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Decades of Style: A Comprehensive Guide to Clothing Trends throughout the Decades

Fashion has seen many changes over the years that reflect history and as we know, history always has a way of repeating itself. A lot of today’s fashion trends seem to pull from the past which is what makes shopping vintage today a unique experience. 
Let’s explore some of the most iconic fashion trends of the past eighty years that you may come across when you’re shopping today! 

1930s: Great Depression and Practical Dressing

In the 1930s, the world was in the midst of the Great Depression, and fashion reflected this difficult time. Women's clothing was more practical, with tailored suits and dresses in muted colors like brown, gray, and navy blue. Simple accessories like small hats and gloves completed the look. Men's fashion also took a more practical turn, with suits featuring wider cuts and high-waisted trousers. The fedora hat was a popular accessory for men, adding a touch of sophistication to their outfits.

1940s: World War II Wears

Fast forward to the 1940s, and fashion took a more utilitarian turn due to the impact of World War II. Military uniforms heavily influenced fashion during this time, with women's clothing taking on a masculine edge. Tailored suits and dresses were popular, often featuring shoulder pads and boxy silhouettes. High-waisted skirts became popular, and stockings with seams up the back were a staple.Utilitarianism Men's fashion also evolved, with suits featuring wider shoulders and tapered pants.

1950s: Post War, Dress More

The 1950s saw the rise of the "New Look" by Christian Dior, which brought femininity and elegance back to fashion. Full skirts with cinched-in waists and soft shoulders were the epitome of this era's fashion for women. Men's suits featured narrow lapels and slim-fitting pants, giving them a sleek and modern look.  

1960s: More Mod

The 1960s were marked by the youth culture revolution and the influence of pop culture on fashion. The miniskirt was introduced, and women's fashion became more daring and playful. Shift dresses and bold prints were popular, as were go-go boots and heavy eyeliner. Men's fashion also took a turn towards the youthful, with slim-fitting suits, turtlenecks, and Chelsea boots.

1970s: Flower Power and Funky Flares

The 1970s were all about embracing freedom and individuality, and fashion reflected this ethos. Women's fashion was characterized by flowy dresses, bell-bottom pants, and platform shoes. Men's fashion followed a similar pattern, with flared pants, patterned shirts, and wide lapels. Disco culture also influenced fashion during this era, with shimmering fabrics and metallic accessories.

1980s: Power Lunches & Power Dressing

The 1980s were a decade of excess and bold statements, and fashion reflected this. Women's fashion featured power dressing, with shoulder pads, blazers, and mini-skirts. Men's fashion also took on a bold and confident look, with suits featuring broad shoulders and bright colors, along with oversized accessories like ties and belts.  

1990s: Grunge Girls and Baggy Boys

In the 1990s, fashion took on a more grungy, alternative edge. Flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and combat boots became the uniform of the rebellious youth culture. Women's fashion saw a resurgence of slip dresses and chokers, while men's fashion focused on oversized hoodies and baggy jeans.

2000s: To Y2K and Beyond

The 2000s saw a mix of fashion styles, from the minimalism of the early 2000s to the bold, flashy fashion of the late 2000s. Women's fashion included low-rise jeans, halter tops, and high heels, while men's fashion featured baggy jeans, graphic tees, and sneakers.
Fashion has come a long way in the past eight decades. From practicality and simplicity to bold and daring styles, each decade has had its own unique look and feel. These classic clothing styles continue to inspire designers today, and it's exciting to see how they will be reimagined in the future. Next time you’re thrifting/ vintage shopping, keep these tidbits in mind for historical significance and context.  

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