We all know: Fashion trends come and go. One year is the latest craze, which will fly back into the garment bag next year. It is interesting to note that this is not a new phenomenon, because fashion has been reinvented time and again for over 100 years. Fashion was a kind of mirror of contemporary society, since the looks of men and women were always shaped by the circumstances of the time. If you take a look at the looks of the last century, you can also get an idea of what it was like back then.
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The constant change in fashion
The video from Glam.com got to the point, don’t you think? It perfectly shows the different looks of the last 100 years, from the twenties flapper dress to the colourful hippie outfits of the seventies and boyfriend jeans from 2015. Whether on the street, at work, in sports or when going out, people’s outfits have undergone immense changes over the years.
If you look at the working world of the past, you will find nothing in the offices but suits, hats and fine shoes. Today things look different. What started with casual Friday has since been introduced by all employers every day of the week. Even in sport, fashion went through changes. Remember how short those soccer shorts were in the’80s? Those who are still stuck in the same trend of the past – but who knows how long – are the snooker players who still have to show up in their suits. The professional poker players are fashionably seen in a completely different league, they have nevertheless all liberties with the choice of the clothes. From suits to cowboy hat to football jerseys there was almost everything to see at the poker table.
Even here you can see how the trend of fashion over the years has turned into casual, less strict and chic, but comfortable and practical is now the motto. But until people came to today’s look, fashion went through many a social change. We’ve been looking a little closer for the last 100 years.
1920s – The Golden Twenties
Almost 100 years ago, the Golden Twenties, the Roaring Twenties. Not for nothing they were so called, as they were marked of a newly found zest for life, which was really celebrated in this time. Gold and glitter, sequins and feather boas, flapper dresses, headbands and for men dandy suits, suspenders and felt hats were the characteristics of current fashion. The woman’s waist was hidden under short, straight flap dresses, the hair was cut off. The androgynous look experienced its heyday here, after all the woman got a completely new position in society at that time – she even smoked now, but only with a cigarette holder, of course.
1930s – Traditional thirties
Unfortunately, the party mood of the twenties said goodbye to the economic crisis as quickly as it arose. In the 1930s, the style of women changed from glittering party outfits to elegant women’s fashion. The hip experienced a renaissance, which now came to light again with long, tight dresses. Costumes and blouses with large sleeves shaped the street scene. The style icon of this period was undoubtedly Marlene Dietrich, who at that time also made the long, wide trousers, which later became cult Marlene trousers, socially acceptable. Also hats were missing neither with woman nor with man. The latter largely retained their twenties style with suits and suspenders.
1940 – Circumstances make you inventive
For obvious reasons, fashion was radically changed in the forties. There was no material available for dazzling and elaborate dresses, so women had to become inventive and usually made their own dresses. New things were made from the old and to save material, the clothes were especially figure-accentuated. What you could see at that time were red lips. An accessory that should be bursting with sadness.
1950s – Rockabilly is alive
The society of the fifties finally came a bit closer to that of the twenties. There was again reason for joy, reason to enjoy life and to devote oneself to fashion again. Christian Dior laid the foundations for the typical rockabilly of the fifties as early as the late forties, when he placed wide-cut skirts with large petticoats in the shop windows, plus tight blouses that created the “new look”. A new style was also the order of the day for men. The suit gave way to casual jeans in the younger generations. White T-shirts and leather jackets formed the image of the men on the streets – James Dean and Elvis Presley say hello!
1960s – The Swinging Sixties
The sixties, also known as the Swinging Sixties, were marked by protest movements. Instead of bowing to old standards, people began to inform themselves and to stand up for their own cause. The rather romantic fashion of the fifties was disposed of without further ado; instead, they took to the streets in dresses with an A-line and miniskirts. Jackie Kennedy was the fashion icon at that time with her unconventional and rather simple look. For men, jeans and leather jackets continued to be the trendy outfit par excellence.
1970s – flower power of the hippies
Hardly any other fashionable era is as notorious as that of the 1970s, when the hippie movement conquered society. Striking colours, patterns and accessories reflect the feeling of freedom and individualism of that time. Men and women crammed into tight tops and tight jeans at this time, but extremely worn out at the bottom. Hair was now worn long by men and women, the upper lips of men were covered with beards, clothing was tailored and dyed in a colourful batik look, and flowers adorned hair and outfits alike.
1980s – The age of fashion sins
In the eighties one can say, stylistically it went quite downhill. Flat skirts and fine crocheted jackets gave way to shoulder pads, carrot pants, puff sleeves, perms and neon-colored XL sweaters with leggings – combination at will allowed. It was the time when the most diverse musical styles were celebrated, whether rock or hip hop. With her song “Material Girl” Madonna is probably the soundtrack of the eighties. The economy was on the upswing again, so we went to the department stores in search of the flashiest leggings and the bluest eye shadow.
1990er – A mix of styles
In the nineties, the world is changing, the Wall is gone, the world is reorganizing itself, travelling is becoming easier. There is a mix of styles that has been influenced by music and American influences. With Kurt Cobain, the grunge style with torn jeans and colorful dyed hair cannot be overlooked, Britney Spears gives with her school uniform look a new standard for the young female generation. There was not really a uniform look in the nineties, one simply dressed according to one’s own example. But there was a lot to see: huge sweaters and jewellery, jewellery, jewellery – at that time the motto was: More is more!
Today – Everyone does what they want
What does it look like today? People today enjoy their freedom, and that applies to both life and fashion. Individuality is the order of the day, trends come and go faster than you can see, from one trendy summer look to the next lie miles, who wants to wear the same outfit from last summer? In addition, male and female fashion are converging more and more. Skinny jeans are now also available for men, shirts for women, androgynous look. Life and fashion have become fast-moving, in constant motion. It’s no wonder that some of the fashion styles of the last century like to repeat themselves, after all retro and vintage looks could hardly be more trendy.
People’s fashion has always reflected social circumstances. The clothing style was chosen according to the current mood of the people. While in the decades between the Golden Twenties and the shrill Eighties there was always a very clear style of clothing, this has been broken up since the nineties, so that there are now many different styles of clothing. Our fashion is as individual as we are. What’s your favorite fashion epoch?