Decades of Fashion History

Fashion History   History of Fashion Industry   Fashion Innovation

Are you looking for a summary of fashion history over the past several decades?

Apparel Search has compiled the following summary for your research.

1910's Fashion Decade

The 1910s marked the beginning of a new era of fashion. After the Victorian era, the fashion of the 1910s was a refreshing change. With the advent of the automobile, women began to dress more athletically and practically.

The silhouette of the 1910s was characterized by a slender figure and high waistline. Skirts were short and straight, with a slight flare at the hem. They were often worn with a blouse or shirtwaist and a belt to cinch the waist. Despite the short skirt, fashion at this time was still quite conservative. Women would often wear a long coat over their outfits to appear more demure.

The fabrics of the 1910s were often lightweight, due to the warm climate of the time. Linen, cotton, and silk were all popular materials. Women loved the bright colors and patterns of the era, and often accessorized with a brightly colored scarf or hat.

Hats were an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe in the 1910s. They were worn in a variety of styles, from the large, brimmed hats of the Edwardian era to the more delicate cloches of the 1920s. Men, too, began wearing hats, often choosing a soft fedora.

The 1910s also saw the rise of the modern shoe. High heels were not yet in fashion, and women often wore low-cut oxfords or ankle-strap sandals. Men, too, wore low-heeled shoes, often with a low-cut vamp.

The 1910s were a time of innovation in fashion. The silhouettes of the era were more practical than ever before, and the vibrant colors and patterns of the fabrics made for a unique and stylish look. The fashion of the 1910s may not have been as daring as the styles of later decades, but it certainly laid the groundwork for the fashion of the future.


1920's Fashion Decade

The 1920s was a period of great fashion innovation and marked the beginning of the modern fashion era. During the decade, the fashion industry saw a shift away from traditional, conservative clothing towards more daring, experimental styles. Women in the 1920s began to adopt a more liberated form of dress, characterized by shorter hemlines, looser silhouettes and bolder color combinations. The most iconic look from this period is the flapper, a young woman in a short, straight dress, often featuring beads, sequins and fringe.

Men's fashion during the 1920s was characterized by a more relaxed look than in previous decades, with wider leg trousers and softer shoulders. The most popular look was the dandy, with a wide-brimmed fedora, a long velvet jacket and trousers with a high waist and a slight taper. Accessories such as pocket watches, walking sticks and cigar cases completed the look.

The 1920s also saw the emergence of sportswear as a fashion trend, with knitted sweaters, jodhpurs and riding boots becoming popular. For formal occasions, tailored suits were the norm, with double-breasted jackets, cuffed trousers and waistcoats being popular choices.

The 1920s was a decade of great fashion experimentation, with designers pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable and fashionable. This period laid the foundations for many of the trends and styles we see today, and is often looked upon as a golden age of fashion.

1930's Fashion Decade

The 1930s marked a period of transition in fashion and style. Frocks of the decade were often inspired by the Art Deco period, with geometric shapes, bold colors, and intricate beading. Women's fashion of the 1930s was all about femininity, glamour, and sophistication.

The silhouette of the era was soft and elegant, with a focus on the waistline. Dresses had a fitted bodice and a full skirt, often with a gathered waistline and a pleated or flounced hem. Daytime dresses could be tea-length or below the knee, while evening gowns were floor length.

Fabrics for the era were often lightweight and often featured geometric or floral patterns. Popular fabrics included satin, velvet, organza, and lace. Colors ranged from muted tones of black, gray, and beige to bright and vibrant hues such as coral, pink, and turquoise.

Accessories of the 1930s included wide-brimmed hats, gloves, and fur stoles. Beaded bags, beaded jewelry, and large statement earrings were also popular. Shoes were often high-heeled pumps or peep-toe shoes with delicate straps.

The 1930s fashion was a combination of classic elegance and modern sophistication. With its focus on femininity and glamour, it was a style that has stood the test of time.

1940's Fashion Decade

The 1940s was a revolutionary time for fashion. Women’s fashion in particular had to adapt to the wartime restrictions, yet still remain stylish and practical.

The 1940s saw the emergence of a new silhouette in women’s fashion. This was due to the rationing of fabric due to the war. Women’s clothing was designed to be more tailored and structured, with clean lines and minimal embellishment. Skirts were fuller and often below the knee, and dresses were often pleated or gathered at the waist. This silhouette was often referred to as the ‘Victory Roll’, as it was popularized by the USO (United Service Organizations) during World War II.

The materials used in 1940s fashion were also very limited due to the war. Synthetic materials such as rayon and nylon were widely used, as natural fibers such as cotton and wool were rationed. This led to the development of new fabrics such as jersey, which is still popular today.

The 1940s saw a huge trend in hats, which were often worn with a dress or suit. The most popular styles included the beret, pillbox, fedora and the trilby. Hats were a great way of expressing individual style, and were often adorned with feathers, flowers, and other embellishments.

Shoes were often low-heeled and made of leather or synthetic materials due to the war. The most popular styles included the spectator, the T-strap and the Mary Jane.

