Style Evolution: How Fashion Has Changed Over Time

It's stunning to witness how different historical occurrences have determined and altered how people dress throughout the years. If there is one thing we can see eye to eye in the area of fashion is that style is a perpetual thing and undergoes inconsequential changes as it moves along.

Fashion not only implies clothes but also accessories such as shoes, jewelry, bags, and even hairstyles. Style trends advance so rapidly at times that it’s even difficult to keep up. Fashion and style are a fundamental segment in society, and it is people’s thoughts and beliefs that shape how we dress.

Fashion is what defines and expresses who we are. Various patterns of dressing around the world are the identification of a group of people or a community. Let's look at how fashion has changed over the decades.

Fashion Times in the 1920s

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

After the end of World War I, a new trend of style emerged. Fashion was an emblem of freedom and a breath of fresh air after the war. During this era, there was the detection of a profound change in fashion, from short skirts and dresses to maxis, from pleats to pencils.

Women left their men in awe as their hemlines rose, and waistlines dropped to their hips. Fashion in the 1920s, also known as the jazz age, was greatly influenced by the rise of the Art Deco evolution. Women's empowerment was reflected at the time, with many being given the power to vote and own jobs.

Women in the 1920s firmly echoed their freedom in how they dressed and represented themselves as individuals to the other members of society. Women’s fashion again changed drastically, reaching the exemplary flapper style.

The flapper dresses were loose, alluring, and clearly defined the 1920s fashion. Men’s fashion was also a classic at the time. Their style revolved around suits, suspenders, and fedora hats.

Swinging 1950s

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

Fashion can hardly be contained in a decade as it constantly changes. The 1950s marked the end of World War II, and people’s happiness was clearly reflected in their dressing. During this period, fashion also reflected a gender divide.

As boys and men leaned towards a more casual everyday style, girls' and women’s fashion registered grace, etiquette, and exquisite accessories. Women dressed in and mortified the Christine Dior nipped-in waist and perfectly skirted silhouette look.

This fashion trend remained a dominant style all the way to the mid-1950s. As the years advanced, the leading silhouette's new look gradually changed and became straighter and slimmer.

As fashion evolved and began looking for a more teenage-inspired style, the formality, and grace of the early period of the era began to dwindle. For the men, their style leaned heavily towards informality during the decade. Young men embraced the so-called youth culture in the 1950s, which people had not yet seen before.

Free Love in the 1970s

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

Fitted shirts and bell-bottoms were popular fashion looks during the 1970s, but there was much more to the decade than this look. The seventies fashion world saw movie stars take the center stage dressed in bold colors and patterns.

The style was experimental and varied greatly. Fashion magazines declared, “There are no rules in the fashion game now.” The decade’s style involved various popular looks such as the prairie dresses persuaded by the hippie fashion and flashy party flair dresses for the night discos.

Other popular hippie movement looks graced the 1970s including wide-legged blue jeans, midi skirts, maxi dresses, peasant shirts for women, ties, cardigans, wide blazers, sweaters, and stylish boots. Bold colors and textures greatly influenced menswear in the era. Men often pared their bell-bottoms with satin shirts sometimes designed with laces or ruffles.

Power Dressing in the 1980s

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

This was a decade of brave striking style, hues, and silhouettes. Fashion designers created styles spanning from biker leather jackets, shredded tights to elegant wide blazers, and poof skirts; this was a diverse era in the fashion world. People's style of clothes was highly influenced by the music produced at the time.

During this era, punk rock, heavy metal rock music, and hip hop were quite popular. Women rocked big permed hairstyles with large accessories and bright colored makeup. Musicians in the world of rock mostly wore dark clothes with deep black eyeliners and many colorful fitting clothes.

Fashion in the 1980s was an incredible period of creativity. From power suits to dramatic shoulder pads, some of the eighties' basic looks made a huge comeback. Boy’s and men’s clothing during the decade comprised a lot of sportswear looks and denim wear. Turtlenecks were also quite popular among men throughout the decade.

Minimalism of the 1990s

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

Clothes and fashion styles in the 90s were not as loud as those in the 80s. During this period, fashion was uniquely down to earth compared to the eighties and the seventies. Women still rocked big hairstyles but drifted towards natural-looking makeup looks.

Some of the popular items you would not miss to find in one’s closet during the nineties included: a pair of black leggings with bulky sweaters, cardigans, denim jackets and pants, sweatpants, flannel shirts, just to name a few. Just like the former decades, the 1990s fashion altered somewhat greatly from the beginning of the decade to the end.

Let’s just say, by the end of 1994, everyone had refurbished their style. Women no longer felt comfortable with bold colors and wild patterns but preferred more simple and subtle solid colors.

Present Fashion

style evolution: how fashion has changed over time
style evolution: how fashion has changed over time

Today, fashion is modern. It is no longer exclusive to the rich, but it is for everyone. There were decades where fashion was considered only for those walking down a red carpet or those featured during fashion week events. However, as time passed, fashion got new far-reaching definitions and many different influences.

Fashion does not revolve around flash and elegant suits or classy dresses in the current age, but around anything and everything, one chooses to wear. Fashion is now for everyone, and you can wear whatever and look fashionable. It is for every individual, class, indifferent to age, gender, society, religion, or status in society.

Despite sophisticated styles still rooted in the present fashion world, other styles have also impacted and are being noticed and valued. Today, fashion enthusiasts have various style options to choose from. From street styles to casual wear, to hip hop inspired outfits, formal looks, color blocking styles, among many others. The list is limitless.