Fashion Through Decades: A Look at The Fashion Trends Since 1950

  • Jan 25, 2019

Fashion has a profound impact on human history. Ever since the humans began to drape themselves, the fashion trends continue to evolve. But since we are short of time to list every single fashion in history, we will only look at some of the best fashion trends since the 1950s.

1950s Fashion

1950s Faashion

Image Courtesy: Women And More

The year 1950 marked a new era in fashion. World War II was over, and the world was ready to experiment with new fashion ideas.

It was the time when Christian Dior rolled out new designs that were different from the minimalist designs of the 1930s and 1940s era. It was the time when wasp-waist dress became a trend and women started wearing calf-length skirts. The media dubbed these designs as “New Look.”

The 1950s were no different for the men as they continued to wear suits, pants, and shirts. The only difference was that they preferred plain designs over the plaid or pinstripes.


1960s: Political and Social Activities Influenced the Fashion Trends

1960s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Libero

The 1960s can be called the decade of social and political change as the world was going through international conflicts and social transitions. It was the time when the Vietnam War was in progress, and the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. 

The music industry in the 1960s highly influenced the people of the time and The Beatles became the new voice of the rebels. The phenomenal popularity of The Beatles was visible in the apparel industry and many local manufacturers produced T-shirts with custom made patches of members of The Beatles.

The era gave birth to three popular subcultures: Mods, Rockers, and Hippies. They inspired the teenagers who later became trailblazers of the 60s fashion. 

The 1960s introduced new fashion trends to the world which included miniskirts, bell bottoms, tie-dye prints, geometric shapes, and neon colors. Jacqueline Kennedy, Twiggy, and Audrey Hepburn became the new style icons for women, and the Beatles became the fashion idols for the men.


2. 1970s: The Era of Individualism

1970s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Marie Claire

The fashion in 1970 continued from where it left in the 1960s. The Mods, Rockers, and Hippies continued to influence the fashion world in Europe and North America. The growing popularity of disco led to the increased production of polyester. This era also marked the beginning of flared jeans and platform shoes that became iconic pieces of clothing of the time. 

Women flaunted the bell bottoms and palazzo pants, while men donned the jeans and T-shirts with custom patches. The 1970s saw a surge in pantsuits as more women entered the workplace. 

The Punk style emerged on the fashion scene which inspired the style of people during the 1970s and 1980s, and the subculture had influences on the sartorial choice of men who started wearing T-shirts with political slogans and leather jackets with metal studs. The skinheads and Mohawk hairstyle were commonplace in European and American regions.


3. 1980s: Women Power Dominated the Fashion Trends

1970s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Who What Wear

The 1980s was a significant year for women as they became more influential in the workforce. The increasing head counts of women also changed their choice of clothing, and more women started donning power suits with padded shoulders. 

The 1980s was a game-changer for the fashion industry as MTV was launched in this decade. The music channel launched pop stars like Madonna and Diana Ross who became the style divas of the 80s. 

For women, the most noticeable casual wear in the 80s were leggings, parachute pants, chunky sweaters, cropped tops, and off-the-shoulder tops. The bouffant became the new hairdo and women flaunted their puffed out hairs on both casual and formal occasions.

This period also marked the resurgence of jewelry and cosmetics industry. It popularized the use of heavy makeup, and more women began to use bright colors on their face. The use of sequins and rhinestone became a common part of women’s clothing.

The men’s fashion saw an increase in athletic apparels and more emphasis was put on practical clothing like sweatsuit, and hoodie. The end of punk-era stared a new wave of men’s fashion which was fresh, casual, and more practical. The leather, flannel, nylon, and spandex became the favorite fabrics for men’s dresses. On the corporate side, the only change was the resurgence of double-breasted suits from the 1940s.


4. 1990s: The Era of Minimalism

1990s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Cosmopolitan

During the 1990s, people withdrew from the elaborate clothing and fashion accessories and made a transition towards a more minimalist approach. Music channels like MTV and V Channel helped popularized the outfits worn by famous pop stars like Curt Cobain, Madonna, and Britney Spears.

Slip dress became the most famous dress among the women, while flannel shirt got a liking in men. Women wore feathered bangs, and pixie cut and the mullet hairstyle flattered the men. Androgynous clothes like denim jackets, baggy pants, cropped tops, tank tops, cargo pants, and sneakers became popular among both the sexes. The low-rise jeans saw a surge during the late 1990s after Britney Spears started donning them in her music videos.


5. 2000s: The Fusion of Fashion

2000s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Refinery 29

The 2000s can be called a decade of the vintage clothing. This period witnessed the many shades of fashion from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The boom of world wide web paved way to more diversified styles of clothing which resulted in a fusion of fashion from different cultures.

The women flaunted belly shirts, low rise pants, denim skirts, halter tops, and capri pants. The hoop rings, oversized glasses, ballet flats, and wedged flip-flops were all the rage among women. The tunic is the most popular garment that women donned during this period.

For male gender, the decade was a revival of the 1980s athletic clothing as more men wore sweatshirts, baseball caps, and trainers. The trend of military-inspired dresses became the staple of men’s fashion during the mid-2000s with apparels like drainpipe pants, cargo pants, boot-cut jeans, and puffer jackets with custom moral patches.

In the formal setting, the men preferred more a slim-fit style of suits that closely fit the body. It is still in use, and it is worn with a two-button blazer and a slim necktie.


2010s: A New Wave of Fashion

2010s Fashion

Image Courtesy: Who What Wear

The 2010s began many new ideas in fashion. It is the decade that introduced the athleisure when people started to wear the athletic clothes in their daily lives. Part of the popularity of fashion trends during the 2010s is influenced by social media celebrities who inspired the people with their sense of style.

Today, Instagram and Pinterest are the biggest platforms to breed fashion ideas thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Taylor Swift.

The early 2010s continued the vintage clothing from the decades of 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, the new colors, patterns, and designs subdued the vintage clothing and it soon replaced by contemporary trends. The neon colors were replaced by tones like mustard, burgundy, and yellow, while the graphics prints were substituted with plain clothing with simple colors like white, black, gray, beige, and burgundy.

For women, the tunics lost its popularity as the athleisure penetrated the markets. Besides, the ladies opted more for bodycons and sheer dresses. The A-line dresses saw a resurgence in the global markets during the mid-2010s, and it proves that women are still fond of this outfit. 

The wedge sneakers, cavalier boots and dad sneakers got phenomenal popularity among women. The pantywaist top is the latest fashion item that is likely to push the market in the coming years.

This decade was equally significant for the men. Crewneck sweatshirt, faded jeans with custom iron on patches, flannel shirt, polo shirts, overcoat, denim jacket, and tracksuits were the everyday casual wear for men. The three-piece suit remained the norm in the workplace with the only exception of shawl lapel which substituted the notch-lapel of the 2000s.

Fashion keeps changing with time. As this decade draws to the end, we will look forward to seeing more fashion trends in the coming decade.





  • Category: Fashion
  • Tags: custom patches custom made patches custom iron on patches custom moral patches