Fashion Through History

By: Claire Beadles


Fashion through the years has evolved with the people in America. As womens equality and rights have progressed they began to dress more modern and not worry so much about the "Conservative Female". The way one dresses allows them to express themselves and show who they are. Today, ones materialistic and social values have a great effect on how they dress because everyone wants to impress the public.

Fashion in the Roaring 20's

After World War I, America entered a prosperous era and, as a result of women's role in the war, came out onto the world stage. Social customs and morals were relaxed in the giddy optimism brought on by the end of the war and the booming of the Stock Market. New music and new dances came on the scene. Women got the vote in 1920 and were entering the workforce in record numbers. With all this newfound freedom young females began to let loose and begin the modern era. Skirts got shorter and hairstyles turned into bobs. This was much different than the previous conservative era.

Fashion in the 1940's

Fashion in the 1940's was greatly influenced by WWII. As U.S men were away the people, most women, back home had to rationing protocol that included fabric. Therefore, dresses got slimmer with just enough fabric to get around. Also, with the war timed theme fashion a popular color was "Navy Blue". Another key factor was that when Paris was taken over during war it left the US with no styles to follow. Consequently, thats when these new US styles were made and the US became known as the "Sportswear Capitol of the World". Styles changed from the previous padded clothing to slimmer minimal fabric.

Fashion in the 1960s

1960's Fashion was one of the first decades to have a majority basis on the celebrities of the social media. One known style was based on current First Lady Jackie Kenedy with the pillbox hat. Fashion also began to change as the "Hippie Movement" got bigger and more expressive. The young people of the 60’s were sick and tired of the old rules and the conservative society. They wanted something new, and this was the decade of optimism. During the post-war period, people had time to re-build, both financially and socially. People had more money and the young people often earned money on their own in addition to get allowance from their parents. Therefore, the young people were able to create their own identity, separate from those of their parents. For the first time ever in any fashion era, the young became the leaders of fashion. This, along with sexual revolution, the space race, curiosity for other cultures, The Vietnam War and Woman’s Liberation Movement was some of the happenings, ideas and thoughts that changed fashion for ever. Women even began to wear trousers which was unusual for a woman not to wear a dress and wear pants like a man. The different color combinations that were formed in the 1960s were daring. They represented that people were more free and happy after the post-war period and they were very different from the conservative look that dominated the 50’s. Patterns inspired by op-art were dramatic and people had never seen anything like that before.

Fashion in the 1980's

Fashion began to change as new president Ronald Reagan, previous Hollywood actor, came into office. In his "Reaganomics" Proposal he promised a 30% tax cut which excited americans. As the Cold War progressed american become more modern as technology and such evolved. Cable Television began to grow and the stars on it influenced america. Celebrities such as Princess Diana, Micheal Jackson, and Madonna had a huge impact on the fashion of the US. This age was much different than before as teenagers began to rebel. Elaborate outfits, colors, and hairstyles became a competition. The '80s was truly a time of exopression.