Then, Now and Later
I’ve been thinking about how much our costume/clothing has changed over the years. The clothing we now wear is totally different than what was worn in the 17th Century. It is easy to see the difference, but even when you get more local in the time frame there is a major shift in fashion every decade. Think about the styles of the 20s and 30s when women, other than flappers, wore long heavy material. Their hair was forced into plastic like curls. Men dressed more formally with formal hats.
In the 40s fashion moved ahead where women wore mid length skirts and blouses and their hair was allowed to be fuller. Men still wore suits however their hats were less formal.
The 50s had women wearing more pleated skirts that valued volume and movement. Men were shedding their neckties but wore baggy pants that were more tailored and pleated. Their hats were becoming much more casual.
Fashion was defined by the youth in the 60s. Most adults continued dressing as they had in the 40s and 50s, but the youth wore tight pants, boots and suddenly color became an option. The 70s were a continuation of the 60s in a sense. Remember that Woodstock happened in August of 1969 and the fashion fall-out wasn’t fully expressed until the first few years of the 70s. There were also leisure suits.
The 80 brought on some weird sort of YUPPIE garb which mixed items such as designer jeans, Izod LaCoste polo shirts, while some sported spandex, leg warmers and big hair. (I dated one of those…)
The 90s seemed to go totally towards silk or cotton, natural fabrics of denim, wool or linen.
I’m not sure what the look is of our present times. There seems to be some retro statements going on, but in general it seems that costumes are all fighting for attention asking to be the statement of a generation. Nothing seems to be rising above the pack. We will probably have to wait for ten or twenty years before the fashion of this decade is defined.
Now think ahead two-hundred years. The generations ahead will look at our strange fashions as we look at the dress of those that signed the Declaration of Independence.