big-earrings-1980s

After the flower power and wide flare 1970s, it’s time for the second-last episode of the retro fashion series: back to the 1980s!

The red line of the 1980s was: “More is More”, but please No More DISCO. Big hair, more make-up, more color, more color with more make-up and even bigger hair. Anything was possible! It didn’t start out like that though. We started the 1980s quite neutral with colors like brown and tan. Probably because everyone had to catch their breath from the previous dazzling and headspinning Disco years.

There was a little revival of the 1940s in the beginning of the 1980s. You saw slightly high waistlines featuring blousons and padded shoulders. Velvet material was also extremely popular. Lace got a more robust look and feel, because it was often combined with for example leather. And then there was MTV. Remember the good old days when MTV was actually only about music? This channel had its influence in more than one way. When it comes to fashion, the youth suddenly saw their role models in the most trendy outfits. As you can understand, when “video killed the radiostar”, dressing like the popstar was born. Especially during the mid-1980s when stars like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson had a huge influence on teenagers. White gloves, sunglasses, leather jacket and BAM…get ready for a (moon)walk in the streets.

More than ever, accessories were important to finish your look. Remember hoops? No not hula hoops. I mean those large, round earrings that were a musthave to “dress” your ears. Same goes for bangles and other large and eyecatching jewelry. When I talk about eyecatching, over-the-top hairstyles need to be included. Especially in the second half of the era. Colouring your hair in every color of the rainbow and “go wild” was pretty common back then. Hairstyles of women AND men were bigger than any other decade. Rock and punk music of the late 1980s also had its influence on hairstyles: the new age style was born. For those spikes on top of your head, you needed a lot of hair glue… When it comes to beauty, the motto was: the heavier the make-up, the better the look. So women wore heavy eyeliner, heavier blush and to finish the look: intense lipstick. That popular “pure” nude look of nowadays was not even seen at the horizon of the late 1980s.

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There we are again with the seventh episode of the retro fashion serie: the flower power 1970s. When you think about the 1970s what comes to mind? I immediately think about freedom, hippies, men with long hair, wide pants, platform boots and ofcourse DISCO.

The 1970s era was once again an era of revolution. It all started in 1969. Remember that I talked about Mods in my retro fashion 1960s article? Well in the 1970s Mods and hippies kind of blended together. The 1970s were once again an era of very bright and vibrant colors and short dresses. The hippie style of the late 1960s inspired the popular boho look. So we went from short skirts, to long loose maxi dresses and tunics made of natural materials. The men version of the boho look included bright colored shirts with flower patterns. It was also time to loosen up. Literally, because flared pants were getting wider and wider. Until it peaked into the bell bottom pants, from the mid-1970s until then end of the 1970s. Men, women…everyone wore them.

Besides the boho dresses, the magic word for the 1970s era, was: suit up. Jumpsuits, leisure suits, pant suits..any suit you like. For men and women. For women also knitted pullovers became popular. And we still like those in the winter… Hats and gloves were so not 1970s, which is a big difference if we compare it to fashion of the 1940s-1960s era.

When  it comes to party outfits the motto was: “More is More”. In this case it couldn’t get too shiny or shimmery when you were dancing the night away at your local discotheque. Another interesting development: hair became long and natural for men and women, especially from the mid-1970s until 1979.

Actually there is an interesting red line here. As you can read above a lot of fashion trends applied to both men and women. Fashion for men and women was kind of equal, which was a huge revolution compared to the previous eras. They both adored the bell bottom pants look. And they both wore platform heels. Yes, that’s correct: men wore heels again…:

Try to buy the platform heels on the left for a man nowadays

14140063281_c75b757a89_zPaul Townsend – flickr.com 

 

No skinny jeans ahead for the following 30 years | Australian Women’s Weekly, 1975

8499014148_46aef4732a_zBess Georgette – flickr.com

 

D.I.S.C.O…. | late 1970s

DISCOSacheverelle – flickr.com

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Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel Wisdom

When we think about Coco Chanel, we think about a woman who launched the first perfume with a designer name (Chanel no. 5), which would also become one of the most popular perfumes of all time. Coco also showed women that there was more to (lingerie) life than corsets, because “fashion is a luxury and luxury should be comfortable”. Cheers to that! Especially since corsets were extremely not-comfortable in those days. She was also the first designer who believed that black could be very classy in a time where black was related to grief and mourning. Now Coco was a woman with a very strong will of her own. So in the 1920s she designed that lovely Little Black Dress that probably hangs in the (imaginary walk-in) closet of a lot of women who read this. Not only her designs, but also her appearance was always glamorous yet minimalistic. However, her life didn’t start glamorous at all…

Coco Chanel was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 in Saumur, France. Coco grew up in very poor circumstances. Her mother died when Coco was very young and her father could not raise her, so she was put in an orphanage. Here she was raised by nuns who learned her how to sew. And she could sew alright. Those sewing skills would later make her one of the most influential fashion designers of all time. Like every other person, she also had a lot of burdens to overcome in her personal life. However, whether positive or negative, experiences will always give you something valuable: wisdom. Coco didn’t let the bad times weaken her spirit. She moved forward and continued to revolutionize the fashion world with for example high-class jewelry and handbags. She was also way ahead of her times. Not just as a fashion designer, but also as a woman with a mind and opinion of her own. No matter what happened, she always stayed true to her (honest) self.
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