Fashion Trends: The Past and Future for Women

fashion trends past and future

Fashion Trends: The Past and Future (for Women): A Timeline of Fashion Trends Through the Decades


In the 1920s, trends came from women referred to as “flappers” (fashionable women, had jobs, wore make). Velvet and dark colors were in fashion for ladies, as well as dropped and long skirts, which got gradually shorter throughout the decade, along with colors getting brighter. Bobbed hair was in fashion also.

Louise Brooks

Seens as a revolutionary woman, Brooks was breaking away the Edwardian style. She started the trend of the short bob. Her famous style was tight, revealing clothes, often black and white in color, bob haircut and dark lipstick, creating a vampy style that hadn’t been seen before.


The 1930s brought back feminine fashion and romantic styles. Clothes made of silk and lace, backless evening gowns, and ruffles that flattered the female figure replaced the shapeless styles of the 20s.

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo was a famous film actress in the 30s, who’s film style was imitated by designers in real life. It was giving women the option to copy fantasy life, and escape the troubles of the time, that are thought to be the reason why the stars like Garbo were so iconic in fashion.


Mainly influenced by the war, 1940s fashion was determined by limited availability of materials, which in itself affected not only what ones were used, but also the length of skirts, pants, and also jackets were kept short. Women’s style turned manly, as they used their suits for clothes while at war. After the war, peplum skirts on dresses and coats, sequins on evening wear and country patterns were all in fashion.

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman was the icon through a time when fashion was heavily affected by circumstances. Her love of fitted pencil skirts and suits with subtle accessories optimized Dior’s famous “New Look” at the time, and showed women how to add femininity to man like war style of the time.


1950s fashion was often thought of as the “housewife” look. Light colors, mid length, voluminous “poodle” skirts, and prom dresses were parts of the trend.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn optimized the glamour and class of the decade. Recovering after the war, Hepburn influenced fashion from the silver screen, with trademarked high waisted, voluminous skirts, and fitted tops complemented perfectly with pearls and beaded jewelry to add a classical look.


The 60s were all social and political change, with love, peace, and freedom being the messages. This was reflected in fashion with miniskirts, tall boots, colour blocking, and tie-dye patterns made up the most iconic looks of the 60s, along with heavy eyeliner and slick hair.


Twiggy was the style icon in the 60s. Thought to be the original supermodel, she was the face of many of the designers of the decade. Her tiny frame earned her name, this along with her trademark thick black eyeliner, loose dress, and knee length boots became the iconic style that many copied.


Fashion changes in the 1970s, skirts got longer and colors were toned down. Platform shoes came into fashion, along with long, loose sleeves and flared pants.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett was the first style icon to start a hairstyle trend, with her feathered, flicked out, big hair style. Her fashion reflected the 70’s, starring in the Charlie’s Angles movie, her sex appeal from the film spilled over into real life, making her famous high waisted flared jeans, braless look popular amongst a freedom seeking society.


The 1980s saw the introduction of a range of styles, bold colors and prints, leather and studs, stonewash denim, and power blazers were just some of the trends. Punk styling, patterned knitwear, perms and bright make-up were everywhere.


Madonna’s style in the 80s was constantly reinvented for shock value. Popular with a rebellious youth, Madonna was famous for often turning innocent looks, such as skater skirts and pink lipstick, sexy by adding bold eye shadow, crop tops, and chunky boots.


The grunge look came into fashion in the 90s. Short jackets, crop tops, and high waisted loose jeans were some of the trends. Imitation leather fabrics, such as PU, came into fashion, and trends were inspired by the birth of the supermodel obsession.

Kate Moss

The 90’s saw the introduction of the classic “supermodel”, with Kate Moss often being thought of as the ultimate one. Her heroine chick, grungy look was often copied by girls who aspired to have the supermodel lifestyle.


The noughties have seen the return of many previous fashion trends, including leggings from the 80s, glamorous makeup from the fifties, platforms and skyscraper heels bring back touches of the 60s and 90s also, as well as crop top and distressed denim. The leather and studded look of the 80s is back, as well as the straight shapeless A-Line dresses from the 20s.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is often thought to be the number one style icon of current times. Taking the shock factor of fashion to a whole new level with her infamous meat dress, Gaga’s use of fashion to portray her views and opinions on controversial subjects is what has made her the icon she is.