Fashion Through History

By: Claire Beadles

Impact on America

Fashion has shaped history through the years. It has allowed people to express who they are through what they wear. Today people care so much about their outer appearance in order to impress others with what they're wearing and to satisfy their own materialistic values.

Fashion in the Roaring 20s

America in the 1920s entered a prosperous era and, as a result of womens 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 to vote in 1920s and were entering the workforce in record numbers. Younger women took on this new modern era and began to cut their hair into bobs and shorten their skirts in order to get out of the conservative era.

Fashion in the 1940s

Fashion was greatly influenced by WWII during the 1940s. After Paris fell to Germany during the war it left American designers having to design their own clothes instead of copying Parisian designs. America then rose to be the largest sportswear capital and having the strongest influence on the world. Due to the rationing of WWII dresses and suits got slimmer with just enough fabric to sit and walk around. Clothes were all military-style and the most common color was ¨Air Force Blue¨. Womens roles were starting to change as they found themselves working in factories while men were at war.

Fashion in the 1960s

Clothing styles have always mirrored the prevailing attitudes of the times and this is certainly true of fashion in the 1960s. The decade was marked by sweeping social change and the domination of youth culture - baby boomers were growing up and demanded their own fashion style. Designers became more daring with bold colors and designs. Jackie Kenedy introduced the pillbox hat and mini skirts were becoming more popular. However, one of the biggest impacts of 1960s fashion was the ¨Hippie Movement¨. Both men and women wore frayed bell-bottomed jeans, tie-dyed shirts, workshirts, and headbands. Wearing sandals was also part of the hippie look for both men and women. Women also began to wear trousers, previously only worn by men, lead to women voicing their equality to men.

Fashion in the 1980s

Fashion in the 1980s had heavy emphasis on expensive dressing and fashion accessories. Clothing tends to be overly bright and vivid in appearance. Women expressed an image of wealth and success through shiny costume jewelry like large faux-gold earrings, pearl necklaces and clothing covered with sequins and diamante. Punk Fashion began as a reaction against both the hippie movement of the past decades and the materialistic values of the decade. Fashion was greatly influenced by society and the well known celebrities in it including Madonna, Princess Diana, Micheal Jackson, and many more. Another huge influence came about as Cable Television and movies became more and more popular. All of these social/media influences may be the reaction of current US president of the time and former Hollywood actor, Ronald Reagan.