Research Round 6- Why Did Fashion Evolve In The Late 20th Century?

 Hello fellow humans! 

 In this round, I'm looking at textiles of the time period I'm focussing on, as well as touching on what the textile industry is like today. I'm looking at colours, patterns, and materials that make certain looks so popular. Here are my findings. 


  Instead of mentioning denim in every category, I made a category for denim itself. If you've been following my research in the past, you may notice that I bring up denim a lot. Denim is never going away! The reason it's lasted so long and why so many people choose to wear it, is because it can go with so many things, it can be cheap depending on where you buy it, and it's a sturdy material. (1) 

 Image: (7) 

 The 1970s  

In this decade, bright patterns and prints were very common. There were also a lot of relaxed designs and shapes, in other words, clothes had funky designs on them, but they weren't too crazy. (2) In this era people became more environmentally conscious in comparison to earlier years, so styles had a flowy, relaxed, natural style in mind, continuing on the hippie look of the late 60s. And with a hippie influence in mind, many people liked to wear earth tones, like brown, green, cream, and pale yellow. (Fun fact: the first earth day was in 1974!) (3) Another popular material in this era was suede, especially for men, because it could be worn with many clothing items, like denim. (2) Polyester was also common, especially for pants. (3) Crochet, lace, tassels, fringe, and beads were used for details in clothes. (2) 

Image: (8) 

The 1980s 

The fabrics of the 1980s were very bold and colourful. Some fabrics had a three-dimensional look to them, by adding pleats or certain print to them. They included very graphic styles with shapes and pictures. (4)  

Image: (9) 

The 1990s 

In this era, colours became darker and more neutral. Some common materials included leather, which came back in the late 2000s. As well, there was a huge rise in the consumption of cotton, used for graphic tees and other shirts. Women were drawn to cashmere sweaters also, because of the soft texture. Velvet was used to create formal jackets and blazers, and women often wore nylon tights to go with dresses or shorts. Wool and knit were popular, as well as flannel/plaid patterns for casual shirts. (5) 

 Image: (10) 

Modern textile industry:  I won't be doing a ton of research on this part of it, but I felt it was important to address. Obviously, today's textile industry has way more new technologies and machinery doing the work than human hands. “Among other innovations, textile engineers are developing high-tech fibers that are used as substrates in biomedical applications, as well as materials that aid in energy conservation and pollution control.” (6) 












 That's all for this time! In my next round, I am looking at pop culture influences in this era of fashion, and I hope to tie my love of writing into this somehow by looking at how items worn by film and television characters affect what people wear. Feel free to leave suggestions! 


Photos (5)
Original Post

Hey Sophie,

I loved the layout of this post. It was comprehensible and easy to navigate. Are there reasons why certain prints became more popular in the 80's? You mention there were a ton of graphic styles with geometric (from the picture you've shown us) shapes and fun, bright colours. Why was this so? Was there a rise in street art or graphic art that influenced the prints of the time? And if there was, which I believe there would have been since it was in the 80's graffiti was being displayed as art in galleries, in what ways did it impact not just the print of the clothing but of the brands associated with these prints? If you look at the brands which were popular in different decades, I think you'd find even more information about what was trending at the time. (It seems that the societal norm for fashion is heavily influenced by pop artists, celebrities, and brands.)

Overall, this was a neat post to look at with nice pictures that gave me a better sense of what the popular prints were like.

Keep up the good work,
Erica Won.

Hi Sophie,

Neat research! It's incredible how culture, events in history, and celebrities can so easily influence fashion. The fact that film and television characters can influence what people wear sounds absurd, but it does, whether people are aware that they are being so heavily influenced or not.

Here's a website you can use for your next round of research:

Good luck!

I really liked your post Sophie! 

I can relate to how denim goes with everything, and how it has never gone out of style! It would be neat if you could look into how denim has grown over the years and how we use it for so many different pieces of clothing. 

Here are some links that could help if you want to look into it:

I look forward to your next round!

Hi Sophie, 

Such an interesting round of research! I really enjoyed how you introduced each material/pattern and added a picture, as well as give them a brief explanation. For your next round, I noticed how you're going to look into pop culture influences on this era of fashion, as well as the fashion influences of actors and celebrities on society. When I think of the latter, immediately I think of Jennifer Aniston from Friends. Throughout the entire 10 years of the show, she had a great impact on society's trends, from her hair to her clothing articles. These trends are even present today. It would be very interesting if you could talk about other celebrities that had similar influences, why society is impacted by them, and what some of these fashion trends are.

Best of luck!

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