Monday, June 11, 2012
I read an article not too long ago that alleged fashion has grown somewhat stagnant. While clothing and hairstyles of previous decades fluctuated widely -- who can't roughly date a Joan Crawford movie, for example, based on the style of dress she's wearing? -- today's styles have been more or less the same since the early '90s.
Think about it. The '50s had their "New Look" flared skirts, the '60s their mod styles, the '70s their back-to-the-earth peasant skirts and shiny disco outfits -- not to mention all that hair. The '20s had their flapper shifts, the '80s their graphic prints, "Flashdance" sweats and shoulder pads.
But what have we had for the last two decades? Jeans. Khakis. T-shirts. When I look back at my own wardrobe it seems like an endless sea of Gap plaid and Banana Republic, broken up by the occasional paisley print or Goodwill find. (And Goodwill finds don't really represent current fashions, since they're often from an earlier time period!) Women's clothes have perhaps been slightly more variable -- but even there, I can't think of an item of women's clothing that was fashionable in the '90s that would seem particularly out of place now.
I could put on the same clothes I wore in 1991 and I don't think I would look dated at all. (Maybe just sillier, since my clothes back then were designed for a younger guy -- not someone leaning into middle age.) I still wear a few shirts I bought in the early 2000's.
What's going on? Have fashions fluctuated less because we're so much more casual now, and casual clothes are less subject to trends? Are we just more comfortable than we once were? Imagine that the photo above had been taken in 1995 instead of 2012 -- wouldn't that woman have fit in just as well?
(Photo: Kentish Town, May 30.)