The 20th Century saw some of the biggest changes not just in industry and politics, but especially in fashion. We start wearing corsetry, skirts to the floor, and massive hats. By the end, we’re wearing low-rise jeans and bikini tops regularly. But to truly bring into perspective just how wide-wearing fashions in the 20th century were, we need to look at them together in a timeline. So today we will run through 20th-century fashion from 1900 to 1999.
With the death of the long-reigning queen, Queen Victoria in 1901, the Victorian era ended. Fashions generally remained very similar, that is very conservative, modest, corseted, and long flowing skirts. That was until the Gibson girl came into play. Gibson girl brought in the S bend corset which was a corset designed to change your silhouette to push your bust forward and push your pelvis back. The Gibson girl was a girl of leisure and activity. So, to accommodate those skirts got a little bit shorter, and you would see women wearing shirts more. As the jacket continued the silhouette became softer and the S-bent corsets slowly fell out of favor allowing for the teen shape that was to follow.
Fashions of the 1910s were shaped by something rather large, would be the First World War. At the beginning of the decade, corsets were still commonplace, and fashions did still somewhat resemble the Edwardian era. Around 1914 styles become less restrictive and more tubular.
This is because women were starting to go into the workplace to replace the jobs of men who were fighting on the battlefield. Hemlines got far higher, necklines got lower, and clothing became less modest. Garments were far less elaborate than they were in the previous decade. Clothing became more utilitarian and military-inspired.
In the 1920s was the world still reeling from the damages, especially the economic damages of the First World Wand, and styles remained quite simple. As we move through the first couple of years of the 1920s, we see waistlines start to drop and hemlines start to raise.
This flap dress style was helped into popularity by the designer Coco Chanel who blew up in the 1920s. Evening dresses once more became popular in the 1920s has been sort of abandoned in the 1910s because of war. As the decade drew to a close, hemlines began dropping slightly and the waistline slowly began to rise.
While the 1920s were seen to be boyish, the 1930s were the complete opposite instead favoring a more feminine style that softly hugged the curves. With the birth of Hollywood and talkies, the average woman began looking up to what we now call old Hollywood for fashion inspiration.
The bias cut came into style. This allows for more elasticity and allows the garment to slowly drip over the body instead of clinging to it.
The 1950s saw the fresh look come into everyday fashion. Allegiance was once again at the forefront after the dire fashion of the 1940s. Daywear had an extremely strict sense of formality, with it being expected that you wear gloves and hats when you leave your home.
Fun and quirky patterns and fabrics came into fashion once more. There also began a growing trend for pencil skirts. The 1950s also saw the arrival of the cocktail dress.
By the 1970s ready-to-wear fashion was considered new and because of this new craze for ready-to-wear fashion, boutiques became popular. The hippie styles of the late 60s continued into the 1970s being pushed forward by stars like Stevie Nicks.
People were looking for a freer world and of course, their fashion would reflect this. The designers of the 1970s also look a lot of inspiration from the Edwardian era. Therefore, we see a lot of high necks and long sleeves.
The 1990s saw the rise to the fame of many famous supermodels. We’re talking about supermodels like Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford. The desired silhouette and figure of the 1990s were similar to these gorgeous supermodels, tall, lean, and slim, and because of this people looked back to the 1930s which was somewhat similar in bringing back the buy-a-skirt silk gown.
Although the 1990s style was slightly different favoring spaghetti straps over more full coverage. The 90s also saw the emergence of hip-hop with African American culture crossing over into the mainstream media.
This was the 20th century in terms of fashion. As we can see when we look at this article, so much changed in the 20th century. It becomes quite hard to believe that any of that ever happened. We will have to wait and see what kind of timeline we will have drawn up by the end of the 21st century.