Women’s Fashion Over the Years
womens fashion over the years 70's outfit for black womens
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Women’s Fashion Over the Years

Women’s Fashion Over the Years

A look at some of the most iconic women’s trends over recent decades

While many things have changed over the decades such as politics, technology, and even our mode of transportation, there is one thing that has seen more evolution than anything, and that is women’s fashion. Over the many decades and centuries styles in trends in women’s clothing has been used for a multitude of purposes. Whether to make a political statement reflect technological advancements, or for purely aesthetic purposes, there always seems to be something new coming our way.

While we may be a bit far removed from the looks of the 1920s and 30s, a resurgence of styles from the 70s and onwards have been sneaking its way back into trends that we see today. From the flared jeans of the 70s to the Clueless-esque plaid mini skirts of the 90s, style is showing just how cyclical it is. But to evaluate how where women’s fashion is going in the future, we should take a look at some of the top trends in the past as well.

So, let’s tale a look at how women have been dressing in the most recent decades and see what we can gather in order to see what we’ll be wearing in the years to come.

Women’s Fashion Over the Years:

70s Fashion Women

We start our walk down fashion memory lane in the 1970s, where the influence of the 60s was still going strong, as women were still riding the wave of trends from the hippie movement to more futuristic finds such as micro-mini mod dresses.

While the 70s brought a mixing of old school and new age styles, many new trends became a cornerstone for the decade. One particular designer who placed her stamp on the fashion of the 1970s was designer Dian von Furstenberg. Now a household name for any fashionista, she created the iconic silhouette of the wrap dress. The original design was a cotton jersey dress shirt that was paired with a ballerina wrap top and was sported by anyone from housewives to young professional women. The look was made to flatter women and tie in at the waist.

This particular style was incredibly different from the loose and flowing kaftans hostesses sported at their house parties and the prairie/peasant dresses that were used as a way to mix the hippie subculture in the style.

70s fashion women

On the side of street fashion, the disco reigned supreme both on and off the dance floor, as this party scene began to encourage personality in clothing. Huge players within the 70s fashion women scene was the disco street style of black women, as they rocked their styles on the street and on the screen, as the American music-dance television program, Soul train, began airing in 1971.

On this television program, you could see black women rocking bell-bottom pants, sparkling jumpsuits, and flowing disco dresses. There were many styles that could go with the disco look, but all casual dancers made it a point to show off their mid-drift, sport high waisted flared pants or jeans and elevate themselves in platform heels. For hair, while many sported the large curls and waves associated with famous stars such as Goldie Hawn, you also see black women sporting large and rounded Afros.




Women’s Fashion Over the Years:

80s Clothes for Women

While the 70s brought us the disco, the 80s brought us neon bright clothing and jazzercise! The 80s was the decade of women taking up space and making statements, not only in fashion, but also in pop culture. From giant shoulders to oversized everything, and wearing leotards as outerwear, style was open for experimentation.

One of the most notable fashion trends of 80s clothers for women were blazers. While you may think they are just evening wear, women sported oversized blazers, stiff shoulder pads, and sharp tailoring a lot during the time of the 1980s. Many time women would pair these tailored jackets with something much more casual like a pair of high-waisted denim jeans or even a t-shirt. This was incredibly common, and you can see many pop culture and style icons such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Cindy Crawford and the late Princess Diana, making this statement.

80s Clothes for Women

While this is a more subdued look int the trends of the time, we also remember just how out of this world the 80s could be! After all, neon colors were making their debut, and Cyndi Lauper was singing about how “girls just want to have fun” and rocking the side ponytail. When thinking about this side of the 80s, we can easily refer to the queen herself, Diana Ross, for making sequins a must have in any outfit, matter of fact, she was known to rock completely blinged out sequin outfits for many of her stage looks.

While we can see that so many styles have influenced the 80s and all their day-glow bright realness, I think we can also say that one woman who truly owned the 1980s was Grace Jones. From singing to acting to modeling, this icon did it all while sporting some of the most titular trends of the 80s. From sporting structured suits inspired by menswear to skin tight bodysuits, this woman has been known to wear it all and truly embodied what it was to mix together the androgynous oversized styles as well as the more tight-fitted and highly feminine trends during this time.

Women’s Fashion Over the Years:

90s Style Women

While the 80s made way for over-the-top styles, the 90s had a way of making everything a bit more commercial while also still contributing some style staples that we wear today. All in all, it is well known for its contribution to fashion trends and is a time where women continued to slay the fashion game. From the pop looks sported by the Spice girls to Cher’s looks in Clueless to Janet Jackson showing off looks we use to inspire us today in the 1993 film Poetic Justice.

