Fashion Trends

Topics: Trousers, Clothing, Fashion Pages: 5 (1663 words) Published: November 27, 2005
Malcolm Barnard says in his book Fashion as Communication, "Fashion and clothing have always been explained as forms of communication" (39). American teenagers use fashion to communicate their feelings and beliefs. Through out most decades teen fashion has proven to be a way of rebelling out how they feel and think about certain situations. They used fashion as a way of social contact with reference to scrutiny for all sorts of people. Fashion is a communication to use to convey with the world what their personality really says.

Fashion and history go hand in hand, believe it or not. Historical events in a time period reflects the way people living in the time dress, especially with teenagers, but it would not have started with out the Woman's Rights Movement. If it were not for the movements, would it still be a male-dominated society? It is scary to think about, what might not have happened if it were not for those who fought for privileges? In the first part of the twentieth century, fashion was beginning to make a radical change. Because of the first wave of working women making their way into American society, Victorian styles were suddenly unfashionable and the skirt and blouse combination became more accepted. The advancing feminine cause influenced many trends. Women, and their desire to conform with and show that they could do the same job as men, brought about such as the Gibson Girl, with her hourglass figure, her expertly upswept hair, and her unquestionable upper-class air, was everything American women in 1900 wanted to be.

Although women fought for the rights, in the 1950s teenagers started to take advantage of the fact they could express their feelings. Rock N Roll music made teenagers come out with their own since of style. They were more open with developing their own since of style, showing that they no longer wanted to dress like their parents. The girls now started to wear poodle skirts in every color you could imagine with tight sweaters that matched. They wore their hair in a pony tail and started having a social life. The guys on the other hand went along with what movie stars made popular. Author James Laver stated "Hollywood film stars James Dean and Marlon Brando popularized jeans and the motorbike jacket and also transformed the T-shirt into a fashionable item of clothing"(260). American teenage boys also wanted to show their rebellious side by having sideburns and greased hairstyle as illustrated in the movie Grease.

The 1960's were the beginning of the new youth culture. Young people suddenly had power, they wanted to have a say on what was going on at that particular time. The best way to do this was through the music. Music was used as a way to express emotions about everything, and to make political and other statements. Fashion reflected the music by making a statement and expressing personal opinions. The 1960's clothing styles developed along simpler, more youthful lines. It was the decade that had it's own fashions directed specifically at teenagers. However, by the 1960's it had evolved into a more generalized yet at the same time more outrageous form of fashion. It led to an explosion of the youth culture, which gave all teenagers a style of dress they could call their own. This style was very revolutionary but it eventually influenced the fashions of the entire decade for people of all ages. The 1960's fashion became more youthful; they became simpler, shorter, and brighter.

The "Swinging Sixties," 1960- 1967 most of American fashion came from Paris. Clothing stores called boutiques were finally becoming more popular with American teenagers. They found them to be fun to visit because of their loud music and sales assistants, dressed in the most recent fashions, there to aid your every need.

In 1966 mini skirts became the hottest trend around with U.S. females. They could now wear a skirt that was above their knees and it not be frowned upon. Mini skirts were worn with...

Cited: Barnard, Malcolm. Fashion as Communication. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Laver, James. Costume and Fashion a Concise History. New York: Thames
& Hudson, 2002.
Rubinstein, Ruth P. Dress Codes, Meanings and Messages in American
Culture. Colorado: Westview Press, 1995.
Rubinstein, Ruth P. Dress Codes, Meanings and Messages in American
Culture, Second Edition. Colorado: Westview Press, 2001.
Taylor, Lou. Establishing Dress History. Manchester: Manchester University
Press: 2004.
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