fashion trends history

The Most Popular Fashion Trends Through the Decades

Through the decades, fashion has altered significantly. As time changes, so does fashion and its trends. Sometimes fashion trends come, go and then come back again. Trends are constantly changing. Here are the fashion trends from the 1910s to now.


The Edwardian period was still very conservative within politics, society, and fashion. Women were often seen in loose dresses, always wearing stylish hats. Lace was the most popular fabric used in designs and the waistline was cinched in, usually with a sash. Hemlines began to move past the ankle, although there wasn’t a significant change in this department until the next decade


The Roaring Twenties was a period of change and development. The post-war world was tired of the old, constrictive fashion and wanted something free and casual. The most iconic fashion trend of this decade was the flapper dress. The relaxed drop waist style, joined with embellishments highlighted the extravagance of the time. This, alongside a simple headband and short bob hairstyle, demonstrated how youth was taking over and they wanted to feel empowered and fabulous.


The 1930s is seen as a difficult time for many. After The Great Crash in 1929, it seemed that many people stopped spending so much money on new clothes. Fashion had moved away from the embellishing of the 1920s and towards simple patterns. Known as the ‘Golden Age of Glamour’ however, silk, velvet, and chiffon evening gowns started to become more popular. Another new introduction during this decade was the rise of trousers.


The fashion during the 1940s was far more structured. Many women would be seen wearing a-line button-up dresses with simple heels as well as puffed sleeves. The wartime rations also meant many people were repurposing their clothes. This could mean using old clothes and fabrics to make new ones, wearing old clothes, and styling it differently.


The next decade is the 1950s, which included swinging, beautiful skirts with a changed silhouette – the hourglass. These exaggerated feminine styles were extremely popular, moving on from the more conservative looks of previous decades. Different fabrics started to be used such as tulle and chiffon which made the skirts much fuller and accentuated the waist. Tea-length dresses were becoming extremely popular during this period. This soon included elegant evening gowns and coat dresses.


The swinging 60s were known as a time of freedom, social change, and improved lives. One big change during this decade was the miniskirt. Hemlines had risen significantly by this point which also included the babydoll dress, which was worn repeatedly by different celebrities, including Twiggy. Women had moved away from the ultra restricting and conforming styles. Although very controversial at the time, these trend signalled social change and the rise of the Second Wave of Feminism. This look also featured chunky heels or knee-high boots. Bright colours were also very popular at the time.


Known as one of the most stylish and iconic decades for fashion is the 1970s. This decade was ruled by autumnal colours; dark greens, browns, and oranges were almost everywhere. From crazy flares and platform heels to miniskirts, this decade had so many unique trends and styles, which still inspire many today. Leather, fur coats were also vastly popular. Many of the trends during this decade were borrowed from previous eras; this included the revival of the flapper look, the Victorian age coming back in full force, and 50s classics.


The 1980s trends were a stark contrast to those that had come before. The rise of denim and leather jackets highlighted the change of aesthetic and the changing world. Double denim was also a big fixture in the change; showing that anything could be considered fashionable if you tried hard enough. Loose blouses were often paired with loose-fitted jeans, now known as ‘mom’ jeans. Shoulder pads were everything – the bright colours and big shoulds were extremely popular.


The change between the 80s and 90s was HUGE. Bold prints were shifted into minimalistic, simple styles. Sleek, sheer slip dresses became the most prominent look. The satin fabric was almost everywhere, alongside the spaghetti straps and slinky dresses. Midi dresses and skirts were a popular look, which could be dressed up or even down for any occasion. Makeup was also very simple – any look could be completed with a fab red lip.


The 2000s was definitely an interesting time socially but also when it came to fashion trends. Who could forget the low-rise? The bootcut? Paired with small heels and a bandeau top, you couldn’t go wrong. Halter neck tops were also very popular, as were the bare midriff silhouettes. The 2000s was also the decade of the tracksuit. Loved by so many famous names, almost every single celebrity seemed to own a velour tracksuit. Juicy Couture’s pieces are considered ‘vintage’ now and have a nostalgic bearing to them.


In the past decade, we have been blessed with so many different fashion styles and trends. The rise of 90s and y2k inspired clothing has been a pleasant surprise. But the most iconic period of looks had to be around 2014. We just had so much. The band tees, the skinny jeans, the bodycon dress, the logo-heavy t-shirts, And of course, the denim shorts and black tights combo. For a more personalised look, you can also add a PVC patch on your jeans or outfits for a unique y2k style.

Want to find out about more fashion history? Check out these articles.

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