Some styles were easily carried over from the trends of the 80s such as high-waisted bottoms and jeans. While the 80s focused more on acid-washed denim, the 90s remixed it and settled for more faded, light-washed denim.

90s Style Women

While they were easily paired with casual t-shirts and tailored blazers, a popular styling of high-waisted denim was popularized by Janet Jackson’s character in the 1993 film Poetic Justice. In the film, one of her most popular outfits was the simple combination of a black, long-sleeved turtleneck and high-waisted light wash denim jeans. While this outfit may seem simple, it was a staple look for any and all 90s it-girl’s and could be seen on others like Cindy Crawford and Halle Berry.

As well as this look, effortless, spaghetti-strapped slip dresses were in style, and icons such as Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks were making matching co-ord sets a trend both on and off the runway.




Women’s Fashion Over the Years:

2000s Fashion Women

The early 2000s fashion can be a bit cringe-worthy for many of us, as it seemed to be just a hodge podge of multiple styles with no particular rhyme or reason to it. It had all the fun experimentation associated with 80s fashion, but with none of the actual style it seems. From rocking full-on Juicy Couture tracksuits to having a closet full of halter tops and gauchos, there are just too many things to focus on when looking at women’s fashion in the early 2000s.

2000s Fashion Women

A notable change in style though is the rise of our jeans. While from he 50s all the way to the 90s high-waisted pants reigned supreme, the 2000s changed it up completely with the introduction of low-rise jeans. It seemed like the lower the rise, the better the jeans, at this point in time as many stars such as Amanda Bynes, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey all styled this trend with either crop tops, tube tops, or other midriff baring clothing, to give the full affect. This was only popularized by music shows such as 106 & Park, the VMAs and all things MTV.

Another big fashion trend in the women’s fashion ring was layers, and that meant in all forms from tiered miniskirts, to layering spaghetti strap tank tops over tight-fitted t-shirts, and also layering cropped cardigans over your dresses and tops. It also seemed like no matter the length of your shirt, it could always be worn over a pair of jeans. You can see many a starlet wears long-lined tunics with equally long jeans or even going as far as sporting leggings underneath a mini dress.

Women’s Fashion Over the Years:

Fashion in 2010 and Onwards

While a decade only consists of ten years it seems like the 2010s was a huge decade for women’s fashion, as trends seemed to pop up abundantly and varied from their start in 2010 to where we are now at the end of 2019.

Back onto the topic of pants, we moved away from the low-rise flare jeans of the early 2000s and moved to the form-fitting skinny jeans. And while that was a moment to be cherished as all girls had at least two pairs, one in regular denim and another in a color of their choice, jeans continued to transform, as the waistline began to rise again, and the fit became a bit looser. Mom jeans made and appearance and have been here to stay as a closet staple it seems, even though they may not be the most form flattering fit. High-waisted jeans that cinch in at the waist and the have a loser fit throughout have become even more popularized as thrifting and sourcing vintage clothes has gained traction.

Next, we have the rise of Athleisure for women. While velour tracksuits may have been all the rage in the early 2000s, this has been exchanged for something a bit less gaudy, as monochromatic athleisure has made itself a forefront in women’s fashion. From matching track suit outfits and Nikes, to wearing joggers with heels. Being comfortable was all the rage this decade and honestly, no one was upset about it.

Even more trends made their way through this past decade for women’s fashion, from crop tops and tiny sunglasses to chunky “dad” shoes and chokers. While we may look back on some of these and think “what were we doing leaving the house with that on?” there is no doubt a couple of trends will make their mark as classic staples for women to have in their closet for years to come.

After all, fashion is a cycle, and what may be out of style can easily come back into fashion once again, we see this happening all the time in woman’s fashion. For examples corset inspired tops, and puffed sleeves are making a comeback from their original debut in Victorian society and are being given a modern twist. The 90s have been knocking on our door for the past couple of years and have been making its way back into our closets. And honestly, some trends just never truly go out of style. Yeah, Janet was rocking the turtleneck in the 90s, but a black turtleneck tucked into fitted jeans is a classic look that will have you looking effortlessly chic.

Also, classic styles like Diane von Furstenberg’s wrap dress is a silhouette that stays strong to this day, and she created it in the 1970s! Trends may come and go, but great fashion will never truly go out of style.

With all of this being said though, it will be interesting to see what trends make we bring into 2020 as it is the start of a new decade. Will we be creating our own new styles that will be unique to this decade, or perhaps circulating through past trends? Perhaps we’ll get a resurgence of the 1920s?




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