The beauty of every individual is evident in their appearance. Elegance helps to boost public confidence, and fashion is contagious, particularly when prominent figures style it. Fashion trends have existed for centuries and have continually been passed down from one generation to another. They continuously repeat themselves over the years. While there were many fashion eras in the past, a few are worth noting. They had widespread adoptions and had the participation of dignitaries and well-revered celebrities. This article aims to reveal the most influential fashion eras in history.
- The Post-Medieval Era
- The Period of Lights
- The Victorian Compromise Period
- The Arts Décoratifs Period
- The War Era
- The Groovy 60s
- The 2010s
The Post-Medieval Era
The post-medieval era started from the 1500s till the 1800s. It is also called the “reawakening period” from medieval times. It was an artistic period filled with philosophers and authors. In terms of fashion, the renaissance period had its fashion standards. Stylish fashion was on the high-end as it could only be seen on the wealthy. While the low-class people appeared in linen clothes produced from wool or flax, the wealthy class styled outfits made with brocade and velvet. The trending female styles adopted by the significant population were tight bodiced flare gowns and ankle-length gowns. Free corsets were also rampant during this period.
On the other hand, the men popularly styled collarless and cuffless shirts. They loved doublets and sleeveless jackets. Stockings were also prominent and short trousers that stopped at the knee.
The Period of Lights
The 18th century is referred to as the period of lights. In the days of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, extravagance ruled the fashion world. The middle classes played significant roles, from the use of white wigs to Rococo styles. Art had become more prominent in this period, and culture was highly referenced. Being one of the most influential fashion eras, stylists competed for fame, so they tried several styles, not minding how ridiculous it would look. Women styled outfits with waist-fitting borders and dropping necklines that revealed their low necklines. Pagoda sleeves with flare ends and silhouettes were the elegance women wore. There were also under-skirt panniers for formal events that projected their tiny waists. These outfits made them look noble.
The Victorian Compromise Period
This period is named after Queen Victoria of Britain. It began in 1837 and ended in 1901. Fashion in this period was styled with class and fortune. At the beginning of this period, women were attached to oversized dresses. However, in the 1880s, the trend changed to bustle dresses. Corsets were still in wide use and were proudly adorned. Women elegantly wore hats and bonnets indoors and outdoors. But years later, women slowly abandoned corsets and opted for freer artistic dresses.
The men extended their trousers from the knees to the ankles. As a prevalent trend in one of the most potent fashion eras, the men wore these longer and straight trousers for morning and evening occasions. The gents loved simple outfits and popularly adopted the use of top hats. They also loved long coats, waistcoats, shirts with high collars, mousers, and beards.
The Arts Décoratifs Times
The Art Décoratifs times were the 1920s to 1930s. During this period, fashion was taken to a whole new level. Stylists, artists, and novelists were vital role players in the affluent nature of designs, making this period one of the most memorable fashion eras in history. Ladies preferred the use of short hemmed dresses and low hair. Simplicity was the trend as fashionistas pulled out of middle-age and 18th-century trends. Instead of corsets, women loved partially cut dresses styled with colorful accessories, including gold or silver. There were prominent designers like Gabrielle Chanel and Paul Poiret. Paul, a French stylist, was a founding influencer for the fashion styles. Paul drew his inspiration from folk cultures and innovative arts.
During the daytime in the 1920s, women loved slim and steep dresses that mostly had needlework and geometric designs. Patterned designs and appliques were also the wanted styles. In the dusks, ladies wore more extravagant outfits that expressed jazzy feelings. They styled short velvet and silk gowns with pearly and metallic embroideries. Feathers and boas accentuated their walk steps. Ladies looked more youthful in this era than in previous fashion eras.
In the 1930s, Hollywood celebrities like Shirley Temple and the British princesses Margaret and Elizabeth were primary drivers for fashion trends among ladies, guys, and children. Outfits were easier to purchase as they were low-cost, so it was easy to imitate the elites. Hollywood idols like Katherine Hepburn trended leisure trousers in the women’s section. They were wide at the legs and high above the waist, just like sailors’ trousers.
Marlene Dietrich, an American actress, was a driver for baggy and casual trousers. Fur coats and Mary Jane heels were in wide use. Rubber clothes were seen to have light weights and became famous.
