It’s happened to all of us: you open your wardrobe to look for an outfit and the question is “Have I been wearing this for years, or can I still call it ‘in style’?”. Fashion is an ever-evolving concept, always changing and adapting to our current culture. Take a trip down memory lane to uncover how our fashion sense has changed and progressed over the years. From fashion standbys to vintage must-haves, tracing the evolution of our wardrobes can be a revealing journey. Come along with us to explore the different fashion trends that we have embraced throughout the years!
1. From Pleated Skirts to Cropped Tops: A Journey Through My Personal Fashion Evolution
Fashion has always been a part of my life, and I’ve always had a strong sense of what I like and don’t like. Over the years, my style has naturally shifted as I’ve changed and grown, leading to a journey full of interesting pieces, diverse outfits, and personal favourites. Here’s how it all started:
- My Childhood: I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when practical, comfortable clothing was well in style – think pleated skirts, round-toe shoes, and toggle coats. I loved the versatility of these designs, and took pride in my polite outfits that could go from the classroom to the playground.
- Early Adolescence: As my taste started to mature, so did my fashion choices. Denim was becoming a big part of my wardrobe, and soon I was wearing everything from boyfriend jeans to ripped boyfriend jeans with my favourite sneakers. I also developed an interest in streetwear, and would often pair my own take on urban fashion with graphic tees and hoodies.
- High School: As most teenagers do, I wanted to express my independence and creativity during my high school years. That meant experimenting with my look. I tried out edgy styles, pairing slouchy sweaters and leather skinny pants with heavy boots. This was also the beginning of my interest in fashion beyond the ordinary, when chinoiserie prints, Parisian-style blouses, and unexpected combinations first captured my attention.
- My 20s: As I entered my 20s, my taste in fashion began to settle into some consistent themes: cropped tops, statement accessories, tailored separates, and unexpected textures. I was inspired by the whimsical, playful looks I saw on the street, and often combined the daring with the timeless. I also began to pay increasingly close attention to materials and craftsmanship – for me, the quality of an item was almost more important than its style.
As you can see, my fashion evolution has always been curious, fun, and ever-changing. From the skirts of childhood to the tailored separates of adulthood, I’ve never lost sight of the importance of wearing what you love.
2. Experiencing Sisterhood through Trendsetting: Disco in the 70s
The 70s were a time when all things were possible and no boundaries were enforced on self-expression. Every night on the dance floors of the discos of the era, people of all ages, colors, and creeds gathered together to celebrate themselves through the revolutionary music known as disco. Throughout the decade, disco was a trendsetter in blending exciting music with the liberating virtues of sisterhood, establishing a cornerstone of self-empowerment for countless generations to come.
It wasn’t uncommon to walk into a 70s disco and see a diverse amalgamation of people and styles. Women strutted their stuff in hot pants, bell bottoms, and blouses, while men oozed swagger in bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and crisp white suits. Beyond the flashy and fearless fashions, the 70s disco culture was focused on music and, especially, dancing.
No party was complete without the dizzying sounds of bands like Chic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament, and the Jackson 5 filling up the room. Once the music started playing, women hit the dance floor to express themselves through a liberating art form of dance. More than simply mimicking trendy dance moves, women explored their sensuality and sexuality as they freed themselves, as a collective, from rigid societal standards. Here, women truly experienced the beauty of sisterhood by liberating themselves through dance.
Discos were also a hotspot for creating and disrupting fashion trends. Women weren’t afraid to push the boundaries of expression by experimenting with daring hairstyles, flashy makeup, and uproarious clothing. As music and fashion collided, women found opportunities to bolster their self-confidence through stylish self-expression. It wasn’t just about looking good – it was also about feeling confident and in control. It was about celebrating self-expression and owning up to it.
By the end of the 70s, disco provided an inroads for aspiring female pop stars like the Weather Girls, Donna Summer, and Gloria Gaynor to make it big. Women everywhere connected with the soulful and catchy songs, which were often rooted in themes of self-empowerment, and felt triumphant to see powerful female stars dominating the music charts. Disco provided a safe and open haven for women to come together and express themselves, inspiring a new wave of solidarity among women of all different backgrounds.
3. Power Dressing in the 80s: Sculptural Silhouettes and Peppy Color Palettes
The 1980s was a time for big volume and sky-high ambitions. Power dressing was a way to make a statement at work and in social settings. Whether it was for the office or a fun night out, silhouettes were sculptural and confident, and color palettes were almost always cheerful and peppy.
To put it simply, power dressing made a statement. Whether it was boldly patterned trouser suits, perfectly penciled skirts, or exaggerated shoulder pads, every outfit was designed to up the ante.
One of the most iconic looks from the era would have to be the bodysuit-over-high-waisted skirt combination. It was a classic pairing that could be sophisticated, sexy, or striking. Paired with a belt to cinch the power dressing look, bodysuits often included details like shoulder pads and lining that made them completely unique.
A crisp white blouse had a starring role in power dressing as well. This statement piece could be styled with any number of skirts and trousers for different effects. For a softer look, flowing skirts with bold geometric patterns made for an edgy silhouette.
Color palettes were just as important as the silhouettes – a pop of color here and there can make any outfit stand out. Pops of neon yellows, electric blues and deep purples were favored tones of the 80s. Leggings, comfortable ankle boots, and flashy earrings completed the power dressing looks of the 80s.
- Sculptural silhouettes
- White blouses
- Geometric patterns
- Neon hues
- Comfortable boots
- Flashy earrings
4. Looking to the Future: Reflection and Adaptation in 2020
2020 has been a unique and challenging year, no doubt. Yet progress must go on and, by reflecting on the year thus far and adapting our approach to 2021, we can temper the turbulence and make a thriving future a reality. Let’s consider some ways to meet the challenges of the next year head-on.
As we turn the corner and enter a new year, sustainability is the name of the game. The concept of sustainability is going to factor heavily into how we approach any endeavor in 2021. Here are some of the key ways to do our part:
- Reducing consumption of material goods
- Sourcing local materials and services when possible
- Reducing energy consumption
- Implementing renewable and lower-impact energy sources
The focus on sustainability should continue to be refined and thoughtfully applied across the entire business cycle to create a positive environmental and economic impact.
2020 has been a reminder that being flexible in our approach is essential. Whether stumbling blocks arise in the form of budget cuts, personnel changes, or new market fluctuations, finding ways to adapt and respond quickly can help keep a business afloat during times of instability. As such, 2021 should be about being ready for anything, looking ahead for any potential disruptions, and overcoming them with a plan of action.
3. Believing in the Process
With uncertainty taking up more and more space each year, it is important to turn our focus to the internal process. Visualizing the long-term goal, developing a plan to work steadily and persistently towards it, and believing in the process along the way can help us see our way clear through the fog of the unknown and keep us accountable to ourselves and our stakeholders.
4. Embracing Modern Opportunities
From leveraging technology to outsource operations to embracing the gig economy to meet staffing needs, the current business landscape is full of opportunities. Keeping our eyes open for novel solutions, testing out innovative approaches, and staying abreast of the modern trends can open the door to greater success and productivity.
2020 has certainly presented a unique set of obstacles, but even in the midst of the turbulence, there are opportunities. By looking to the future with clarity and sophistication, we can ensure that 2021 will be an even better year.
It’s clear the evolution of fashion has come a long way with the passing of the years. From the classic styles of my childhood wardrobe to the modern and cutting-edge trends of today, my wardrobe has continually evolved and changed with the times. The inventiveness of fashion—and how our wardrobes have been shaped and influenced by its trends—is truly remarkable. May our passion for fashion and style continue in the years to come!