Dresses of the Decades

Modern fashion often takes inspiration from previous decades with a contemporary twist. This is seen in casual & street wear but is true for formal and evening wear, as well. We gathered some of our favorite throwbacks below, observing how women's fashion has evolved through the decades and how you can recreate the look for your next event!

1920's - The Roaring Twenties

As the Jazz Age was taking rise, so was women's push for independence. Women of the 1920's were defiant- breaking societal expectations with bobbed hair, shorter skirts, and and free spirits. Some women preferred "boyish" dresses, flattening their chests and hiding their figures which rebelled against the traditional female apparel of the Victorian Era consisting of corsets and tight-fitting dresses. This was greatly depicted in the way women dressed especially flappers who were known for their unique fringed-dresses.

 
1926 Fashion via   Bellatory

1926 Fashion via  Bellatory

 

The 1930's - The Great Depression

The 1930's was a challenging time in America after the crash of the stock market in 1929. Fashion was largely influenced by movie stars as Americans used entertainment to cope with the hardships of the time. Hollywood stars were moving passed the flapper movement and introducing more elegant, tight fitting gowns. Long bias-cut dresses that elongated and slimmed the figure were popular. 

 
McCall 8115, 1935 Ladies' & Misses' Evening Dress after Agnès Drecoll via  Pinterest  

McCall 8115, 1935 Ladies' & Misses' Evening Dress after Agnès Drecoll via Pinterest 

 

The 1950's - The Golden Age 

As the country was entering a new post-war decade, the 1950's culture was full of nationalism. Pop culture icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Lucille Ball shaped the standards of the day through the silver screen, celebrating curves and femininity. Popular styles for evening gowns incorporated off-the-shoulder sleeves, puffy tulle and mid-calf skirts, and a tight bodice. 

 
Marilyn Monroe,  The Seven Year Itch  in September 1954 via  Wikipedia

Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch in September 1954 via Wikipedia

 

The 1960's - The Sixties!

The 1960's in America brought upon an explosion of change in politics, fashion, music, art, and civil rights. The country was undergoing a cultural renaissance in response to the Vietnam War, social injustice, and diversion from mainstream religion to free thought. Women's fashion generally mirrored the previous decade but with greater European influence as British superstars like The Beatles began to emerge into American pop culture. Formal dresses were typically sleek, elegant, and clean-cut often embroidered with lace or a bow. Necklines were high or boxy cut and the empire waist was highly favored for evening attire. 

 
Sears Catalog 1967 via  Pinterest

Sears Catalog 1967 via Pinterest

 

The 1970's - The "Me" Decade

The 1970's were a drastic time in America intensifying the revolutionary culture of the Sixties. The fight for social equality and peace prevailed as people came together to protest their distaste with the government. The Watergate scandal of 1972 further intensified America's hostility against the government which carried onto future generations including today. Women's fashion greatly reflected the hippie and disco culture of the decade with fun colors and prints, flowy skirts, halter necklines and butterfly collars. 

 
via  Ranker

via Ranker

 

The 1980's - The Greed Decade

After the devastation inflicted by the Watergate Scandal and the Vietnam War in the 70's, people turned to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election for answers and relief. Pop culture was exploding at an immeasurable rate as cable television was becoming more accessible and commoditized. MTV had one of the greatest influences on music, fashion, and teenage culture giving a national platform to stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna. People were becoming conscious of the drug use popularized in the 70's and more attracted to the urban, white-collar way of life. Many fashion trends came to rise as a reaction to this shift in culture. Punk fashion made a statement against the materialist and hippie ideologies adopted by many in the 80's while other people embraced the aerobic streetwear fashion as people became more health conscious. 

 
1980's Prom via  imgur

1980's Prom via imgur

 

The 1990's - The Nineties

As radio and broadcast television became further commoditized, popular culture had more influence on fashion and taste than ever before. The population was growing, technology was developing rapidly, and America was experiencing the most peace and order it faced in decades. Nirvana fueled the grunge movement among teenagers while Biggie and other rappers gave life to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. Sitcoms and reality shows like Seinfeld, Full House, Boy Meets World, and The Simpsons entertained people by resonating with real-life themes and values.  

 
Kate Moss and Shalom Harlow at the CFDA Awards. New York. February 3, 1995. Photo by Jerzy Dabrowski. via Pinterest

Kate Moss and Shalom Harlow at the CFDA Awards. New York. February 3, 1995. Photo by Jerzy Dabrowski. via Pinterest