World War I and II had a huge impact on the dressing styles of women. Versatile and intriguing dresses were worn by women that channeled the feminine energy, summing up the five decades (1920-1960). Regardless of the tensions and unrest caused by the World War, women made sure that they followed the latest fashion trends and unleashed their style with confidence.
After the WW1, women wore subtle and elegant dresses that provided comfort. Girls of all age groups had positive energies and wore ankle-length dresses in a care-free manner. The long length dresses were soon discarded, and the length rose below the knees. The waistline also dropped and became a loose-fit. The dresses had V necklines or boat necks that exhibited modesty. Sleeves were till elbow-length or full but party dresses were sleeveless that were acceptable in the evening.
The Knee-length, drop-waist and loose dresses were gone after a decade and was replaced with fitted, high-waist and calf-length dresses that had wide shoulders and high neckline. Ready to wear dresses having zippers became popular.
The afternoon dresses featured puffy sleeves, waist belts and collars. The dress colors were solid and had floral patterns. For evening parties, Women wore long bias-cut, backless and sleeveless gowns, made from silk or net.
The long skirts and wide leg pants also became a part of their fashion.
WWII led to fabric shortages; therefore, clothes were manufactured with minimum fabric having few creases and simple designs. Straight mid-length skirts were paired with boxy jackets and broad shoulder tops. Accessories such as flower hats and tall shoes became a fashion trend. In 1947, the skirts become longer and boxy shoulders transitioned into sloped shoulders.
The 1940s fashion trends were followed in the 1950s, welcoming the full skirt, tight waist, and sloppy shoulder look.
The 1950s dress included the narrow pencil skirt that took the fashion world by storm and it’s still worn today. Floral print or plain blouses were paired up with the slim fit skirt. Waist-length cardigans also became popular. The saucer-shaped and pillbox hats were adorned on the heads of women. Hair was usually tied into ponytails or a bun.
The aftermath of the Second World War led to the birth of fashion designers like Biba and Mary Quant who designed clothes for youngsters. They introduced mini-skirts for the first time. Women became indulged in makeup and applied mascara, defined their eyes with kohl and wore fake lashes. Towards the late 1960s, the hippie culture emerged which was a blend of non-Western cultures. The clothes, textures, and designs had an influence of non-American culture. The conservatives remained strict in their dressing style that included below knee-length skirts and jackets.
Fashion trends come and go. Some have made a comeback in the 21st century while the rest didn’t make it. Considering the fashion trends, the differences between the 5 decades are clear.