Fashion through the generations

Martine, 70 years old, receives her granddaughter during the school vacations and surprise, she notices that this last one wears a pants with elephant feet. What a memory, she smiles because it reminds her of the 70s when she wore the “patte d’eph”, a suede jacket with bangs and wedges.

Nowadays, wearing pants has become commonplace for women. But that was not always the case, indeed if one goes up very far in time, the law of the 26 brumaire year IX establishes that “Any woman wishing to be dressed as a man (SIC) must present herself to the Prefecture of police to obtain the authorization of it”. Two circulars of 1902 and 1909 specify that “if the woman holds by the hand a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”, she is authorized to wear pants.

Fashion never ceases to evolve and to make time loops. It is a tool of identity expression of the generations and was for a long time a vector of emancipation. Baby Boomers who are now between 59 and 78 years old have experienced many changes in clothing that, in their time, were collective identity markers like wearing denim jeans. They are amused to see today their children and grandchildren wearing these clothes that their generation launched the blue jeans but then of all colors and shapes, sneakers, floral prints or striped bright colors, bustiers, collars …

From the roaring twenties to today…

The 20’s are marked by the art deco style, garçonne cuts, fringed dresses, long pearl necklaces that shine with a thousand lights. The dresses had straight cuts, more fluid materials and necklines. The Roaring Twenties were a time of significant social change, with a break with tradition and conservative values. Later generations continued to question social norms and seek greater individual freedom.

The 50’s and 60’s had a significant impact on the clothing style of the Baby Boomers, who were teenagers at the time. Baby Boomers were influenced by the rise of rock ‘n’ roll popularized by artists such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. The clothing of this era reflected the civil rights and gender equality movements, with styles such as denim pants, plaid shirts and leather jackets becoming symbols of rebellious youth. Women also began to wear shorter skirts and more fitted clothing, reflecting a desire for freedom and emancipation.

The style of the 50s and 60s was also marked by bright colors and bold patterns. Stripes, polka dots and floral patterns were common, as well as pastel colors and bright tones like red and green.

At that time, the Baby Boomers’ style of dress was a reflection of their desire to express themselves and stand out from the previous, pre-war generation.

The 60s saw the emergence of several fashion movements, such as:
The beatnik movement whose main characteristics were the refusal of the conventions of modern industrial society. The people who integrated this movement aspired to a way of life stripped of all superfluous.
The mod movement: These are young urban workers with a certain purchasing power, they are characterized from the genesis of the movement by a festive and hedonistic lifestyle, the concern of their clothing appearance and their taste for music and dance.

The beatnik movement inspired the bohemian style, which was popularized by artists and musicians like Jack Kerouac. The 1960s was a transitional period for fashion, and Baby Boomers embraced these new styles to express their individuality and identity as a generation. The influences of the 60’s continue to be felt in today’s fashion, and some of the styles from that era have even made a comeback in today’s trend.

In the 1970s, fashion evolved into more elegant and sophisticated outfits, with suits for men and long, flared dresses for women. The 1980s saw the advent of punk and new wave fashion, with black clothing, extravagant haircuts and metal accessories.

In the 1990s, fashion became more casual, with ripped jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers. Since the 2000s, Baby Boomers have continued to embrace casual styles, with comfortable and practical clothing. They are dressing more and more like the younger generation thanks to a less and less formal dress code.

Today, fashion is increasingly influenced by sustainability and social responsibility. Unlike in the past, clothing is used to express individuality versus the collective, belonging to a cultural group and personal convictions.


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