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A Guide to Twentieth Century American Fashion (Part 2)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Davidson chapter.


    The Sixties featured worldwide innovations in many areas, one of which was style. Two ideations emerged: Mod and Hippie. The first began in London and cultivated polished, bright, and progressive aesthetics. Then-new model Twiggy was the face of this movement. Hippie-ism, meanwhile, was primarily a political and ethical movement motivated by the Vietnam War. However, the lifestyle it entailed prompted the famous look: long hair, bohemian cuts, and allusions to nature. To channel the 60s, either try (1) a shift dress, short hair, and bright makeup; or (2) simple and preferably long hair and makeup with rustic clothes like peasant skirts, loose blouses, and the like.


   Disco, social causes, and remnants of the ’60s shaped the 1970s. The decade is most famous for the sequins and glitz of disco or for cords and earthy vibes, both of which have resurfaced in modern trends. Hair-wise, curls and afros were in, and make-up veered toward shimmery, glittery varieties. Pair bell-bottom pants and a fitting shirt with blown-out hair, or, for a more formal occasion, a shiny dress or jumpsuit with colorful eyeshadow and voluminous hair.


     80s fashion correlated to prosperity or at least to attempts to convey prosperity. “Power suits” came into style, as did jewelry and preppy aesthetics.  Women wore heavy makeup and generally arranged their hair into elaborately large styles. For the 80s, look for shoulder pads and flashy jewelry, plus teased hair and dramatic, maybe even neon, makeup. The 80s also featured the advent of punk in America, another English import, so you could go that route (shaved and dyed hair, ripped fabric, fishnets) if you’re feeling ~ angsty~.


   Another decade of duality, but this time the ideas could and did meld. Minimalism surfaced with minimal or nonexistent patterns and less-fanciful structures, while grunge brought flannels and unwashed hair. And I’m sure you’re aware of chokers, velvet, and butterfly clips. So, try a tank top and pants, with a flannel if you’d like, and platform shoes. Wear your hair straight and down, with dark makeup.

If you are interested in writing an article for Her Campus Davidson, contact us at davidson@hercampus.com or come to our weekly meeting Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Morcott Room.

Kathryn is a sophomore at Davidson College, coming from Virginia. She likes animals, hot chocolate, and Victorian British Literature.