100 Years of American Fashion

Fashion is much more than just an outfit. For some it is considered to one of the most important reflections of the history and a huge part of American history. Since the establishment of the fashion industry, woman outfit trends have always been based on different cultures, events, music, and celebrity influence. In the last 100 years, there have been some enormous changes in women’s styles and trends.Let’s see some of the most worn woman clothes during this last century.


The most important trend of the moment is dad sneakers. Brands like Fila, Balenciaga, Nike, or even Louis Vuitton have been designing versions of bulky dad sneakers. Knowing that everyone is looking for comfort in their lives is why they became such a trend especially combined with vintage mom jeans and even with casual dresses.


All of the most popular celebrities have been using this trend, especially this last few years. They inspired street looks and this sunglasses became very popular among normal people. Their size is getting smaller and smaller. It looks like every time wears a pair of sunglasses, they get tinier and tinier.


Von Dutch hats were one of the most important trends on the 2000s. After being worn by Paris Hilton  on the show The Simple Life, the hat became very popular. The designer of the Von Dutch label, Kenneth Howard, is also known as the “godfather of modern day pin-striping.” In 2000s everyone was wearing this hat or at least had one.


It looks like every early 2000s celebrity had a pair of velvet tracksuits. Every pop star, young female or celebrity wore the low-rise track pants printed with “Juicy” at the back and a matching track shirt. The colorful total look could be worn at any occasion just because it looked so casual.


If Clueless taught us anythingit’s that plaid sets can look incredible. After the premiere of the movie in 1995, the set of the plaid blazer and skirt was everywhere.
For this look the designer of the movie was inspired by popular fashion designers such as Westwood, who wore a plaid skirt on the runway a year before, on her Fall/Winter 1994 collection.


Because of Baywatch, the V-shaped swimsuit became an never-ending trend in the world of swimwear. This bathing suit was totally inspired by the show, but the trend originated before. The V-hip bathing suit was inspired by the workout outfits from the previous decade. After being worn in red on the TV series, it then came in different colors worn on the beach and by the pool.


The ’80s encircled a new generation of women entering the workforce in larger numbers. At this moment women started imitating menswear but instead their outfits had much more feminine details giving them a feminine but yet professional appearance. Shoulder pads were almost at every blazer and dress.


As disco faded and metal took place, another big aesthetic shift happened in the fashion world. The ’80s fashion was completely different. From loose classical styles and floral colorful fabrics now we have black leather jackets, usually worn over a T-shirt. After Madonna published her video “Papa Don’t Preach,” the punk style, and leather jackets, became mainstream.


Seventies style can be defined as the era of the platform heels. They originated from the platform heels that were present back to 15th century. But during the 70s they were worn in a different way. Than heels began getting higher and the platforms too.


The flared bell-bottoms were popular during the end of the ’60s and up to the late ’70s. They were firstly worn by sailors during the War of 1812, but they became trend in the 70s. This pants were comfy and casual and could be worn in every situation including everyday life in the form of flared jeans or at the disco in floral patterns.


The babydoll dress was everywhere during the 1960s. It was a way to express the liberation during the Second Wave of Feminism, and women were looking for more extravagant styles of clothing. The high waistline together with the short length of the babydoll dress was the call of feminist women during this period of time. Celebrities commonly wore this dress trend.


Lady Kennedy was personification of the word elegance in the ’60s. Her top to bottom outfits were absolutely stunning, including her unique pillbox hat. This headwear was designed only for her by Halston and it changed to one of her signature looks. Being one of America’s most important style icons at this time, this trend was followed by women all around the world.


During the 50s women were expected to stay home and look perfect while doing house chores. This lifestyle was inspired by the TV character’s style and from the popularization of pearl jewelry. Pearl necklaces were associated with women’s elegance during this decade.


The waving circle skirts of the 50s were almost always combined with elegant peter pan collars. The flat design with the rounded corners added style to the dresses. It was at first designed for costumes of Peter and Wendy in 1905. The name of the movie turned this Disney film stuck with the style over time.


Christian Dior’s New Look collection was published in 1947 and it introduced a new atmosphere. The structured shouldered outfits, highlighted waistline, and capacious layered skirt made a big contrast with the pre-war styles. Since then all designers inspired by Dior started creating dresses that were worn by women all over the world.


The 1930s is considered the “Golden Age of Glamour.” This decade was about extravagance and it made the fashion and design market to explode in the U.S. Hollywood stars would be going on different events always wearing long, backless evening gowns made of different fabrics such as silk, velvet, or chiffon. At the same time many other non famous American women started imitating them.


In the 1930s, fur in fashion became unremarkable in everyday society. The price of fur started increasing, and it was seen as a luxury to own a piece of fur. The furry coats were very popular at the beginning of the 20th century. Then after being acceptable to wear during the daytime, they were designed in shorter and smaller versions.


The flapper dress became popular during the 1920s. The drop waist style together with the decorative beads, fringe, and other elements added frisky elements to the dress. Huge social changes post-WWI caused women to feel more powerful because of gaining the right to vote in 1920. The big influence of Jazz music and prohibition also inspired recklessness amidst the young people. This societal change made it the perfect time for wearing flapper dresses combined with the short bob hairstyle that was often worn combined with the dress.


This kind of hat was one of the accessories that every woman had. The cloche hat especially became famous during the 1920s because of its bell shape. Its shape was underlined by simple ornaments such as a bow, a flower, or art inspired shapes. Sometimes, it made women’s life more complicated because its low brim made it difficult to see and every woman had to tilt her head back while she was wearing it.


The French designer Paul Poiret who became very popular in Paris before World War I, created the classic jupe culotte. Poiret added a bright color palette and looser shapes in his designs. His new creation was introduced in 1911 and it was totally inspired from the harem pants that were used in many Middle Eastern countries.


Paul  Poiret invented an original silhouette during the 1910s which is called lampshade tunic. This silhouette was complete with a wire band, creating a round shape at the bottom, and that is why it is called lampshade. This was one of Poiret’s innovative designs that were worn without a corset.


Bustles were added to women’s outfits starting from the late 19th century and the early 20th century. At first they were used to add plumpness and support the shape of the under worn dress and many of them were made with thick fabric. They were worn under the skirt in the back of the gown, set below the waist to prevent the skirt from hauling on the floor. Sometimes, bustles were worn in combined with crinolines, which were made out of steel frames under the skirt to hold up the bustles.


In the 20th century, gloves were one of women favorite accessories and were worn almost everywhere no matter the occasion. For the day they preferred leather and suede gloves which were worn at the house. As for the evening and for special occasions they used to choose lace or silk gloves, which were generally longer in length. In the winter, gloves were made out of wool or fur to keep women’s hands warm.