Fashion and beauty trends repeat themselves decade after decade, and sometimes it’s the most surprising trends of all that make a comeback. If the resurgence of flares can tell us anything, it probably won’t be long before we witness the reappearance of highly questionable shoulder pads…
Each decade from 1900-2010 offers a range of sometimes inspiring, sometimes frightening trends, and here are some of the best ones from 1950 onwards to implement into your modern repertoire:
Red lipstick, winged eyeliner and polka dots were all key elements of the 1950s in terms of fashion and beauty, and are all very accessible ways to channel your inner ‘Pink Ladies’ vibes today.
Many trends from the 1950s are still popular, making it particularly easy to incorporate them into your wardrobe without fear of looking dated. For example, polka dots have seen a huge resurgence this season, with designer brands from Dior to Balenciaga showcasing their spotted designs on the runway. High street shops are currently filled with all sorts of polka dot items, allowing the ultimate subtle Marilyn Monroe tribute.
Brigitte Bardot, Jackie O’ and Twiggy are just a few of the 60s icons that still influence fashion. The 1960s saw the birth of the controversial mini skirt silhouette that is still the most popular today, and never shied away from bold prints and patterns.
High-waisted printed trousers were a staple during this decade, and brands such as & Other Stories are now selling modern versions that emulate the pant suit vibes of the 60s. The birth of PVC also gave rise to the shiny knee-high ‘Go Go boots’ that were at the forefront of style. This is another trend that has returned in a big way, with more modern shoe designs allowing you to wear them without appearing to be in an Austin Powers costume.
Is there really a bigger fashion icon than Cher in the 1970s? In an early 70s issue of Vogue, they stated that ‘there are no rules in the fashion game now’ and this was certainly true. Cher kicked off the trend of showing your midriff in public, Elton John donned insanely colourful carnival-esque costumes and the ‘Farrah Flick’ became the first must-have celebrity hairstyle.
1970s fashion has something for everyone. The more daring can brave the bell-bottom trousers and see-through crochet dresses, whereas the tamer can go for the corduroy button-up skirts and folk inspired blouses that still very much encapsulate the 70s vibes.
Subtlety definitely wasn’t key in the 1980s. Think Whitney Houston in the ‘How Will I Know’ music video. Certain aspects of 80s fashion may seem slightly terrifying, but colourful eyeshadow is an easy way to channel the boldness of this era.
Perms and shoulder pads aren’t for everyone, but there are definitely some more accessible trends that you might consider or may even already own. Kim Basinger became a trendsetter when wearing her completely sheer blouses, vinyl and leather coats were hugely popular and oversized denim jackets (often with iron-on patches) were a staple. Saint Laurent, Versace and Moschino are but a few of the designer brands paying homage to the 80s on the runway this season, so expect high street dupes to be popular very soon.
What really needs to be said about the 1990s? The fashion of this decade is easily the most popular at the moment, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Nostalgia plays a huge part, as 90s fashion offers the opportunity for those in their twenties and teens to return to ‘how it was when they were young’.
Anything with Clueless, sports or grunge vibes is still hugely popular, filling practically every high street clothing store. Channel plaid print, running trainers and animal print and you’re good to go. The huge resurgence of demand for iconic 90s brands has even given rise to the some unlikely brand partnerships. Fendi currently has a pretty unexpected mashup line with Fila, blurring the lines between high fashion and high street fashion. As long as you look put together but also like you could complete a gym workout, you’re ticking all the right 90s boxes.
And finally, the noughties. The early 2000s were filled with some of the most questionable looks to date, and yet, unsurprisingly, many are making a return already. Granted, people aren’t quite ready to return to the dress-over-bootcut-jeans trend yet, and it’s pretty easy to understand why.
However, the Paris Hilton uniform of Juicy Couture velour tracksuits is making a comeback, as well as pastel coloured sunglasses, micro bags and body glitter. Team any of these with oversized hoop earrings, pink lip gloss and kitten heels and you’ll look ready for a Nickelodeon Orange Carpet, Ashley Tisdale style.