Step Back in Time

Iphone and headphones

I have around 1900 songs on my iPod, yet on average I probably only actually listen to around a third of the tracks on there. I have a go to era, a soundtrack of my life that I go back to over and over, in preference to anything else on there. For me, that go to era is 90s indie music. I love it, it comfortably fills my head with memories of college and my teenage years. Settling in my ears with cosy recognition. Sounding as good to me now as it did then. However, you'll also find me listening to The Beatles on occasion. And, although ashamed to admit it, I can blast out an Abba song if the occasion calls for it!

Fashion is also something that can be broken down into eras, each decade bringing with it a certain style and creativity which, when worn with confidence, will also hold its own as well today as it did the first time round.

So let's take a look at a couple of iconic fashion decades and see how they still hold a place in the fashion market today.

The 60s bore a generation of fashion crazes such as mod and early hippie styles, and the "fashion model style" was sought after by the youth of the era, with the likes of Twiggy inspiring a world to be different. Mary Quant was arguably the most iconic designer, and is still immortalised as the originator of the mini skirt, and the designer who made hot pants popular. Her styles perfectly represented the freedom of the 60s era. Body confidence became a huge factor with these new fashion hungry teenagers. It's said that how short a woman's dress was had become a sign of how confident she was, and nothing to do with body shape. It was a fashion revolution that put the woman in charge.

girl wearing 1960s shift dress

Dresses from the mid sixties were shapeless shifts. Shift dresses are still hugely popular today, and are often found in bright patterns, bold prints, as a nod to the era that introduced them. Perfect day dresses for running errands, or taking on holiday, the simplicity of the dress making it incredibly versatile.

Trousers and pants were slim fit and high waisted, again, a current trend, and Capri pants were hugely sought after.

Tops and blouses fit straight to the body rather than emphasising the shape, and often had high necks, over sized collars and chunky buttons, and it was more acceptable to be worn untucked, a change from the 50s and again powerfully hinting at freedom.

The Hippie trend born in the 60s was favoured by college students. They were huge on using what you already had, or what you could get second hand. They oozed relaxed and comfortable styles, effortless, and completely unaware they would create a trend still standing firm under the category "fashionable" . These days we pay over the odds for distressed jeans, the 60s hippies wore their jeans until they were distressed.

Girl in hippie dress with hat

Leading into the 70s, the main fashion message was about individuality and Vogue claimed "There are no rules in the fashion game now". This was an era for setting your own trend, making your own mark and not following trends. Styles became interchangeable, and even, to a certain degree, became fluid between genders too. Mismatched prints were trendy, clashing patterns was encouraged. You dressed for yourself, but dressed to stand out.

Customising and decorating your own clothing with patches, fringing or embroidery was popular. Dresses became longer as the decade progressed, with lace trimmed maxi dresses taking the spot light. Tunic tops and peasant blouses teamed with bell bottomed jeans was normal day wear, whereas jumpsuits came into their own and were worn for evening wear and dancing at the discotheque. Polka dots, paisley and floral prints took over from the favoured bold prints of the previous decade.

Band and slogan tees were the staple in most teenagers wardrobe, teamed with the classic light blue denim jeans. Waistcoats and vests allowed the fashion conscious to layer up outfits to fit occasion and express their style. Ponchos were the layer of choice when warmth was needed.

No one style stood out in the 70s. Expressionist fashion was a trend in itself, the bolder, the braver, the better.

Being born in the late 70s, the 80s are the first years I can truly say I experienced the fashion first hand. Although young, I was acutely aware of the bright colours, the chunky accessories and the shoulder pads

During the day, woman rocked the power suit, by night it was spandex, sequins, ruffles and sparkle. Off the shoulder dresses and jumpsuits filled the dance floor. Punk became more prominent, and with it, leather studded jackets and ripped jeans surged to the forefront of trendy. My own memories of the 80s include a baby pink ra -ra skirt that had black stitching along each edge, and I used to wear it with a white vest top, and over that, a black lace crop top. Madonna, eat your heart out. Neon hues became popular, largely thanks to the aerobics craze that swept the nation. Personally I feel less of the 80s fashion has earned its way into our High Street shops than the others I've talked about, although the more conservative styles of the decade, faux fur coats, puffer jackets and crop tops are actually still surprisingly hanging on in there, as well as sneakers and trainers still being popular footwear.

Worn Converse trainers

Looking back at the music of these decades, it's easy to see how it goes hand in hand with the fashion trends. The Beatles and The Kinks of the 60s, 70s disco, and 80s bubble gum pop and punk. Certain looks come to mind when you think of those genres.

Each style has fought for its place in history. With the vintage trend taking over today, it's the perfect time to experiment with these now iconic trends and create a look that's perfect for you!

Clothes can tell a story. What do you want to say?

Find your personality in the vintage collections here or read Kate's introduction blog here 

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