A journey through the 100 years of western women’s fashion
Fashion is something which changes with the way the society changes. Women’s fashion particularly, reflects the social mores of the times. Let us take you through a fascinating journey traversing through the last 100 years. We are in 2015, so our journey will start from exactly 100 years back, so ladies, sit back and enjoy reading and watching about how you have come to wear what you wear today.
This decade saw the First World War, and a somewhat gloomy state could also be seen in the way women dressed up. Mostly ankle length skirts and dresses were worn in somewhat earthy and toned down shades. Laced up boots, hats, gloves were also preferred.
The Roaring Twenties were great times, which saw increased spending and a social and cultural dynamism was taking place in the western world. This was also reflected in the women’s fashion and a jazzed up fashion revolution took place where there were new and interesting fashion choices that women made. Flapper dresses which had a loose fitting were a rage, and the changes included smaller corsets, higher hemlines and introduction of bras and the colours also got brighter and tangier.
This era saw a return to some elegant feminism and the short dresses of the previous decades got replaced by longer and more sophisticated dresses, with feminine colours and natural waistlines. This change actually occurred due to the Great Depression, when splurging on fashion could not have been much possible.
As this was the time, when World War II had just ended, and women had been a part of the wartime industry serving in many areas as nurses, factory workers and taking the roles of men in their households, the fashion also became somewhat in line with professionalism. Earthy and toned down colours with skirts that ended just below the knees were preferred. This was also the time when slacks (pants), first came to the scene and gained immense popularity among women.
This was an era ruled by Rock and Roll and a more fun fashion scene prevailed during these times. Teenage girls wore poodle skirts and capri pants also got introduced during these times. Women mostly had tiny waistlines and wore full skirts and dresses in some amazing colours. A more sophisticated and elegant look was chosen by most women.
The 1960s saw some rebellion in the attitudes of the people who were tense over communism and started some civil rights and women’s rights movements. People rebelled through fashion and a hippie kind of culture prevailed with bright colours, bell bottoms, short skirts and even hot pants.
This era was somewhat in continuity with the hippie look of the 1960s. This culture led to the introduction of the disco look which had unisex clothing. There was a preference for bold colours and prints, bell bottoms and platform shoes.
The 1980s saw many big and swift changes in women’s fashion. It was getting influenced by the cable television networks and people wore exercise dresses, designer dresses inspired by the disco look. The two major types of styles which prevailed during those times were- Power dressing and Valley/Material Girl.
This era was the Age of Technology, and the fashion scene had glimpses of the 60s and 70s. Denim was very popular during these times as were baby doll dresses and two piece formals.
The start of the 21st Century came with changes in the way people thought and the way women were to be placed in the society. There was a greater acceptance that women work freely and confidently. This change was also seen in the fashion scene, where a woman could match jeans or pants with any kind of top. Power dressing was considered a key to look confident at all times.
This is the most relaxed time in terms of fashion choices for women. A more chilled out state of mind has led a woman to be herself and that is aptly portrayed it through her dressing sense. Having fun in basic colours and textures and dresses is what women prefer these days. They dress for themselves and live for themselves.