Women’s fashion in the 1940s was both practical and stylish. The silhouette was tailored and flattering, and the materials used were limited but still fashionable. Hats and shoes were an important part of the look, and were often embellished for a more individual style.

1950's Fashion Decade

In the 1950s, fashion was an expression of the post-war optimism and newfound affluence of the era. The look of the 1950s was all about femininity, with an emphasis on hourglass silhouettes, full skirts, and bright colors. Women’s fashion was characterized by nipped-in waists, full skirts, and petticoats. Men’s fashion featured tapered trousers, crisp shirts, and narrow lapels on suits.

For formal wear, women wore full-length evening gowns, often in vibrant colors or patterns. For daywear, popular choices included mid-calf skirts and tailored suits, with blouses featuring Peter Pan collars and large bows. Accessories like gloves, hats, and scarves were also popular.

For men, the classic 1950s look was a well-fitted suit, with narrow lapels and tapered trousers. The colors of choice were grey, navy, and charcoal. Accessories included hats, ties, pocket squares, suspenders, and cufflinks.

Footwear for both men and women featured stiletto heels, kitten heels, and chunky flats. For daywear, loafers and saddle oxfords were popular.

The “greaser” look was also popular in the 1950s, with leather jackets, rolled-up jeans, and white T-shirts. This look was often associated with the rock and roll culture of the time.

Overall, the 1950s was a decade of optimism and celebration of femininity, where people embraced a classic and timeless look.

1960's Fashion Decade

The 1960s were a time of great fashion and style. From the bold and daring styles of the Mod culture to the hippie-inspired Bohemian look, fashion in the sixties was all about expressing oneself and having fun with fashion.

The Mod look was characterized by bright colors, geometric patterns, and short skirts. Women often wore bright mini skirts, go-go boots, and colorful tights. Men wore narrow trousers, slim fit suits, and pointed shoes. This look was popularized by the British youth culture, and was embraced by the Beatles and other iconic bands of the time.

The Hippie look was a complete opposite from the Mod look. It was all about peace, love, and freedom of expression. Women often wore long, flowing skirts and peasant blouses, or colorful paisley print dresses. Men wore bell-bottom trousers and brightly patterned shirts, or tie-dyed shirts and jeans. Accessories like headbands, scarves, and peace sign necklaces were popular for both men and women.

The 1960s also saw the rise of the “Youthquake,” a movement that championed youth culture and encouraged young people to express themselves through fashion. This resulted in a variety of styles, from the preppy look of the Ivy League to the more bohemian styles of the hippies. Women's fashion was particularly revolutionary during this time, with the mini-skirt becoming an iconic symbol of the era.

Fashion in the 1960s was a time of great creative freedom and self-expression. It was a time when people were encouraged to be bold and daring with their fashion choices, and the results were truly amazing.

1970's Fashion Decade

In the 1970s, fashion was inspired by the "Me Decade" and the disco era. The styles of the decade were bold, daring, and colorful, and they continue to influence fashion today.

The 1970s saw the rise of many fashion trends, from bell-bottom jeans to platform shoes. Bell-bottom jeans were a popular style of the decade, and they were often worn with a tucked-in shirt and wide belt. Platform shoes were also a popular style, and they were often decorated with colorful beads or sequins. Both men and women wore bell-bottom jeans, and they were often paired with brightly colored shirts and patterned vests.

The clothing of the 1970s was often bright and bold. Many people wore flamboyant patterns and bright colors, such as neon pinks and yellows. Men wore brightly colored shirts and patterned pants, while women wore dresses with ruffles and bold prints.

The 1970s saw the rise of the "disco look." This style was characterized by tight-fitting clothing and sparkly fabrics. Women often wore tight-fitting pants and tops with sequins and glitter. Men wore tight-fitting shirts and pants, often with a wide collar and colorful print. Platform shoes were also popular among both men and women, and they were often paired with bright colors and prints.

The 1970s also saw the rise of the "punk look." This style was characterized by ripped jeans, leather jackets, and punk-inspired accessories. Both men and women could be seen wearing ripped jeans, leather jackets, and spiked hair.

The 1970s was a decade of bold, daring, and colorful fashion. From bell-bottom jeans to platform shoes, the styles of the decade are still influencing fashion today. Whether you're looking for a classic look or a modern spin, you can find inspiration from the fashion of the 1970s.

1980's Fashion Decade

The 1980s was an iconic decade for fashion. It was a time of bold colors, loud patterns, and shoulder pads. This era was all about making a statement, and fashion was the way to do it. From neon leggings to acid-wash jeans, the 1980s was the era of self-expression.

The 1980s was a time of bright colors, from the primary colors of red, blue and yellow., to the pastels and neons that. were popular in the decade. Women wore bright and bold colors for their clothing and accessories, and neon was a popular choice. Bright colors were often paired with other bold pieces, such as leggings, leg warmers, and oversized sweaters.

For men, the 1980s was a time of baggy and loose-fitting clothing. Popular items included oversized T-shirts and jeans, as well as bright and bold colors. Tracksuits were also popular, as they were comfortable and fashionable.

