Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fashion Repeats Itself

By Scotty Henderson

Old pictures give us a good idea of what times before us looked like. Bad hair, bad pants, bad shoes all come to mind.

As much as we want to turn our noses up at "old stuff", it's really the basis of retro. Many of the styles we see today are simply recycled trends from the past. Wide sleeves, bell bottoms, and printed t-shirts have all resurfaced in recent years as trends. Teens, possibly the trendiest group out there, aren't even old enough to know that these styles aren't new.

Finding trendy fashions at cheap prices has moved from the shopping mall to the thrift store. Some adults may even still have some of the original relics lurking in the back of their closets. Looking back at our past gives us a little insight into the fashion of our present.

Bold designs and colorful fabrics were the style of the 1960's. Miniskirts and bellbottoms were seen for the first time. In most department stores, you can find a version of these classics today. Designers have put a spin on them to make them look new, but you can see the influence of the 60s on our modern fashion.

The 1970s brought us printed t-shirts, flashy fabrics, and platform shoes. Printed t-shirts are still a common form of expression, and a version of flashy fabrics and platform shoes can be seen in any shopping mall today.

The 1980s started the trend of a formal jacket over and informal shirt for men, and lycra skirts and shoulder pads for women. A nice t-shirt and jacket is still acceptable for men at a formal occasion, as long as it's paired with a nice pair of jeans.

Grunge and trendy t-shirts hit with the 1990s. Grunge sprouted from the popular music of the time, sporting thrift store style worn out jeans, oversized t-shirts, and flannel over shirts. Dr. Marten boots were also popular in the grunge fashion. Trendy t-shirts with funny, political, or social messages were popular then and today.

As fashion trends change, we have to look back at the styles that influence our current fashion. Every decade for the last 40 years represents some form of fashion we see today. When we look back at old pictures, we laugh at the silly styles, but much of what we wear today is similar.

As style progresses, good and bad trends come and go. Fashion designers have the task of picking the best of what is good in previous fashions and updating it to make it modern. Even the colors we see in shopping malls are not new. Decades past have taught us what works together, and what doesn't.

The saying goes that if you hold on to something long enough, it will come back into style sooner or later, and to some extent, that's true. With a little updating, some styles do come back around. Next time your kids say you just don't understand what's cool, take a look in their closet with them and point out the things that are similar to what you wore when you were their age.

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