The Fabric of Society: Fashion and Style Throughout the Twentieth Century

Fashion evolves. The work of every generation is broken apart by newcomers, who discard what they dislike and use the remaining rubble to build the next generation’s styles and trends. One thing I’ve always loved about fashion is that it is an expression of everything that's going on around us. Social, political, and religious movements are reflected in what each generation wears.

When I think about MLK Day, my first reaction is to consider the developments in fashion that stem from the remarkable, unprecedented change that occurred in that decade. Then I feel guilty. How shallow can I be, considering fashion in the context of the greatest social movement in history? But putting my self-consciousness aside, truth be told, it is astounding. How quickly the conservative, traditionalism of the 1950’s shifted into the forward-thinking 1960s, only to be radically transformed into the free-loving 1970s.

Fashion of course can never fully honor the work, or the pain and suffering, of those who fought during the civil rights movement. But it is fascinating to study the broad-reaching impact generational change has. To honor that, I’ve pulled together a few looks that pay homage to each generation and the change they saw.

1950's

1960'S

1970's

1980's

1990's

Now I would love to hear from you! What are some trends that you remember from the twentieth century? Leave a comment below and tell me how you might pull some outfit inspirations from past decades! 

Company Party Prepped and Ready

Though summer's almost over, company parties and BBQ's are still popping up. It’s always important to keep in mind that this is a business event, rather than social, so keep it simple, sophisticated, and stay summer ready!

·      NOT-TOO-SEXY:

The most important rule at these functions is to keep it not-too-sexy. This is work, which means this needs to be work appropriate. No mini-skirts. No backless shirts. No brightly colored bra- straps. No caking on the make-up.

 If your outfit makes you think twice, follow your intuition. Just don’t do it.

·      SUMMER SANDALS:

This can be a very scary topic, considering both men and women sometimes don’t give their feet the TLC they’ll need to show up in public. A pedicure isn’t required, but everyone should keep their toes clean and clipped. Often times it’s the little things that matter, and in this case, this little thing could leave your co-workers wondering about your very questionable hygiene habits.

·      WEAR NATURAL FABRICS:

Come prepared to control the sweat factor. Natural fabrics provide air circulation and will dry quickly. Cotton and linen are the best choices, but silk is also good. If you wear silk, make sure it’s either very light (white, nude) or has a pattern. Pattern will distract from sweat.

Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how wedges and embellished sandals can provide comfort as well as style in outdoor terrains. 

·      BE WEARY OF THE TERRAIN:

Proceed with caution if you want to wear heels. Mud can easily ruin a favorite pair. If you know it’s going to be dry, it’s still best to stick with a wedge. Wedges are more conservative and will provide greater comfort if it’s an all day event. An embellished sandal is also a great way to show off your stylish ways while making sure you aren’t over-dressed.

Check out these options for some fresh ideas. You can never have too many shoes… 

·      MANAGE YOUR MANE:

Humidity and sweat can make you look like you just rolled out of bed. It’s best to go for a natural look (rather than glammed up goddess) so use light hold and taming product to keep the organic waves and whispies where you want them. A classic ponytail or a bun is also perfect or this event. With either of those options, pack a mini hairspray in your hobo to ensure little movement.

 A metallic clasp like this one will add a little pop of style.

·      WEAR LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHES:

This is one that we are all familiar with, but it’s important not to forget. Dark colors easily become saturated by the hot rays, while light colors will prevent penetration. Pops of black, navy, and grey are fine, but try to avoid solid darks.

Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how staying away from running shoes and instead investing in a pair of versatile boat or walking shoes is important before a company party. 

·      STAY AWAY FROM SNEAKERS:

Grandpa wears running shoes to a BBQ; you don’t. There are so many boat shoes and walking shoes that work for any style, so consider investing in one of these pairs before the event.   

 

 

Now, I would love to hear from you! Comment below to tell me how you stay summer ready for business parties!