Fashion History – 1960’s to Present Day

In this article we shall go through the trends and styles that were apparent over the past five decades. Starting from 1960, we take a journey through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s then right up to the modern contemporary looks that we see each and every day.

So the swinging 1960’s begins with a lot of vibrancy and plenty of brightly coloured attire, think Austin Powers with his velvet suits and ruffle neck ties. Men’s clothing was primarily sports jackets, polyester suits and turtle neck sweaters. Shoe wise Chelsea boots and Cuban heels were in along with moccasins a few years after.

The decade of the seventies came by with an ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude. Men wearing pretty much whatever they wanted, it was the time of free spirit and fun. Men were actually adding platform shoes to their outfits, which coincided with the disco theme that was evident during this era.

Shortly after came the turn of the 1980’s and once again styles quickly changed. The power suit was the in thing, mainly the kinds seen on the guys in Miami Vice. Conservative looks were all the rage, along with the power suit came the sophisticated shoe style. Oxfords, brogues and loafers were everywhere. The late 80’s saw a drastic change and everyone was less formal about their clothing choices. Looser styles and casual looks were a lot more opted for among both men and women.

Moving on to the 1990’s, denim was around and there was a lot of it. From jeans to jackets, it was the fabric to be seen in. Men’s clothing was full of flannel shirts, leather jackets and aviator sunglasses. Laid back relaxed looks were the top trends with plenty of baggy styled pieces to go around. The 90’s also saw the beginning of the trainer revolution, as the latest sneakers became popular among young kids and teenagers.

The year 2000 up until the year 2010 has seen so many looks come and go that listing them would take up an entire decade in its self. The turn of the millennium saw a lot more people becoming more fashion conscious and choosing to dress how they wanted to rather than following fashions. Today it seems that the trend is to not follow trends and wear what you want to create a unique look. So it remains to be seen what we will be dressing like over the next ten years.

Teenage Fashion History

The word “teenager” was first coined in the 1950s, a time when teenage fashion had found its place and a niche market was created. Teenagers were now a closed group with their own feelings, style, beliefs, and ways of perceiving life; that is, their own personality.

Malcolm Barnard says in his book Fashion as Communication, “Fashion and clothing have always been explained as forms of communication”. Teenagers have now their own voice to speak their mind and they manage to do it through fashion.

Being teenager is being rebellious. If you check out the decades of teen fashion you might see that they have proven to be a way of rebelling out.

Back in the fifties, when teen fashion firs appeared, it would follow the famous look of James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Although, their clothes did not differ too much from the general trend in fashion, girls could be seen wearing dresses fluffed out with petticoats and crinolines under the skirt. Boys wore tight Levis, Chinos, white or black tight shirts, as well as loafers or Converse shoes with leather jackets.

Fashion is totally influenced and “manipulated” by history. The historical events put a hallmark on fashion decades, as the clothes reveal people’s lifestyle, conceptions, and even prejudices.

In the 1960s, fashion and music started to go hand in hand. Pop and rock music began to influence fashion in a way like never before. Fashion icons, like The Beatles, or rebellious rock stars, like Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, were speaking on behalf of the younger generation and they represented the main force.

In the 1970s, the disco era was loud and colorful. The fabrics of the decade were polyester, acrylic and lycra. Woman’s dresses were getting to their knees and men wore bell bottoms, jackets and gold chains. Platform shoes were big on the dance floor and shirt patterns were dizzying.

The 1980s came with the aerobic craze. The ultimate combination was tight, shiny stretch leggings paired with an over-sized, off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. The pop singer, Madonna was at her peak at that time and she influenced teenagers sense of style very much.

The 1990s, in terms of teen fashion, represented a mixture of a whole lot of different styles. Boy bands and girl bands of pop music were pretty eclectic in terms of clothes and they were admired by the young generation. It was the time of the platform shoe again which shows up in many shoes from sandals to tennis shoes. The colors are dramatic or pastel, while the classic color black was still used for dramatic effects in fashion.

Nowadays, teen clothing is very comfortable in all ways. The basic trends are vintage blue jeans with a trendy. Teenagers clothes need to be accessible in terms of prices, as young people’s expenditure is pretty limited within the amounts of money collected in their piggy banks.