Fashion Through the Decades

As you browse through our yearbook archives, it’s interesting to see how fashion has changed over the years. Sometimes it’s even gone full circle and something you wore as a teenager is back in style.

We have some yearbooks that are dated all the way back to the 1890’s, but it’s unlikely that type of clothing will make a comeback, due to the wide women’s hats with over-the-top trimmings like feathers and flowers, and men’s frock coats and relaxed trousers.

1890’s fashion. Olivia Charlotte Guiness, Baroness Ardilaun is on the right. iStock images

Keds produced the first sneaker in 1917, around the time women started wearing their hair short and men fashioned day-time blazers.

1910’s attire. iStock images

Following the end of World War 1 and through the 1920’s, clothing was made with more economical fabrics, and as technology continued to affect clothing production in the 1930’s, trendy fashion became more accessible to the everyday person.

1920’s attire. iStock images


John Wayne, 1923-1925, from classmates archives


1930’s attire. iStock images


Walter Cronkite, 1933 and Betty White, 1936, from classmates archives

During the 1940’s, as World War II wore on, clothing materials became limited, as wool and leather were needed for soldiers’ uniforms, and silk was used for their parachutes and maps. But as the 1950’s approached, trendy fashion was on the rise again, and pencil skirts, poodle skirts, and capri pants were very much in style, and leisurewear for men grew in popularity.

1940’s attire. iStock images


From Left to Right: Dick Clark, 1947, Joan Rivers, 1949, and James Dean, 1949, from classmates archives


1950’s attire. iStock images


George Hamilton, 1957 and Tina Turner, 1958, from classmates archives

The 1960’s broke many fashion traditions and had more diversity than the previous eras. The hippie movement influenced women’s style, like bell-bottom jeans and tie-dye, whereas men took interest in the London “mod” fashion scene.

1960’s attire. iStock images


From Left to Right: Bette Midler, 1963, Michael Douglas, 1963, Chubby Checker, 1960, and Goldie Hawn, 1960, from classmates archives

The 1970’s produced clothing that arguably re-surfaces the most in today’s fashion, like boho-chic, punk, and sporty-chic. Suede fabric and high-waisted pants designs continue to be in style.

1970’s attire. iStock images


Susan Day, 1970, and Madonna, 1975, from classmates archives

The 1980’s saw bold style, colors, and permed hair, and the 1990’s were very distinct, with oversized sweaters, flannel shirts, and lots of denim.

1980’s attire. iStock images


From Left to Right: Bonnie Blair, 1980-1982, Julia Roberts, 1985, and Mariah Carey, 1987, from classmates archives


1990’s attire. iStock images


From Left to Right: Neil Patrick Harris, 1991, Joel McHale, 1991, and Rebecca Romijn, 1990, from classmates archives

The 2000’s and beyond have been eclectic, with the earlier part of the decade seeing leather, jeans, hoodies, and tracksuits. Clothing generally was a throw-back to previous decades, and as 2010 hit, pants and shirts became more casual.

What styles do you remember wearing when you were growing up? Leave a comment below!