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The Epitome of Women’s Winter Fashion Throughout the Decades

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

As we slowly ascend out of cold weather, short days and awkward family holiday parties, let’s reflect on how much we won’t miss winter. However, one key motivation to find adoration for this snowy season is the fashion that comes out of it. Sixty years of winter fashion has taught us that fur coats can make an outfit and Ugg boots will always be a good option to keep toes warm. Since the 1960s, women have used their keen sense of style to establish a method of keeping warm while staying chic. Each decade has proven to be unique and unforgettable.

The 1960s

Let’s go back in time to the mid-century, where outerwear became the statement piece for a woman’s winter outfit. Like the 1950s, the coats and accessories of this decade were tailored to look like dresses, so women felt presentable while staying warm. The double-breasted look was very popular, but in contrast to years prior, the hemline of coats rose with the shorter skirts underneath, showing more of the woman’s leg. This look was often paired with fur-lined mittens and fur pillbox hats to complement their mod style. 

Woman from the 1960s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 1970s

As the age of rock and roll crept in, women’s style changed. Leather was no longer only worn by the rebels of the ‘60s and was now a staple of the ‘70s. A long leather or suede jacket with fur lining, prominent cuffs and lapels was the look to follow the tour buses of Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones. The style later became more relaxed, with women frequently wearing bell bottom pants in comparison to the stiff box coat look paired with thick stockings from a few years before. 

Woman from the 1970s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 1980s

Hit the slopes with the vibrant style of the 1980s! The loud winter trends of this decade are far from forgotten. The ski-ready wardrobes worn by both men and women consisted of neon puffer jackets, bright-colored leggings or snow pants and, of course, a sweatband across the forehead to keep ears warm. This fun winter uniform could definitely be found in the back of your parents’ closet.

Woman from the 1980s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 1990s

Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a late ’90s turtleneck and slip dress. 1990s fashion didn’t change much for the winter season, since the outerwear in this decade was much more practical and functional. With a long black wool trench coat, women of the ‘90s could still show off their outfits. Nothing beats that Friends-inspired winter wear!  

Woman from the 1990s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 2000s

Welcome to the early 2000s, when Juicy Couture tracksuits were appropriate outfits for the red carpet (an interesting choice). This was the decade of mini skirts, crop tops, crimped hair and low-rise jeans; however, most women who sought after the celebrity look did not want the colder months to ruin their chic runway style. While animal-print fur jackets have stayed popular since the ‘70s, fur-lined puffer jackets certainly gained more traction in the 2000s. Ugg boots also became increasingly popular after they were seen sported by celebrities from Beyoncé to Snooki. Practical outerwear was meant to complement the woman’s outfit in order to look stylish while staying warm. 

Woman from the 2000s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 2010s

As the 2000s came to a close, a new era of style opened up for women. The 2010s brought many contrasting fashion choices, from the all-black goth look to the modest, professional look, but many of the winter clothing items were consistent for most women. As athleisure became a staple, leggings grew to be a popular option. To complement the athletic style trend, fitted fleece North Face jackets were adopted as one of the more favored layers for the wintertime. While Ugg boots stayed in style from the decade before, a new item that stood out was the infamous plaid, chunky scarf, which was accompanied by the plaid fad of the 2010s. 

Woman from the 2010s in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford
The 2020s

Evidently, we are diving head first into the third year of the new ‘20s. For the most part, people have stayed locked in their homes because of COVID-19, but fashion trends don’t slow down for a pandemic! With a new decade came new trends – well actually, came old trends. Many fashion movements of 2020 mirror older styles from the 20th century, namely, fashion from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Social media has become a great outlet for influencing fashion for the new decade, while also bringing back nostalgic trends from years prior. While there hasn’t been a prominent trend for the 2020s yet, the variety of expression through women’s style is something to admire about the new age of fashion we are about to enter. 

Woman from 2020 in front of white backdrop
Original photo by Elisabeth Ford

Although Spring is upon us, with temperatures now rising into the 50s, it is never too late to find inspiration for next winter’s frigid fashion fads.

Elisabeth Ford is a sophomore at Hofstra University and is majoring in journalism with a minor in anthropology. She is from Hingham, Massachusetts and loves living so close to Boston. She loves fashion, the outdoors and music, especially The Beatles! After college, she aspires to travel the world and pursue international journalism.