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  • Writer's pictureMarley Alles

Fashion trends through the decades: a journey from the '70s to today

Fashion is an ever-evolving art form that reflects the cultural, social, and economic shifts of a society. Over the decades, we've witnessed dramatic transformations in style, from bell-bottoms and disco fever in the '70s to the minimalist chic of the 2000s. In this journey through time, we'll explore how fashion has evolved, adapted, and sometimes circled back on itself, creating a fascinating tapestry of trends that continue to influence the way we dress today.

The '70s: Bohemian Vibes and Disco Fever The 1970s were a time of rebellion and self-expression. The fashion of this era was characterized by a blend of bohemian styles and disco glamour. Bell-bottoms, wide collars, and psychedelic prints were iconic staples of the '70s wardrobe. Denim was embraced not only as jeans but also in jumpsuits and jackets. Platform shoes and fringe were all the rage, reflecting the carefree and adventurous spirit of the era.

The '80s: Bold and Brash The '80s marked a departure from the earthy tones of the '70s, with a surge of vibrant colors, bold patterns, and oversized silhouettes. Power suits with exaggerated shoulders became a symbol of women entering the workforce. Punk, new wave, and hip-hop subcultures influenced fashion, giving rise to leather jackets, ripped jeans, and graphic tees. The '80s were a celebration of excess, with neon hues and statement accessories dominating the fashion scene.

The '90s: Grunge and Minimalism As the '90s dawned, fashion took a more relaxed turn. Grunge emerged as a counter-cultural movement, characterized by flannel shirts, combat boots, and distressed denim. On the flip side, minimalism gained popularity, with clean lines and neutral colors dominating runways. The '90s also saw the rise of streetwear, with brands like Nike and Adidas becoming synonymous with casual, athletic-inspired fashion.

The 2000s: Y2K and Eclectic Mix The turn of the millennium brought a mix of styles, from the futuristic Y2K aesthetic to a nostalgic nod to past eras. Low-rise jeans, crop tops, and logo-centric fashion defined the early 2000s. This era also witnessed the rise of boho-chic, with maxi skirts, flowy dresses, and flower crowns becoming festival staples. Logomania took hold, with designer logos prominently displayed on clothing and accessories.

The 2010s: Streetwear and Athleisure The 2010s were marked by the dominance of streetwear and the fusion of fashion and athleticism. Sneakers became high fashion, and hoodies transitioned from gym wear to high-end street style. Athleisure, a trend combining athletic and leisurewear, became a cultural phenomenon. Social media influencers played a significant role in shaping fashion trends, with Instagram and Pinterest serving as virtual runways.

Today: Sustainability and Individuality As we step into the present, fashion has become more conscious and diverse than ever. Sustainable fashion practices, ethical production, and inclusivity are at the forefront. Vintage, thrifted and rented pieces are celebrated (from platforms like rax - Canada's peer-to-peer rental app where you can borrow the dress to the left), emphasizing a move towards a circular fashion economy. Individuality is key, with people expressing their unique styles and rejecting the idea of one-size-fits-all trends.

The evolution of fashion over the decades is a testament to its dynamic nature. From the free-spirited '70s to the bold '80s, the grunge of the '90s, the eclectic mix of the 2000s, and the streetwise styles of the 2010s, each era has left an indelible mark on the fashion landscape. Today, as we navigate the world of sustainable and individualized fashion, we carry with us the rich tapestry of styles woven by the trends of the past. Fashion continues to be a powerful means of self-expression, reflecting the ever-changing nature of our society.


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