The History of Fashion – Part 2: The 1900’s

Jani Rust

History of Fashion - Part 2 - the 1900's

As the 1800’s came to a close, women’s fashion had changed dramatically, as revealing one’s natural body shape, beneath loosely draped clothing became favoured over structured bustle dresses and tightly-laced corsets. Fashion became a form of expressionism and revealing one’s individuality, rather than a representation of social status and wealth.
The Mauve Decade paved the way for clothing dye to be widely used, allowing for endless designs and pattern options.

1900's dye dresses 

An hourglass figure, with visible breasts and naturally shaped hips, became a trend during the early 1900’s. Women began showing more skin, revealing a sexier-side.
Tailored jackets and long-narrow skirts were popular every-day garments, whilst structured narrow skirts, frills and bows were favoured as evening-wear.
The ‘s’ corset became widely popular, thrusting a woman’s chest forward and her hips backward, a desired figure of the time.

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Women also took on a more active lifestyle toward the mid 1950’s and fashion was forced to evolve to accommodate their busy schedules. Fashion did indeed evolve and started boasting simpler, streamlined clothing. Women ventured outside of their domestic lives, into various activities, such as the gym and most importantly, the corporate world.
It became more common for women to be working in corporate industries, hence the tailored suit, which became every woman’s go-to corporate outfit, in order to blend into a male dominated environment.

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College girls on the other hand, would typically wear a shirt-waist dress, which was a casual loosely fitted shirt-dress.
There was also a new fashion movement in the sport-wear and beach-wear department, as women began to show more skin exhibiting their confidence in their roles in society.

Women in society - All Bags

The 1960’s was a decade of change, as the miniskirt became an emblem of liberation for all women alike. Prior to this period, skirts were long and had never showed a woman’s knee. Women created as much awareness as possible, around this (then) taboo fashion trend. Yves Saint Laurent then designed a woman’s tux, which was both feminine and slightly masculine, to celebrate the working woman. Also taboo at the time, but later became a sought-after trend.

All Bags - History of Fashion 1900s

1966-1970, was arguably, the most influential years in fashion. The iconic style of Ibiza, being the never ending summer destination, had started off in California, reached its peak in San Francisco and then evolved into the 70’s hippie style that we all know and love. Colourful tunics, sandals, bell-bottom jeans, flower head bands, flowing dresses and bright colours, were and still are iconic garments from an unforgettable era.

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The 1970’s is when the hippie era had reached its peak, along with disco style.
Another popular trend was the baby-doll look: usually brightly-coloured, A-line dresses, which were both sexy and preppy in appearance.

All Bags - History of fashion

The 1990’s shaped fashion as we know it today.
The influence of pop-culture and music was obvious: low-cut jeans, grunge, hip-hop and preppy-chic were all iconic trends from the 1990’s, which are still present in modern fashion.

1990's - fashion history - all bags

The 1900’s were influential to various trends of the 2000’s, which we will be exploring in next week’s third instalment of our History of Fashion blog series.

All Bags - 1990s 

Happy shopping xx

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