Prince Edward of Winsdor was a prominent fashion idol in this era for the male. He regularly styled the London cut, a suit that gained global acceptance. The prince loved shoulder-soft jackets with full-chested vertical drapes. Other contemporary icons were actors Gary Cooper and Clark Gable. Apart from the London cut, dark-colored (gray and dark blue) and bright-colored suits were styled for different weather conditions. Many were stripped, checked, or plaided as longer jackets were popular in wardrobes. Simplicity was also a fashion ideology during this time. Hence, men loved golf shorts and argyle socks.
The War Era
The war years are the 1940s. Women fought for the acceptable use of trousers. It was unusual and disallowed for women to wear trousers as they were confined to skirts and dresses. However, when women started working in factories because the men were on military assignment for the war, the acceptance of trousers for women grew as skirts were not comfortable to work in. Time passed, and trousers became mainstream for females. Women incorporated male fashion styles in their outfits, including coats, hats, and dresses. Stim silhouettes, sweaters, military feet jackets, and short tight skirts were trendy. Women seemed very serious-looking in these outfits. These looks were not weird because women were more responsible for running the home and laboring hard at work. Years later, the Dior fashion brand surfaced, but women took a long time adjusting and returning to feminine designs.
The Groovy 60s
Fashion evolved in the 1960s. This period was radical among other fashion eras. Chic styles started from this period and have continually trended till today. Fashion was majorly for the youths and had a different energy from the previous generations. American styles were the kings of the decade and were heavily influenced. Ladies no longer wanted knee-length or flared skirts. Rather mini skirts introduced by Mary Quant were the new styles because they seemed more fashionable and strengthened womanhood. Mini skirts also allowed black women to showcase and appreciate their black color without fear. Black power rose when some black activists known as the Black Panther Party began styling afros. Afros at this time symbolized black power.
The women were not the only ones caught in this fashion revival. Men were more casual and also stylish. They wore patterned and colorful outfits that proudly revealed their masculinity. Men like the Beatles and Mick Jagger were huge fashion influencers, driving futurism into fashion. Jimi Hendrix was also a notable fashion figure.
The 1960s were turnaround moments for fashion, but the 2010s had more power and ranked among the most influential fashion eras. Ladies had varying preferences in their hairstyles. Although many of them from several regions like Russia, Ireland, Britain, Australia, Korea, and other European areas preferred naturally colored, simple, long, and straight hairstyles like in the 2000s. Many ladies made attachments on their hairs to have a fuller and lengthier look. In places like the United States and Israel, big-sized curly hairs, perms, and kinky hairs were trendy in the first two years of the decade. New Yorkers styled them more than anybody else.
In the mid-2019s, some American ladies with curly hair resorted to using wigs and weaves to imitate music stars like Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus. The changes helped them avoid relaxers that damaged their hair like in the 2000s. Boxer braids formally called Cornrows were also fashionable in the 2010s. Female fighters widely used them in Mixed Martial Arts and Hilary Swank of the Million Dollar Baby movie.
Hence they became prominent among the white ladies. Man buns were prevalent among young men and teenagers in 2014. They made these styles similar to old Chinese hairstyles. They also looked like Samurai styles as they were styled mainly by American and British notables like Gareth Bale, Orlando Bloom, David Beckham, Bradley Cooper, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
It was common among British fashionistas to allow their undercuts to stay unstyled, like the Beatles and the Britpops of the 90s. This and Buzzcut styles were popular in Egypt, Algeria, Brazil, and Paraguay. This continued from 2010 till the beginning of the 2020s. Tattoos were also a go-for trend as they were popularized by icons like Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Cardi B, Justin Bieber, and Post Malone. Tattoo designer Kat Von D organized a tattoo tour for celebrities in 2010. Her tattoo designs imitated the pinup icons of the 40s and 50s.
Every new fashion era had a significant distinctiveness from the previous. Every new period happened like a revolution, introducing new styles and reserving remnants of earlier times. Celebrities did an excellent job of showcasing their fashion tastes and making them go-for fashions for everyone. While these eras were the most influential, subsequent ones might have more significant influence than we have seen.