The Changing Trends Of Women’s Clothing In The Last Four Decades
If we try and research the history of fashion in America for women from its origin, we will be busy reading volumes and volumes of archives. Fashion is not just limited to the ramp or to the world of high society. Even a simple jacket or a muffler worn by a woman whilst buying vegetables in a market is a product of fashion that must have percolated from the ramp to the retail stores. Let us traverse through time to trace the changing face of fashion in America.
The seventies was an age of Disco! A mix of skirt lengths – from micro, mini to maxi along with some lighter weight clothes such as kaftans, flared trousers, platform shoes were in vogue. Tank tops that have made a comeback today first saw their origin in the seventies. Coordinated knitwear was in fashion along with tank tops. This was the ‘flower-power’ age which gave rise to a lot of loose hippie like clothing such as floral skirts and shirts.
Whilst the seventies saw the silhouette of fashion to be largely characterized by tight fitting shirts/tops and looser clothes on the bottom, this trend completely inverted in the early eighties as women began to wear looser shirts and tight, close-fitting pants. In this decade, the financial situation of people began to rise; as a result, ‘fashion’ became more accessible for the common people. Brand names like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein became household names. During this time, Madonna’s single, “Like a Virgin” had released and she was given the title of the “Material Girl”. She inspired millions of women with her wacky style of dressing. The trend of over-sized shoulder pads was made popular by American shows like ‘Dallas’, ‘Dynasty’ and a movie called ‘Flashdance’. In the eighties, subcultures of Rap music and Hip-Hop had also become very popular, influencing wider fashion trends.