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The 8 Best Fashion Trends of the Past 80 Years

By Edited Aug 17, 2015 0 0


Poodle skirts. Shoulder pads. Hammer pants. Fashion trends come and go, and it’s tough to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not. We’ve had a love-hate relationship with pointy-toed shoes since Marie Antoinette’s day, and judging by all the 1950s frocks on the runway, it’s safe to say that the Mad Men style is back for another round. But for how long?

Some styles though, like a good DVF wrap dress, never go out of fashion. They’ve pushed through wars, recessions and unfortunate fashion eras (grunge, anyone?) and proved they’ve got what it takes to last a lifetime.

1920s - The Chanel Suit

1920s - The Chanel Suit

On August 5, 1923, Chanel gathered a small group of journalists in Paris for the showing of her new line, which included the first-ever appearance of the Chanel suit. The boxy tweed separates were hailed as the “new uniform for afternoon and evening” and, beloved by everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy to Penelope Cruz, have truly withstood the test of time.

1930s - The Little Black Dress

1930s - The LBD

In 1926, Coco Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. Women didn’t immediately love it—black had previously been reserved for clergy or people in mourning—so it took a few years to catch on. But women quickly fell for its simplicity, versatility and affordability.

1940s - Menswear

1930s - Menswear

Women wear pants all the time now, but in the 1940s Katharine Hepburn took a big risk when she stepped out in masculine trousers and shirts. Luckily for her, she looked better in them than the men and proved it was possible to look glamorous and be comfortable at the same time.

1950s - The Pencil Skirt

1950s - The Pencil Skirt

Fitted, curvaceous and thigh-slimming, pencil skirts give us one more reason to adore Dior. The French designer introduced the classic modern pencil skirt to the world and women everywhere fell in love with its unique ability to simultaneously exude desirability and class. Throw on a pair of sexy back-seamed tights and you’re good to go!

1960s - The Mini

1960s - The Mini

Miniskirts were born out of the “Swinging London” scene of the 1960s, when British designer Mary Quant raised hemlines—and eyebrows—with her shorter-than-ever designs. And even though midi and maxi skirts were all the rage a decade later, miniskirts never went out style.

1970s - Platform Shoes

1970s - Platform Shoes

Platform shoes have been around since the 1940s, but their popularity didn’t skyrocket until the 1970s, when even men’s soles soared to disco-ready heights. Modern styles have lost the clunkiness, but kept the leg-slimming, vertigo-inducing height that made us love them in the first place.

1980s - Sexy Jeans

1980s - Sexy Jeans

In 1980, a then 14-year-old Brooke Shields uttered the lines that would change the fashion world forever: “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” The ad, while tame by today’s standards, caused quite a stir in 1980. It also catapulted Calvin Klein’s career to super-designer status and transformed denim from sporty weekend wear to a glam wardrobe staple.

1990s - Erm...Nothing

1990s - Mark Wahlberg's Bare Chest

Flannel shirts, babydoll dresses and Mickey Mouse sweatshirts? Ugh. Matching jeans and denim jackets? Double ugh. Nothing good came out of the 90s, except Mark Wahlberg’s shirtless stint in the “Good Vibrations” music video. It’s not a trend, but it can stay.



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