and political change. It was a time of destruction, but it was also a time of creation.

  • The 60s saw the emergence of the first wave of youth-oriented fashion designers and their clients. Mary Quant, Biba, and Paco Rabanne were among those introducing a new style that looked to the ‘now’ generation for inspiration.
  • At the same time, the Mod movement was quickly gaining momentum. With a focus on sharp tailoring, bold colours, and simple designs, Mods helped to shape the era with its clean-cut, modern aesthetic.
  • The eclectic fusion of cultures also played a huge role in defining 60s style. Clothing inspired by hippies and war medallions featured alongside paisley shirts, miniskirts and psychedelic prints.

For women, sixties style highlighted a newfound freedom and independence. V-necked mini dresses, go-go boots and bouffant hairstyles championed the notion that femininity was indeed powerful.

Meanwhile, men were experimenting with tailoring, and skinny jeans, polo neck sweaters, cardigans, and turtleneck jumpers were the garment of choice.

The impact of sixties style still resonates today. Its powerful influence can be seen in the avant-garde collections of international designers and the vintage collectables that remain ever-popular. The 1960s was truly a groundbreaking decade for fashion.

3. The Glamor of the ’70s and ’80s: Bold and Beautiful

One decade of excess and extravagance, the 70s and 80s ushered in a new era of glamor and beauty. From abundant bouffant styles on the heads of fashion icons to rock-solid minimalism, this era had a little something for every fashionista.

Hair & Accessories
Widely recognized by big-hair-dont-care style, the 70s and 80s owned volume. Ye’ see, the long hair of this era defined it, and it didn’t matter if it was real or fake. Large hairstyles rivalled Princess Leia’s infamous buns and massive, feathered, backcombed mullets were the trendiest look of the time.

Not one to forget about gorgeous accessories, the 80s loved them. Gloves, hats, and bows filled the headspace of everyone from the cool kids to movie stars. Big or small they had the clearance to dress from head to toe.

  • Platform shoes
  • Cufflinks
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Matching handbags

The Upwardly Mobile
The 70s and 80s saw a shift in the ways individuals expressed themselves through style. With the new age of celebrities forming, famous faces could be seen street side. The exploding popularity of the sport-luxe style also gave rise to a wave of high-end, high-quality fashion, which was a reliable favorite amongst the upwardly mobile.

The 80s shook up the concept of fashion trends with oversized clothes and out-of-this-world styles, roaring louder than ever with colors and prints. From puffy sleeves to sequined everything, dressing up was all about making a statement!

Amidst a thrilling time of bold fashion risks, the 70s and 80s projected glamor, with a no-holds-barred approach to style. A true visual feast for the decades.

4. Fashion of the Modern Age: Evolving Styles for the Future

The fashion industry is continually adapting to the ever-changing trends and styles of the modern age. From high-waisted skirts and skinny jeans to embroidered crop tops and chunky sneakers, the future of fashion appears to be even more daring and eclectic. As we prepare for the future, we take a look at some of the key pieces that are shaping the fashion of the modern age.

Utility Fashion – We’ve been seeing utility-style clothing take the spotlight in recent trends. Cargo pants, wide leg trousers, utilitarian jackets, and khaki skirts are some of the most popular pieces. Utilitarian fashion is the perfect combination of style and comfort. Its versatile pieces can be used to create anything from a casual outfit to a stylish evening ensemble.

Sporty Casual – Sporty casual fashion is the perfect way to stay comfortable and trendy at the same time. This style is characterized by athleisure pieces such as tracksuits, hoodies, and sneakers. The key to pulling off this look is to pair the pieces with each other in a cohesive and stylish way. Whether you’re going out to brunch with friends or attending a formal event, sporty casual can be one of the most versatile and effortless styles.

Vintage-Inspired Pieces – Vintage-inspired pieces are becoming increasingly popular in modern fashion. A-line skirts, flower-print blouses, and high-waisted trousers are just some of the items that are making a comeback. These timeless pieces are a great way to add a unique and edgy touch to any outfit. You can look effortlessly chic while staying true to the trends of the past.

Genderless Fashion – Genderless fashion is the newest trend that’s taking over the fashion world. This style is characterized by gender-neutral pieces that are comfortable and stylish for anyone. Dungarees, oversized t-shirts, hoodies – these items can be styled to create a unique and androgynous look. This trend proves that fashion is not bound to any gender – anyone can experiment and make it their own.

From utility fashion to genderless pieces, the fashion of the modern age is evolving with a variety of styles and trends. Whether you choose to stay classical and timeless or bold and unique, there’s a trend that will cater to all tastes. So let’s embrace the fashion of the future and make it our own.

Fashion is an ever-evolving concept that has no boundaries—continuing to draw inspiration from seemingly every era and reigniting forgotten trends time and again. As is evident, fashion through the decades remains a testament to the spirit of creativity, expression, and of course, a great sense of style.


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