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How To Dress for Your Next Decades Themed Party: Women’s Fashion Throughout the 19th Century

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Since February is Women’s History Month, I felt it would be a perfect opportunity to delve into some women’s fashion trends throughout the 19th century, while also giving you some ideas about what to wear for your next decades-themed party!


When people think of decades parties, they don’t usually go this far back. If you want to do something a bit more extravagant and represent a decade that no one else will be repping, you could go for a 1900s look and rock a tailored blouse, corset and a long skirt. Lace was also an important aspect of clothing pieces in the 1900s. If you want to step it up a notch, accessorize with a parasol and a floral hat.


To dress like a woman in the 1910s, you can dress similarly to the 1900s, but switch it out for a skirt with a bit shorter hemline. You can also add a fur-lined coat and a larger sun hat.


They call this decade the roaring 20s for a reason. Take some inspiration from The Great Gatsby and invest in a flapper dress! These come in tons of colors with textures such as intricate beading, fringe and sequins. A short bob haircut or wig and a classic pearl necklace would be the cherry on top of your outfit.


Fun prints were super popular during the 30s. You can rock a floral or polka dot mid-calf length dress with a modest neckline. Simple pearl earrings are always perfect accessories for a classic look.


As the decades passed, dresses and skirts only got shorter. In the 1940s, we are at the point where dresses sit right below the knee. Tops featured collared necklines and fun prints and colors.


The most iconic musical set in the 1950s is Grease. The movie is FILLED with the cutest outfit inspiration from pink poodle skirts to high-waisted shorts, and black leather head-to-toe. For an edgier look, take some ideas from Sandy and pick up a black leather jacket, black leather pants and the brightest red lipstick you can find!


Women’s fashion in the 60s was loud! If you want to command the attention of the party, the 60s is a perfect decade for outfit inspo. Girls started to get a bit bolder with fashion here with bright colors and psychedelic patterns. Don’t be afraid to wear the shortest skirt you own, either!


70s fashion has come back into style recently. If you are short on time while getting ready for your decades-themed party, take a look in your closet! A pair of bell-bottoms or flare jeans are staples of the 70s. Anything tie-dye or hippie-esque is super cute and fits the 70s theme perfectly!


Neon is your best friend for an 80s-inspired outfit. Tease up your hair as big as you can and grab all your scrunchies from middle school! You can have a lot of fun with 80s outfits. Dressing 80s is the best excuse to wear crazy colored eyeshadow and funky mismatching outfits, which is my go-to!


The 90s invented big pants, little shirt. Go for some baggy pants and a bright-colored crop top for a street-style-inspired look. You can also take inspiration from movies such as Clueless, and fashion icons such as Gwen Stefani, Aaliyah and J-Lo.


The movies and tv shows we grew up watching all featured the most popular 2000s fashion looks. Layering was very “in” during this decade. To dress like our favorite childhood actresses, throw on every top you own, leggings, a cute mini skirt and every accessory you can think of.

Don’t forget the sequins!

As people are shopping more sustainably as of recently, thrifting has come to be quite common among teenagers and young adults. If you are struggling to find an outfit for your next decades-themed party, take a trip to your local thrift store. I guarantee you will find something fun to wear, and it will be significantly less expensive and more authentic than anything you would find in the mall!

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Hi, My Name Is Sophie Sietz! I am a first-year International Affairs major at Florida State University. I'm from Rockland County, NY, but I love warm weather. If not writing or studying, I enjoy singing, dancing, playing the ukulele, thrifting, taking pictures, and traveling!
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