Fashion through the ages: generational impact on today’s style

Jess Hess and Ariel Lucas

Although fashion is ever changing, previously popular clothing trends return, even if the trend was disliked. At Perry Meridian, these trends come in and out of style, and in only fifty years, fashion has changed immensely.
The 60s popularized many items and expressions of clothing while also leading to a broadening of the fashion horizon.
“Hippies,” or people who experimented with clothes, music and drugs in the 60s, spread trends such as bell bottom jeans, John Lennon sunglasses, and jean jackets with sew on decals. These are once more a trend. In fact, model and influencer Gigi Hadid was seen sporting a jean jacket with grunge-esque decals in 2016.
Although with slight variation from the original style, the clothes are representative of the popularity of repeated trends.
The constant flow of time encourages change, whether it be a minimal change or a drastic one.
Brenda Briggs, Perry’s Interpersonal Relationships and Fashion and Textiles teacher says, “I think designers start looking for something new, and everything new has already been done. What they do is they tweak what they did before.” To add on to that, she says, “Maybe the bell bottoms now are going to be more slim-fitting in the hips and then flared at the bottom,” she says.
In the 60s and 70s, bell-bottoms were considered “hip-huggers” and were not particularly narrow at the top. Briggs predicts bell-bottoms, upon their return, will not only be slimmer fitting, but also high-waisted, only a slight, yet more comfortable change to the original design.
In her life, a fashion trend she has seen resurface repeatedly is the “boho-look,” also known as the “peasant look.” This style also originated in the 1960s and carried over into the 1970s. It included a flowy top with lace, geometric or print pants, a long cardigan and boots.
However, Briggs agrees that a style that has never left the shelves is denim.
“Denim has never gone out. Jean jackets were to show how rugged denim could make you. You could rope cattle, and work on a farm…Now, kids want clothes that are durable. They take it a step further and distress the fabric.”

The 1970s were a mixture of the best parts of the 60s, twisted just right to fit the era. The popularity of the denim jacket in the 60s brought a new denim trend to the surface: denim skirts. In 2018, the look is still going strong.
Senior María Díaz Fernández enjoys the simplicity in wearing her denim skirts, “I feel like everyone can wear a denim skirt and rock it,” she says.
Other trends Fernández continues to rock are the 1970s platform shoes and boots. Her signature Doc Martens fit the category perfectly.
Not everyone agrees with the return, however. Briggs, who had a painful experience with them, says, “I hope those don’t come back. I fell off of them and trashed my ankle.”
Another popular trend that Briggs notes has never died is tye-dye, which became heavily popular in the 1970’s. Originally, tye dye was a bold fashion statement, with brands such as Dior producing tye-dyed dresses. However, tye-dye is not exactly for fashion anymore; it’s mostly for recreation.
In 2018, tye-dye is primarily used for fun a summer past time. If not that, then for branding a club, band or an event in a fun manner.

The 1980s brought big hair and bright eyeshadow. It had an emphasis on color and no lack in personality. Statement pieces, like huge hoops and leg warmers, also became normal trends. Fanny packs and other accessories grazed the limelight.
Big hair, which is now considered embarrassing by middle-aged moms looking at their old yearbooks, is also coming back.
Fernández has straight hair; however, she used to aspire to have a voluminous look.
“I love curly hair with all my soul. It gives you personality. I used to spend two hours curling my hair,” she says.
In 2018, the most relevant return is that of fanny packs, a convenient, yet controversial styling tactic.
Fernández, who wears a fanny pack almost every single day, has a singular, yet contradicting take on them.
“I hate them with all my soul,” she says, adding on that the only reason hers is present is the fact that she was “too lazy to buy a backpack.”
To her, the culture in America convinced her to buy one. Fernández says, “People like it here, so I said ‘Why not?’ and now I wear a fanny pack.”
Others, however, find them incredibly convenient. Briggs owns the Louis Vuitton “bum bag,” which she purchased earlier in her life. Now, it’s priced at $1,500.Gucci has its own variation, called a “belt bag.” It is priced between $1,100 and $1,890.
The 90s reintroduced trends like combat boots, thin eyebrows, and chokers. Although they were introduced before, people rocked them in their own way during the 90s. According to, some of the most popular chokers in the 90’s were the “spiked goth dog collars,” and “twisty hemp” ones studded with puka shells.
People brought them back to add a little “pop” to their outfit, but Fernández thinks they are outdated. “They’re too 2012,” she says.
Another fashion trend from the 90s that people seem to love are combat boots.
“I really love big boots,” Fernández says.
“Combat boots are comfortable for everyone.” Fernández frequently wears her Doc Martens, a shoe that not only originated in the 40s, but have lasted for over six decades.
According to TheTrendSpotter, those in the 90s loved combat boots because they were tough, gritty and paired with everything from slip dresses to floral patterned clothes to flannel shirts and frayed jeans.
Donning large logos on clothes became a trend in the 90s and early 2000s. Some brands that used to, and still have massive logos on them include Juicy Couture, Supreme, Tommy Hilfiger, and Vans.
“The brand thing is totally stupid,” Fernández says, “If you pay $60 for shoes, why do you have to wear the big logo? When I see girls with the big brand, that’s not fashion, that’s stupid.”
Some fashion items that arrived in the early 2000s were low rise jeans and off-the-shoulder shirts. These new clothing items were a twist on the old baggy T-shirts and loose, torn jeans.
For celebrities, colored hair and hip-hugging pants stole the show. For example, artist P!nk wore a controversial outfit including both of these at the 2000 Video Music Awards. Her hair, spiked to the moon and dyed a vibrant pink, made a statement. Her pants, the pockets seemingly torn out and her hips exposed, clung tightly to her legs with a golden chain.
Fernández experimented with colored hair herself, secretly dying the ends pink without her mother’s permission.
“So, I was in another city and my mom wasn’t there so I said ‘why not? Pink!’ I also have very long hair,” she says.
Overall, early 2000’s trends, other than colored hair have yet to rise back up. Current times offer the largest variety of styles in history. Plus-size clothing in the industry is thriving, and creative styles are under less scrutiny than they once were. Despite this, some trends do not agree with those who grew up in earlier fashion periods.
Briggs, who has seen a variety of students go in and out of her classroom over the years, notes one trend she currently hates: man buns.
“Oh lord, I hope those go out,” she says, “Not a big man-bun fan.”
Her opinion on this is mostly due to the fact that when she grew up, men were considered emasculated if they donned long hair. The times have changed, however, with longer hair now considered fashionable.
2016-2018 marked the return of Crocs, a fashion choice considered “ugly” by some. Despite the hatred of them, Crocs have gone through a transformation. Not only this, but people have discovered ways to customize their foot-wear. Jibbitz are small croc pins that attach through the holes. Platform crocs also briefly had an appearance, with youtubers such as fashion and makeup guru, Safiya Nygaard, testing them.
Briggs opinion on crocs is similar to Fernández’s view on fanny packs: “I think they’re the ugliest shoes on earth, and, yet, I have about 5 pairs of them,” she says.

Oscar de la Renta, a Dominican fashion designer states, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” Despite judgment, people continue to wear what they find comfortable and not what society dictates as acceptable.