Trends are timeless. They stimulate, polarize, and connect. Every decade has its own designers and style icons who determine the street scene with groundbreaking designs, materials, and patterns. Fashion is a way of showing who you are, sometimes subtle and sometimes sensational.

You could even say that fashion is the mirror of society. After all, trends show what is going on in society. And that is precisely what makes it so interesting to take a closer look at the fashion of the past 100 years, decade by decade. We start our journey through time with the roaring twenties and end with the 2010s.

Lets Come with us and discover everything about these 100 years of fashion!

The trends of the 20s clothing

Hairstyles: long becomes short. The bobline was the most popular hairstyle in the 1920s. Water or finger waves provided a feminine and elegant touch, while the short head gave a spicy and fresh look.

Clothing: a lot of variety? There was none! The design of a 1920s dress and pants was usually very simple. The straight, clear lines gave the wearers more freedom of movement than they were used to. The difference between the garments was mainly in the finish, the quality, and the fabrics. Women certainly did not look boring. They brightened up their 20s clothes with extravagant hats or striking feather boas.

Fits & Patterns: The 1920s fits were very basic. Women preferred to go out in a straight shirt dress with thin spaghetti straps or a cocktail dress to the knee with sashes or bows as eye-catchers. Straight trousers were also often found in their wardrobe. The skirts ended slightly above the knee, but they didn’t reveal much of the feminine curves. A skirt showed more the urge for freedom and the aversion to the conventional system.

Vibrant, sassy and a little daring: 1920s fashion

For the modern woman, the 1920s were all about change. Everyone picked up her life after the war years and found it especially important to enjoy themselves to the fullest. The lifestyle became wilder, the skirts shorter and the neckline deeper. During the day women went to work because the family had to be fed anyway, but in the evening they went to a dance club or jazz bar. And then they went all out with their clothes and striking make-up. As a woman you wanted to have fun, be independent and enjoy your freedom. The freedom that women developed in fashion was a real victory! In large cities such as London, Berlin and Paris, fashion-conscious ladies dressed naughty and feminine at the same time, and they increasingly rebelled against the many clichés that existed about women.

At first, they were still “locked” in a tight corset, now women had complete freedom of movement in loosely falling underwear made of soft fabrics such as silk and lace. And they could dance well in their cocktail dress or straight dress with fringes and thin spaghetti straps. Sometimes a 1920s dress was high-necked and the collar was richly decorated with beads, rhinestones or bows. In any case, striking hats, voluminous feather boas and elegant headbands should not be missing in a perfect 1920s outfit. In addition to bouncy short hairstyles, pumps with high stiletto heels and striking make-up, there was another style that the modern woman often showed: wide trousers and men’s shirts. This also expressed the urge for freedom of movement.

The stock market crash and the subsequent Black Friday on October 25, 1929 suddenly put an end to the turbulent 20s. Yet this would only be the beginning of the emancipation of the strong woman and of fashionable innovation.

Style icons of the wild 20s

They were an example and pioneer at the same time: the female icons of the 1920s wore short hairstyles and flats, smoked, drank alcohol and put on make-up in public. Wearing a corset never occurred to them and during the day they wore loose men’s clothing. In the evening they appeared in a short skirt.

Icons such as Hollywood star Gloria Swanson, artist Kiki de Montparnasse, dancer Josephine Baker and fashion designer Coco Chanel set great examples for the other women of their generation with their free-spirited lifestyle. They broke new ground, encouraging others to seize every opportunity and enjoy every day to the fullest. The art and fashion world in particular offered women in the 1920s the opportunity to rediscover themselves. In this way they learned to fight for their place in the male-dominated society.

Fashion earlier and today –

Miriam’s fashion favorites

The radiant Miriam Hensgens from South Limburg has a passion for fashion, and mixing & matching with style is a party for her. She finds her fashion inspiration in cities such as Maastricht. On our blog she shares her love for fashion with her readers and shows her favorite outfits.

Fashion from then and now

I am standing in front of my wardrobe and suddenly I am back in time. I realize that the fashion of that time is actually back in my closet. So funny! I can see the bright colors of the 80’s, but also the wide-leg pants of the 70’s. I dream on and there are the television series from that time. OMG, I gotta do something with this. I already know: I’m taking you back to the 70’s and 80’s.

The trends of the 70’s

As a teenage girl I experienced the trends of the 70’s. I loved fashion magazines and TV shows, especially Charlie’s Angels with Farrah Fawcett. Who doesn’t know her ?! Everyone wanted her figure, her hair, her teeth. Me too! I absolutely loved her dress style with the tight flared pants with high waist. I had two flared trousers: corduroy pants and terlenka pants. Now let me also have light green silk flared trousers … So funny! It is perfect for showing you how fashion repeats itself. The flared trousers are back, but we combine them differently. No tight top one on it. Everything can be looser. An oversized blouse or T-shirt is more contemporary.

The trends of the 80’s

In the 80’s everything was too much: too much hair, too much makeup, and too much padding. At that time I was inspired by American television series such as Dallas and Dynasty. Dream away in the world of the stars. I too wore too many shoulder pads: three over each other! Now there are blazers with shoulder pads in my closet again. These are oversized models and not the tailored blazers of the 80’s. Today we wear the blazer differently. Easier. Wear it like I do with a pleated skirt or a culotte. Keep it loose.

The glitter blouse is also worn differently. Not like the Dynasty stars neatly under a suit, but loosely on a pleated skirt. Today’s fashion is very wearable.

Do you remember this one?

This leather belt is straight from the ’80s. It is long and wide in the middle, with narrow ends. You wear the wide part in the front and the ends go from the back to the front where you tie them. I used to have two of these belts. Now they are hot again. That’s how it goes with trends: they come, they go and they come again.

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