Fashion Through the Decades

Lauren Nagamine, Journalist

The fashion industry is constantly evolving. From the psychedelic 70s to the big and bright 2000s, these eras of fashion are ones to remember. Even today, we see elements of these decades in our fashion. They have inspired our self-expression and creativity. 

The 70s

There is a reason why the 70s was one of the most iconic fashion decades. Discos ruled the clubs and hippies were all the rage. From flares to platform shoes, the 70s was one of the best. First up, bell bottoms. These pants were worn by anyone of any age. They were so popular that even people started making them tops too, the bell sleeve. Platform shoes, mini skirts, tie-dye tops, and shearling coats were all the staple pieces in the 70s. Everyone was waiting to see what Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin were going to wear next. Puka shells and high-waisted pants were also popular and they have been coming back within the past few years. Over the decade, baby blue, yellow, mauve, and peach were some of the most worn colors. The 70s were the definition of casual but still very fashionable and put together. 


The 80s

Big and bright. Those are the only two words that properly describe the 80s. Every clothing item was neon with the occasional stripes and acid wash. Cutoff sweatshirts, leg warmers, and frills were necessities in the 80. A new type of fabric, spandex, led to more comfortable activewear that eventually became common streetwear. Ripped and acid wash jeans had a huge breakthrough with brands like, Guess, Jordache and Levis. Everyone also had big hair with perms, bangs, curls, and the infamous aerosol hairspray. Speaking of hair, this was the time that mullets took over the hairdressing industry. To go along with their side ponytails, people wore neon scrunchies, earrings, and bengals. The 80s have changed our take on fashion by showing us that it is okay to stand out with its bright colors and patterns.


The 90s

The 90s were all about going back to the basics but adding a little flare.  On red carpets, it was common to see slip dresses, kitten heels, and animal prints. For streetwear, everyone wore halter tops, printed leggings, and combat trousers. Overalls were a staple in the 90s along with gray New Balance sneakers, and bucket hats. Skater tees were also very popular from brands like Alien Workshop, Toy Machine, and Thrasher. You could also see frosted tips and bandannas on everyone’s heads. Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Aniston, and Winona Ryder were the main fashion role models with styles that were completely unmatched. Words don’t even begin to describe 90s fashion, with its extensive patterns and variety, the 90s is really fit for anyone.


The 2000s

The 2000s have made a huge comeback in today’s fashion and there is no question why. The 2000s were full of new and inventive styles that have never been seen before. Unlike the high-waisted pants in the past, the 2000s were all about low-rise jeans. Nothing says 2000s fashion like butterfly clips, cargo pants, and velour tracksuits.  You could not have stepped out of your house for 10 minutes without seeing the infamous velour tracksuits from Juicy Couture. Baguette bags, baby tees, and crochet tops are all trends from the 2000s that we see in today’s fashion. Paris Hilton, Destiny’s Child, and the Olsen twins have set the trends for these years and they are still relevant to this day.


The fashion industry will continue to change but we can always go back to the past for some of these iconic outfits. They help us create our own unique style and give us a sense of individuality. Maybe, some of today’s trends will come back in the future. 

Sources used: 

Blasts from the Past: Top 12 Fashion Trends that Traveled Back to the Future