Fashion Decades

Fashion Decades

How has fashion changed throughout the decades? Let’s take a look 


Although women were still wearing corsets and long skirts they favoured the severe long and elegant lines of the late 19th century with S shaped silhouettes. This was heavily popularised by “the Gibson girl” defined as:

“The Gibson Girl image went like this: a member of upper-class society, she was always perfectly dressed in the latest fashionable attire. Her social status allowed her the time to look for personal fulfillment, finding it in the most unusual places for women at that time. The Gibson Girl might be an adventurer who embraced outdoor physical activities, often cycling in Central Park or swimming, playing tennis, or golfingAs well, she ventured beyond the social spheres considered the standard for upper-middle class women, realizing her artistic aspirations by drawing, painting, singing, or playing the violin”

this period in time was monumental for women, petitioning for the right to vote for the first time (and eventually getting it) and the Gibson girl was exactly who they wanted to be, free and active, with her own ambitions all whilst still looking good. despite her being just pen and ink the Gibson girl influenced the style of fluffy bouffant hair, effortlessly framing her face, long elegant gowns with a tiny corseted waist on her hourglass figure.

Edwardian wedding dress:


Commonly known as the “roaring 20s” this era of fashion saw a dramatic raising of hemlines compared to the maxi skirts of just a few years prior, the corsets had been taken off and thrown in the bin in favour of a more boyish figure donned in beads, jewels and ‘excessive makeup’. This is also around the time Coco Chanel launched her fashion house ‘Chanel’ promoting the wear of her boxy, more masculine style suits.



the 1930s saw the rise of television and film. This lead to the birth of the starlet, known for her glitz glamour and elegance many designers such as Madeline Vionnet were finding ways to get a more figure hugging silhouette from woven fabrics such as satin without going back to the corseted ways of the 1910s, this lead to the popularisation of the ‘bias cut’ essentially cutting fabric at an angle away from the bias to create a more draped elegant effect we often associate with evening wear and starlets such as Bette Davis and Jean Harlow.


With the war going on many women were going back to work, this meant, although trousers weren’t particularly mainstream just yet, many women began to favour a more tailored suit or suit jackets. They were also getting pretty crafty with their lack of materials such as a lack of nylon for stockings lead to many women painting their legs with ‘Liquid stockings’ and even drawing a seam down the back of their legs to create the illusion of wearing stockings as it was seen as unprofessional to go without. This was also around the time Dior released its signature ‘The Bar’ suit 





the 60s saw a large amount of influence from Paris when it comes to fashion, particularly from Chanel who had risen to infamy in the recent years. However many of the young people of the time were rebelling against the style their mothers suggested in favour of the ‘mods and rockers’ way of life. Designers such as Many Quant were introducing bright patterns and hemlines had now risen to sea level with the mini skirt popularised by celebrities of the time such as Twiggy. London youth was flocking to Carnaby street to catch a glimpse of some of the pioneering stores for the movement.



It would be almost criminal to talk about 70s fashion without paying homage to the iconic hippy movement, with huge bell bottoms halter necks and Tie die being in almost every store window the boho style was extremely popular, however once again Coco Chanel was keeping us in check with her tailored suits now being worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy and princess Dianna, leading into the 80s we saw a massive rise in the wearing of suits with many women beginning to have careers and ‘dressing for success’ with their ginormous shoulder pads and perms to match.

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