101 Years of American Women's Fashion: 1920 - 2021

The first World War created what is now known as the “Lost Generation”, a generation of people who felt lost in direction after the war had finally ended. With the newly found excitement of not having to worry about loved ones dying overseas, or the enthusiasm of coming back to America after fighting in the war, this new generation of people started to party like there was no tomorrow; their fashion sense reflected this. Women of the era began to wear more casual, flowy clothes that better matched their newfound love for living more freely in a post-war era. The most common dress among women of the 1920s was the flapper, as seen in the image below.

The theme of becoming more and more carefree with their expression had slowly seeped out of the norm once again, making the 1950s an era of formality and elegance for women's fashion. Alongside this however was the beginning of something new for women's fashion: pants! Wearing jeans or slacks wasn't exactly socially acceptable until the mid 1950s, but once it was, the women of the time looked great wearing what they wanted to wear.

The 1960s and 1970s were the decades that introduced the greatest shift in fashion yet; peace and love, sunglasses and baggy clothes, women were doing it all! War is a reoccurring theme within fashion trends, and the Vietnam war was definitely not left out of this. The hippie movement was growing exponentially while the U.S. troops were in Vietnam, and the new ideologies of free love and free expression were dominating our society at the time.

More and more American women were becoming comfortable expressing themselves through their outfits, adding flashy colors and designs into the mix. Throughout the late 60s, 70s, and the beginning of the 80s, colorful clothing had become much more popular.

The 1980s was a magical time for the U.S.; our phones were now portable bricks, our music was more hardcore and hip, and our fashion sense was wild. Compared to only a few decades ago, women's fashion had changed drastically. Crop-tops were in, along with perms, neon windbreakers, and skinny jeans.

Flash forward to today, and women's fashion has once again seen a shift in trends. Just about every lady owns a pair of yoga pants, a baggy sweater and a couple of scrunchies. Bright neon clothes are back in style, and the casualness of sweatpants and sweaters are cute and comfy.

Overall, American women's fashion has changed a lot over the past century. Trends are influenced by what the celebrities wear in magazines and TV, and what kind of political climate we're living in at the time. Whether America is in the middle of a post-war revolution or in the midst of a global pandemic, the trends of how people express themselves will always fluctuate.