Women’s Fashion Through the Decades

Elizabeth Simmons, Editor

2020 is quickly approaching, and it seems that everyone is wanting a repeat of the Roaring 20’s during the Prohibition Era and speakeasies and flappers. Personally, I couldn’t agree more, but I’m not interested in the history of this time before the Great Depression, I’m more interested in the fashion.

Keeping this in mind, I decided that a new year approaching also means new trends, and I’m curious what trends might set off next year. Let’s take a minute to review the fashion trends through the decades.

1920’s – This time is often referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” because of the crazy partying that went down. However, you can’t show up to a party in your everyday clothes, can you? Absolutely not! You wear your very best attire, and, back then, the best and flashiest outfits any woman owned was a flapper dress. They dangled gems and when you swayed to the beat of a song, they swayed along with you. Matched with a feather in your hair, this look is iconic!

1930’s – During the Great Depression, people were often making their ow clothes from whatever fabric they could find. Kids were often dressed in flour sacks. So often, in fact, that flour producers began to put prints on their flour sacks and women would use them for the fabrics. Women didn’t often wear the same thing as their children, though. However, floral prints were a hit during this time!

1940’s – The 40’s weren’t much different for fashion, seeing as the economy was still recovering, however, women often wore wide-brimmed hats with a ribbon tied around it matched to their dresses – still often floral print or something simple. Around this time, dresses began featuring pockets more often.

1950’s – This is the era of the “perfect housewife” with an image of a woman, dressed in blue and white polka dots matched with her shoes and a red ribbon tying up her hair neatly. Women wore this outfit more often than not, and they worked from the moment they woke to the moment they went to bed.

1960’s – The 60’s is when brighter colors began to find their way to the forefront. Bright, flashy colors were often featured in dresses that grew shorter and tighter as time went on in the decade. This is about the time women felt comfortable wearing pants more often as well, so many women took advantage of this option.

1970’s – The 70’s was the time of skirt and shorts growing shorter and disco fever became an iconic time in fashion as well. This was when people started going out dancing more often. Some runners in the forefront of music and the reason people flocked to places to go dancing were, of course, the iconic bands ABBA and Queen.

1980’s – In the 80’s, women wore tight leggings under their dresses and bodysuits to go out and about with their hair crimped and leg warmers. Do you remember Barbie from Toy Story? Yeah, think about that outfit and you’ve got the exact image of an 80’s lady.

1990’s – This time was filled with pleated plaid mini skirts and chain belts, but we can never forget the items that have definitely made a comeback recently: chokers, low-rise jeans, scrunchies, and crop tops. These items paired with a mood ring sounds like the perfect 90’s look.

2000’s – The early 2000’s was reserved for popcorn shirts, jeans with bedazzled pockets, halter tops, and lace-up jeans. Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana showed everyone how to dress appropriately at this time, and we all listened pretty well by adding in scarves and glitter constantly.

2010’s- Nowadays, women are often found in skinny jeans and boots or sneakers. Some can be spotted in oversize hoodies and t-shirts, but most are found in leggings or sometimes even dresses with wild prints. Our fashion has a touch of all the years in the past, with scrunchies, glitter, bright makeup, etc. But, knowing what we’ve already been through and what we have now, what will our future in fashion behold?