The 1980s was also the era of the shoulder pad. Shoulder pads were popular for both men and women, and they were an easy way to add volume to an outfit. They were often worn with blazers and oversized sweaters.

The 1980s was also the decade of denim. Acid wash jeans were popular for men and women, and denim jackets were a wardrobe staple. Denim was often paired with bright colors and bold patterns, such as leopard print and zebra stripes.

The 1980s was an iconic decade for fashion, and it was a time of self-expression. Bright colors, bold patterns, and shoulder pads were just a few of the fashion trends of the decade. From neon leggings to acid-wash jeans, the 1980s was a time of self-expression through fashion.

1990's Fashion Decade

The 1990s was a defining decade for fashion, with trends that still influence today's fashion. From the hip-hop and grunge culture to the revival of classic looks, the 1990s were a time of iconic style.

The early 1990s saw the resurgence of classic fashion staples. Oversized blazers, floral prints, bright colors, and chunky jewelry were all popular looks during this time. Women’s fashion also featured feminine silhouettes and corset-inspired tops.

The mid-1990s saw the emergence of a more urban look. Hip-hop and grunge styles influenced the fashion of the time, with baggy jeans for both men and women, oversized t-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers. The iconic plaid shirt was also popular during this time.

The late 1990s saw the return of classic preppy looks, with polo shirts, khaki pants, and boat shoes. Women’s fashion featured more feminine cuts, such as fitted dresses and skirts. Denim was also a popular look, with both light and dark washes.

The 1990s were a time of diverse fashion, with a mix of classic looks and modern styles. From hip-hop to preppy, the 1990s were a time of iconic fashion that continues to influence today’s trends.

2000's Fashion Decade

The 2000s were an iconic decade for fashion. From low-rise jeans to belly shirts and trucker hats, fashion in the 2000s was a unique mix of classic American style and cutting-edge trends. The early 2000s saw a resurgence of vintage styles, with low-rise jeans and babydoll tops making a comeback. The mid-2000s were a time of experimentation with bold colors, leggings, and oversized clothing. The late 2000s introduced a more polished, preppy look, with skinny jeans, designer handbags, and structured blazers.

Low-rise jeans were the epitome of 2000's style. These jeans, which sit just below the waist, were often paired with belly shirts and crop tops to create a sexy, casual look. Women also embraced the denim mini skirt, which was often paired with a tank top and cardigan. Men wore low-rise jeans with polo shirts or graphic tees.

Trucker hats were another major trend of the 2000's. These hats, which feature a curved brim and a mesh back panel, were popular among both men and women. Trucker hats were often paired with cargo shorts and graphic tees for a casual, laid-back look.

The 2000's also saw a resurgence of vintage styles. Flared jeans, babydoll tops, and halter tops were all popular among women. Men embraced retro clothing such as bell-bottoms and graphic tees.

The mid-2000's saw a shift towards bold colors and patterns. Women embraced bright colors and leggings, while men wore graphic tees and jeans with bold, oversized designs. Women also wore oversized sweaters, hoodies, and long tunics.

The late 2000's saw the introduction of a more polished look. Skinny jeans, designer handbags, and structured blazers were all popular among women, while men embraced slim-fit suits and dress shirts. Women also embraced the maxi dress, which was often paired with a cropped jacket and statement jewelry.

The 2000's were a time of fashion experimentation and creativity. From low-rise jeans to trucker hats and designer handbags, the 2000s saw a unique mix of classic American style and cutting-edge trends.

2010's Fashion Decade

The 2010s were a decade of style and fashion that were heavily influenced by the previous decade. The decade was marked by a resurgence of minimalist style, the use of bright and bold colors, and the emergence of new trends that would define the decade.

Minimalism was a key aesthetic of the 2010s. This style focused on simplicity and clean lines, often relying on monochromatic color palettes and neutral tones. Minimalist fashion was often paired with bold accessories, such as statement jewelry and oversized bags. This trend was also seen in the home decor world, where basic white walls and exposed furniture were popular.

The use of color was also a big part of the 2010s fashion. Bright and bold colors were seen on the runway and in everyday fashion. This trend was heavily influenced by the technology boom of the decade, with tech companies using bright colors to make their products stand out. This trend was also seen in the streetwear world, where bright colors were used to make a statement.

One of the biggest trends of the decade was athleisure. This style combined comfort and fashion, with comfortable and stylish pieces that could be worn both to the gym and out on the town. Athleisure was made popular by celebrities and influencers and soon became a wardrobe staple for many.

The decade also saw the emergence of new trends such as the “no makeup” look and the oversize hoodie. This look, popularized by celebrities such as Rihanna, embraced a more natural look and de-emphasized the need for heavy makeup. The oversize hoodie was also popular, often paired with leggings or sweatpants, and was often seen on the streets and in the gym.

Overall, the 2010s were a decade of style and fashion that saw the emergence of new trends and the resurgence of minimalist style. The decade was marked by bright and bold colors, the embrace of comfort, and the use of technology to create new looks. The trends of the decade have left their mark on fashion and will continue to influence style and fashion in the years to come.

More fashion decades to follow.  Be patient.

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