Fashion is a common, but such a powerful word that has changed the lives of many people across the globe. It is limitless and goes beyond what human mind can imagine. We may not be accustomed by the impact of fashion in the society, but we cannot deny the fact that a huge part of what we have collectively become could be attributed to fashion. Indeed, it is true: Fashion can shape the world.
Fashion is primarily a systematic change in style. But there has not been a concrete definition of fashion, which is just an embodiment of what it is: personal and ever-changing. A lot of people, designer or not, has expressed their own understanding of fashion, but its complexities and vastness often suggest a varying definition depending on one’s experience and perspective. Hence, we will not attempt to come up with an all-encompassing and concrete definition of this word, but rather look through the lenses of history and how fashion has transcended into the present.
We deal with fashion every single day. And whether we apportion a huge amount of time figuring out what to wear or just rant about why it is a big deal for others that still says something about your sense of fashion. This is why we say that fashion is personal. It could be a product of one’s imagination, a necessity, a tool to establish an image, or maybe a form of expression. You see, fashion is different for everyone.
There are several factors that make up fashion like culture, norms, weather and geography, among others. They may also be inspired by literature, painting, sculpture, music, or person. And this cycle we call fashion, it is ever-changing. It could be reminiscent of the past, a mirror of what is “now”, or a prediction of the future. After all, fashion is a changing world in itself.
Looking back, the glaring evolution of fashion is undeniable. Once in a while, it is great to acquaint ourselves with the past and realign our understanding about something by examining its history. Far from the fashion world we know today is the colorful and rich history about fashion, specifically women’s fashion. And by browsing through this article, you will discover that fashion is not always the easiest and effortless thing. When we talk about the history of women’s fashion, we will always be referred back to the splendid year of 1784.
In 1874, fashion is all about extravagance, intricacy, and elaboration of clothing like panniers or those hoop skirts. Paired with a very tight corset for a slimmer and narrower waist, the hoop skirts feature dresses with extended width with relatively flat front and back. A popular story about the painful truth to this clothing, which is structured by petticoat or crinoline underneath has caused serious troubles and accident in the past. Stories like how several people died inside a Chilean church surfaced. When a fire erupted in the church, people panicked and ran to the only exit out the church, but were unable to do so because the door with hoop skirts made from steel.
Nevertheless, these huge clothing has been used even until the late 1700s, except for the fact that in 1780s, the dresses add weight and bulk on the back side of the skirt rather than on the sides. Fast forward, subsequent the French revolution, as the 1800 nears, women sported simpler and relaxed silhouettes giving birth to Empire style silhouette. This cut features a fitted bodice that ends just below the bust before the gathered skirt naturally falls down.
Some years later, still with the Empire style clothing, the dresses were designed with padded hems and used firmer materials. The years following that, women’s fashion was about heavy ornaments around the dress. During this period, women were done up with big hair and fontanges adding height to their slim appearance. In 1820s, the existing styles were improved with corseting of the natural waist.
Not long thereafter, or in 1830s, women’s fashion was in exaggeration with oversized headdresses and clothing with sloping shoulders, hourglass silhouette with narrower hips and full hips, as well as, leg-o-mutton sleeves and fuller skirt. Then, the 1840s toned it down with a more natural shoulder line and completely deviated from empire cut to a lower waistline. Twenty years later, however, fashion was once again about ballgowns and saw the revival of hoop or crinoline as structure.
Then, came the Victorian era, which exhibited heavily-pleated and frilled clothing. Women were subjected to bone-fitting dresses that shape their body into the ideal frame. Just like the earlier years, the emphasis is placed on the rear part of the skirt. The 1880s was a remarkable year for women as call reformers oppose the cruel, tight-fitting corsets that restrict movement and impairs one’s health.
In line with that and women’s exposure to sports gave birth to clothing with sporty silhouettes. The 20th century, meanwhile, welcomed the more health-friendly corset. It also features broad hats adorned with feathers, ribbons, and artificial blooms.
The 1920s marked the modern era as women began to wear more comfortable clothes and did away with the grander but restricting clothing from the previous years. Tubular silhouettes were prevalent, which through time, had transformed into shorter skirts detailed with pleats and slits. This time was about more controlled hats and turbans. When the Great Depression came, fashion was there to mask the spiraling down of the economy with opulent and glamorous clothing visible in Hollywood. It also saw the emergence of the use of zippers and affordable accessories. The style was categorized as short and slim, as well as, the concept of separate ensembles.
