What is Fashion? Fashion is a general term used to describe a style of clothing or practice used by people around the world. Fashion refers to anything that is a trend. Self-presentation is the most direct noticeable marker of fashion. Throughout history we have seen many changes in clothing, from the color, to the material used to make it. We have also seen the style in which clothing is made change drastically. Fashion communicates meanings that have individual and social significance. Society, cultures, gender and even political authority have impacted fashion over the years. Clothing styles characterize certain designs which represent the culture that wears the clothing. Designers continue to try to direct their ideas to a transforming society that will sequentially make their designs worth big money (Roach 54-55).
Fashion in the 1900’s was impacted greatly by World War I and II. The biggest change was seen in women on the American home front. As the men left for war, the woman’s responsibilities on the home front changed. Women went from wearing dresses to wearing pants and doing the labor once done by man. With World War I bringing over six million fatalities it became many women’s only choice to manage without male support. The women liked their new found freedom on the home front. It was during this time that fashion manufacturing was interrupted due to limits on material, so women’s dresses became shorter, and their pants tighter (Nunn 169-206).
Fashion in the 1940’s began to slow down; little changes were being seen unlike during the Jazz Age (1919-1929). It was due to the lack of material caused by World War II. Women couldn’t change their outfits, so they dressed in simple clothing. During this time military clothing for men was introduced. During World War I and World War II the war jacket became an icon for the American people. Around 1947, after the end of World War II that Christian Dior introduced “Kings” style. This style gave a sense of luxury to Americans and was very classy. The women began to wear formal dresses that had delicate necklines. The women were also introduced to stylish hats and distinctive hairstyles with curls. The men’s style didn’t see many changes expect that the war jackets were now distant, and they followed a narrow shoulder and hip pattern in everything they wore (“Brief History”).
The Years between the 1950’s and 1960’s was an explosive time in fashion. The 50’s represented an out coming of the new generation. People began to gain their own personal style and appearance, influenced by films and singers (“Vintage Fashion”). Their styles incorporated leather, jeans, corduroy, and the ballet shoes for the girls. Men’s wear began to drastically change. Men would wear a leather jacket, with jeans that narrowed at the bottom, and a simple t-shirt (Peacock 210-211). This was the first time in history that jeans were not just worn by the working class but by all men (“Brief History”). The man’s lust for...