Each decade presents a sort of window into how life was at a particular moment in time. Politics, celebrities and film are just some markers in the timeline of how things used to be, and provides a lens that allows us to partially capture the decade’s essence. Fashion also provides a true indicator of the way that people view and express themselves, and seeing the progression of fashion through the ages allows us to see how this external expression of personality shapes and shifts through time.
This article will focus on fashion from the 1940s to the present, but with a modern twist that will allow each look to be wearable in the present. Can someone say reclaimed vintage?
Think: Big shoulders (à la Mildred Pierce!), tailored waists, muted colours, understated elegance
Try: A pussy blouse tucked into a solid-colour midi skirt. Add a medium brimmed hat and a brooch for elegant finishing touches.
Hat: Sybil, Mary-Janes: Rupert Sanderson, Blouse: Orla Kiely, Midi Skirt: Topshop, Brooch: Jigsaw
Think: Feminine, bold prints, colours, tapered waist, fun
Try: A Knee-length flared dress that’s tapered in the waist. Pair with gloves, pearls and a pop of red lipstick to look effortlessly graceful.
Lipstick: Nars in Jungle, Pearls: Majorica, Dress: Johnny Herbert, Kitten Heels: LK Bennet, Gloves: Simone Rocha
Think: Colourful, mod, short, sunglasses, shift dresses
Try: A patterned shift dress that hits just above the knee. Pair with white boots and colourful large-brimmed sunglasses.
Boots: Viktor & Rolf, Sunglasses: Karen Walker, Dress: Milly, Headband: Vintage
Think: Wide-legged pants, bold colours, jumpsuits, large collars
Try: Wide-legged pants in a bold colour complemented with a pussy blouse. A wide-brimmed hat is a must to accent those Farrah Fawcett type waves.
Clogs: Gucci, Pants: Fausto Puglisi, Hat: Emilio Pucci, Blouse: Dsquared, Clutch: Saint Laurent
Think: Colour, print, wide-shoulders, shimmer, hairspray
Try: A colourful patterned dress under a white double-breasted blazer. Oh, and big hair. Big hair is a must.
Earrings: Yves Saint Laurent (vintage), Lipstick: Estée Lauder, Dress: Alannah Hill, Shoes: Guiseppe Zannoti, Blazer: Bree
Think: Loose-fit, mis-matched patterns, scrunchies, acid jeans, floral print
Try: A loose-fitting floral maxi paired with an oversized flannel shirt. Compliment the look with a maroon lip and dark boots to match.
Nail polish: Dior, Backpack: MCM, Dress: Vintage, Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider, Flannel Shirt: R13
Think: Britney, Christina, Pop, denim, cropped, sheer
Try: Anything with a logo on it, especially a handbag. Don’t be afraid of form-fitting pieces and adding a bit of sparkle to your outfit.
Bag: Fendi, Skirt: Dondup, Boots: Style&Co, Tank Top: Pa, Shrug: DKNY
Think: Anything in Vogue or in street-style blogs
Try: Pink coat (Spring’s hottest colour), printed pants with a sophisticated shirt, mix of neutral and metallic hues
Sweater: Chloé, Heels: Valentino, Pants: Balmain, Coat: Carven, Bag: Balenciaga, Sunglasses: Prada