Following the Second World War was the rise of Haute couture, while the 60s was dominated by more structured or geometric suits. It was during this decade that women wore modern and hippie fashion. The 1970s was all about the wrap dress and comfortable pants as women chose to wear mules and strappy heels.
The 1980s gave birth to pop culture with the rise of pop stars like Madonna, whose fashion has influenced women across the map. Moreover, as women got into corporate jobs, power dressing has become relevant thereby sporting blazers with shoulder pad. Finally, the 1990s paved the way for modern and minimalist fashion that brought the fashion we know of at present.
Fashion is such an intricate subject that a university degree delves into its history and relevance in the society. But there are a lot of facts about fashion that many of us, designers, enthusiasts, or not, have yet to find out.
- Even before you favorite designer heels came out, the wealthy from the past had their own version of sky-high heels, which in reality, is way higher than the heels we know today. Chopines were used in the early time with heels as high as one foot. Apart from being a fashion essential, chopines were used to prevent their long dress or gowns from touching the dirt or the ground. The sky-high chopines were also a representation of their socio-economic status.
- Christian Dior, the man of the 1950s, invented both the pencil and A-line skirt.
- In 1907, a woman was arrested for wearing a fitted one-piece swimwear in Boston.
- Barbie’s first look featured a black and white striped one-piece swimsuit.
- Queen Victoria was the first person known to wear white to her wedding. Before that, white was associated with mourning.
- Men used to wear heels in the past as it allowed them to gain more stability when riding horses.
- YKK, the most popular zipper brand, stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha.
- Until the beginning of the 20th century, China viewed women with small feet as beautiful. And so, as part of their culture, girls’ feet were folded and kept in tiny lotus shoes resulting to deformed feet eventually.
Today, fashion speaks closely to women as it embodies one’s priorities, experience, perspective, and culture, among others. You are what you wear. Today, women pay attention to fashion and its continuous cycle of change. And with the invention of technology that now allows online marketing, finding the latest trends is made a lot easier. And because everything comes handy, the trend also transitions every now and then.
An individual’s clothing is easily the foundation of any wardrobe or closet. Clothing vary in purpose, material, and style. Today, clothing range from minimalist to the most elaborated ones and from simple or relaxed to haute fashion. They come in the form of shirts, dress, or gown. Moreover, women’s clothing are further categorized according to the event or phase in your life like a wedding dress, a maternity dress, and many more.
No look will ever be complete without bags. They find even greater importance today as women carry more than money. They have their bare essentials like makeup, cards, phone, and more. Also, as women have enjoyed the rights to join the work force, they go to school or work with their bags. The bags vary from the tiny clutch, handbags, to totes, shoulder bag, fashionable backpack, and even travel bags.
They always say that a good pair of shoes will take you to places. Apart from that, a great looking and functional shoes give you more confidence anywhere you go. Women have their personal preferences. Some choose to wear the more comfortable flats like doll shoes, sneakers, sandals, or boots. Others like to wear heels that could either be stilettos, chunky or block heels, or platform shoes. There are also different shoes for different occasions just as there is a wide range of shoe style to match different fashion taste.
It is not enough that you look great on the outside. Fashion is still about feeling great, and when you feel great, you will look your absolute best. This is why lingerie magazines and brands emphasize the importance of a well-fitted and appropriate lingerie as it makes a difference to your look. Wearing the wrong pair of lingerie could adversely affect your outfit.
Fashion is more than the clothes we wear as it goes as far as to in
Fashion is more than the clothes we wear as it goes as far as to include self-care. Take care of your body and skin. At the end of the day, what matters the most is how you feel about yourself. By taking care of your body, you are investing on your health and as you take care of your skin, you will age gracefully.
Accessorizing yourself is the easiest way to show your personality and your taste in fashion. Accessories complete your look thereby polishing it and if you are wearing the right ones for the look you want to achieve, it makes it more coherent and refined. Moreover, accessories may come small or handy, but they are essential for your organization and for you to take control of your life. These include watches, cardholders, purse, and wallets.