Fashion in the 1960s vs. Modern Fashion

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Fashionin the 1960s vs. Modern Fashion

Fashionin the 1960s vs. Modern Fashion

Peoplehave always had an interest in fashion, even in the past years. Forthose who do not appreciate the history of fashion, there is thefeeling that fashion is modern. However, as it is said, historyrepeats itself. The past years have a great influence on fashion asit is today. It is a revolution and not a new discovery. Modernfashion is an improvement of the 1960s fashion.

Inthe 1960s, there was a lot going on in the political and socialworld. Innovation and rebellion were expressed in the form offashion. During this period, the designers became more creative andexplored bolder and more daring fashion choices. Modern fashion formost designers is daring and they tend to be more creative. This hasnot begun in the modern world, but it was there even in the 1960s asa response to the need for more expression of one’s beliefs.

Thedifference between the two is that in the 1960s fashion was mainlyused as a statement. As a form of opposition and as a means to haveone’s grievances attended to. Fashion during this time was used asa tool for change and a political campaign too. Today, it is mainlyas an expression of creativity and liberation from societal norms asthey were there before.

Fashionin the female world was used to show that it was time for liberationfrom the chauvinistic mindsets in the 1950s. It was the time of thesexual revolution and Woman’s Liberation Movement, whereby morewomen became more cautious about what was happening in their world.The women thus turned to fashion to express themselves. There was amove towards wearing short skirts and dresses which was not sowelcome in the society. This was seen as liberation and a form offreedom of expression for women. It was during this time that womenhad taken up jobs that only men had previously done. Fashion in thissense was used to show that a woman could balance her life and stilllook good. Today, the stage has been set and women boldly wearclothes with short hemlines. This trend has become acceptable now andmodern fashion designers continue to improve on what was in the1960s.

Themodern man is keen on looking and feeling good and for this reason,is also fashion sensitive. This is being seen as an upcoming culturein modern fashion where more men are getting their fashion designersand are on the lookout for new trends. Even though most see this as amodern culture, it came to be in the 1960s. John Stephen was veryinfluential in getting men to love fashion as much as their femalecounterparts. He owned shops like ‘Mood Male’ and Male West One’,among others, all focused on men and fashion. This is a clearindication that men’s interest in fashion is not new, but was thereeven in the 1960s. The difference is that the market, focusing on menand fashion is greater today than it was then.

Itis important to look at these two distinct times and the focus of thefashion market for each time. In the early 1950s, fashion, mainlyfocused on the older and elite members of the society. The designersof the 1960s, however saw a gap in this as the youthful members ofthe society as well as teenagers, had been left out in the world offashion. The young people also wanted something new. It was a periodpost-war, and the youths were earning their own money and could nowhad money to spend on fashion. They wanted to create an identitydifferent from their parents. Focusing on this group encouragedcreativity in the fashion industry. The designers were radical andinnovative and responded to the need for expression for the youth.

Theyouth in the 1960s in a bid to becoming different, provoked theconservatives by wearing jeans and short skirts. This was an erawhere people were fighting for change and expressing this throughfashion was seen as the best tool. Today, no one is judged forwearing jeans. It is not provoking as people of all ages and bothgenders wear jeans. Today the jeans are popular only that they arenow of different kinds.

Themodern fashion styles are seen to mainly focus on the youth. This isnot to say that the older members are left out, but when it comes toinnovation and expression of creativity, the focus is mainly on youngpeople who are bolder and who want to express themselves more.

Modernfashion can be seen as a come-back from the 1960s. The pencil skirtdesigns in the 1960s were worn with back to front cardigans orsweaters the same way that they are won today. The stiletto shoesbecame popular in the 1960s and the same fashion is seen today.Before the 1960s, men’s wear was mainly dull and serious. The 1960ssaw change into brighter and more colorful trends. The modern man isalso bold and willing to try different colors. Leather boots andcollarless jackets for men is a fashion trend that is very populartoday. This evolved from the 1960s where men wore this with trouserstraps and wide ties.

Inthe 1960s, fashion was used for social and political expressionsunlike today. For this reason, the market was not as impatient as itis today. Focus was on quality and ability to clearly expressoneself. Today, designers are under pressure. They have to deal withcompetition, accessibility and marketability of their brands. Theyhave to do this and still maintain the integrity of their brand.Designers have increased the working hours for their employees in abid to meet the demand. This has not gone well as many designers havebeen sued for overworking their employees.

Comparingfashion in the 1960s and modern fashion we see a growing trend. Themodern fashion is an improvement of ideas of the 1960s. The fashionin the 1960s was exiting and an expression of a happy society afterwar. It was a time when people were bolder compared to theconservative society of the 1950s. It was shocking to the oldergeneration to see women in short skirts and dresses and for men togrow longer hair. Today, the fashion world is growing. It is aresponse to the needs of a population that is already liberated andwilling to explore more. The society today is accustomed to seeingdaring fashion trends and one is not judged for what they wear. Todayfashion does not provoke as it did in the 1960s.


Allaire,C. (2012, March 11). Fashion Then vs. Fashion Now: Has Style Lost ItsSoul? Retrieved December 7, 2015, from soul/

TheFashion That Was: The Sixties and How it influenced the FashionWorld. (2011, October 21). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from influenced-the-fashion-world/

Lemire,B., &amp Riello, G. (2008). EAST &amp WEST: TEXTILES AND FASHION INEARLY MODERN EUROPE. JournalOf Social History,41(4),887-916.

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