Trending in History: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s

Audrey Hepburn

Have you ever heard that to figure out the future, you have to learn the past? Well the same applies to fashion! Trends tend to repeat themselves, maybe not in order, but those bell bottoms you once rocked might just come back into style. (I’m waiting for wearing pants at your knees, with a belt to go out of style) Anyways, to become a total fashionista and an amazing trendsetter, you might just have to crack open the history books and get down to work. For the early 1900’s fashion, click here. Keep reading for a fun description of the history of fashion in the late 1900’s….

The 60’s: Mini’s

60s trend mini

Mini’s with black tights

Now, I’m sure this is a trend that people in the 21st century are very familiar with. For the people back then, it was definitely a shock, and maybe even a bit of a scandal, to have dresses and skirts way above the knee. British fashion designer, Mary Quant, took advantage of the rebellious spirit the world was in. It quickly became the trend of young women in England, the US, and many more places. Usually these skirts were paired with black tights for a more conservative look, as it was not considered classy to show much skin above the knee. You can probably see how this fits into our modern day culture, with a bit of changes. Even though we have lengths from mid thigh, to the knees, all the way to our ankles, the mini’s now are relatively shorter compared to then. Also, most teen girls have ditched the itchy black tights as well.  But, nonetheless, a mini dress with a pair of black tights will always be trendy no matter what.

The 70’s: Platform Shoes

Platform Heels of the Decade

The 70’s equal the The Disco Decade. So it was no surprise that platform shoes (or disco shoes), at first introduced in the 40’s, soared to increasing popularity at this time. Even men’s soles became several inches thick as well. Because it came out 30 years ago, and it was so popular so fast, no one person can be named for starting the trend.  As far as the modern fashion world goes, the thickness, height and chunkiness of platform shoes have disappeared (thanks to the invention of stilettos!) On many pumps, you might still find a smaller platform on the front part of the shoe. What first attracted so much attention to these shoes, and still appeals even now, is the height booster it gives us. For the most part, before this time period, six inch heels were unheard of. Then came along this giant platform, and as the years passed, the platform thinned out into a tall pump. And we’ve landed back into the 21st century.

The 80’s: Sexy Jeans

Brooke Shields wearing Calvin Klein Jeans

This is by far the most popular trend still existing to this day. This is probably the top must have for anyone — a good pair of jeans. Skinny jeans, high – waisted jeans, flare jeans, they’re all types to fit any size and shape. Everyone should own a pair of jeans that makes them feel confident and drop-dead gorgeous. Jeans first came out as a woman’s item when menswear became popular (read here) but it’s fame skyrocketed when a ever so gorgeous model mentioned them. Brooke Shields, famously said “nothing comes between me and my Calvins.” In a flash, jeans went from the things you threw on to be casual to an everyday staple in a fashionista’s closet. Thank you Brooke Shields for making such a obvious statement, because I know I would be lost without my jeans. I don’t think I need to go much into detail how this is used in modern life…. if you’re not quite sure, I think you need to hit the mall!

The 90’s:Minimalism

90s trend minimalism

Helmut Lang, Spring 1999

Before I go into details about the biggest rend in the ’90’s, let me add one more thing about the 80’s. One of the second biggest trends in the 80’s was neons. Hmm… where have we heard that before? (here!) Like I said, trends tend to repeat themselves, as neons are a hot trend for this summer. Anyways, because neons were so bold in the eighties, it was time for a change in last decade of the 1900’s. So instead of bright, fashion went in the opposite direction. Sleek, neutral toned outfits were seen all over the runway. 90’s were known for their random trends, such as grunge, goth, hip-hop, and pacifiers – but minimalism was one that continued to last through out the decade. Minimalism incorporated the trends previously mentioned as well. White suits for females became increasingly popular, as did the a white suit with a pencil skirt. To the fashion world, the 90’s probably blended everything together, to have how the fashion we have today.

What was your favorite trend? And for the early 1900’s, be sure to check out this post here!

Image Sources: Audrey Hepburn, Mini’s, Platforms, Brooke Shields, Helmut Lang. Information was assisted by here.


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