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Fashion

A stylish piece inspired by each decade from 1920 to 2020

One hundred years may not seem like a lot in the long game of history, but it is in the fashion world. Dramatically changing and adapting to the big artistic, social or musical movements, each decade brings something new to the closet. So, here is a stylish piece inspired by each decade from 1920 to 2020!

The 20s: Drop-waist dresses

Ah, the Roaring 20s—a Great Gatsby-esque flapper girl fringe probs come to mind. Designers like Coco Chanel popularized and cemented the iconic drop-waist style into both evening and daily wear. Shop dresses like these on Etsy.

The 30s: Backless gowns

Backless gowns are absolutely gorgeous, and a signature of 1930s evening wear. Inspired by Old Hollywood stars and rocked by modern-day red-carpet gracers, this dress style is super glam and classy in any decade. Find gowns like these at ModCloth.

The 40s: Boxy Blazers

The 1940s were defined by WWII, and consequentially, a clean, military silhouette. The goal was to create a slim, practical look, so extremely well-tailored pieces like blazers were the go-to outerwear, both powerful and stylish. Get yours at Zara.

The 50s: Pencil skirts

In 1947, Christian Dior came out with his “New Look," which was big, bold and feminine. Shapely pieces that brought out everyone's inner hourglass figure were the ideal choice, giving way for the pencil skirt to become a defining garment of the decade. Shop for one now at Lulus.

The 60s: Psychedelic print

Trippy, geometric and cute? Enter "Mod" culture. Psychedelic print was introduced in clothing in the 1960s and was later adopted by the hippies. There was no such thing as being over the top—paisley swirls, bright daisies, and even cans of Campbell soup took turns in the spotlight. Find psychedelic clothes at Unique Vintage.

The 70s: Bell bottoms

Groovy vibes only! Bursting with flowy clothing and free-spirit, the 1970s is *such* a hip decade, and what better way to honor it than with bell-bottoms? Simple, comfortable and effortlessly cool, these pants will bring out your inner flower child. Get a pair at Revice.

The 80s: Leg Warmers

When you think of the ‘80s, a workout video of Jane Fonda sporting a vivid leotard and leg-warmers def comes to mind. Her wildly popular aerobic exercises brought about a new wave of workout fashion, introducing a versatile item that can keep you cozy *and* cute. Shop leg warmers like these at Romwe.

The 90s: Bike shorts

From Chanel Couture to Cher Horowitz, bike shorts are perfect for the model-off-duty look. Let's not forget how Princess Diana ruled the trend, ironically styling hers with an oversized sweatshirt and high socks and sneakers that perfectly encapsulates the minimalistic 90s flair. Find a pair at H&M.

The 00s: Velour tracksuits

As you might know, fashion comes in 20-year cycles, which means Y2K trends are back in business! A celebrity-fave, the iconic velour tracksuit, made famous by Juicy Couture, is the best balance of comfy and trendy. Seriously, it makes you look *so* put together without even trying. Get yours at ASOS.

The 2010s: Leggings

Nearly wiping out the denim industry in the 2010s, the legging exploded as the clothing-of-choice, and rightfully so. Thanks to the rise of wellness culture, it's totally normal now to lounge in these stretchy gifts from the athleisure goddesses. Shop for a pair at Aerie.

The 2020s: Romantic dresses and blouses

We may only be at the very beginning of this decade, but the 2020s have already brought with them extremely promising fashion trends. One we're hoping to get more of are the romantic dresses and blouses inspired by the Victorian era and popularized by recent films like Little Women and Emma. Floral print, lace and delicate embellishments, these pieces are a love letter to femininity and beauty. Find pieces like these at Simply Retro.

What's your fave decade of fashion? Tell us on Instagram @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY | 90s GIF via preview.ph | Slider image via vintagedancer.com

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by Sophia Zhang | 3/15/2021
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