Tripping thru the Modern Eras • Part 1 • 1950s-80s

Tripping thru the Modern Eras • Part 1 • 1950s-80s

January 23, 2018

What I love about our fashion at Alt Finery, is that we have fun with it! We are not slavishly trying to follow trends or playing it safe,  We take fashion risks....and I like that. Looking at our eclectic mix of patterns and styles I was thinking about how each era of Fashion since the 50s could be represented in our store and in present day fashion in general, which brings me to this weeks blog. 

This week I'm continuing my on going exploration of Fashion and History,  I'm investigating Fashion Trends through the  modern ages...From the 1950s to present and looking at how social and cultural factors influenced Fashion, and how these influences effect present Fashion.

Lets jump in and start with the 1950s

You can't talk about the 1950s in terms of culture and Fashion without talking about the 1940s era and of WW11. During the 40s fabric and thread was rationed, so everyone got by on the least amount possible.

After the war, rationing stopped and different types of fabrics in large quantities became available. This allowed a new type of fashion to blossom, especially in the U.S. The excess of fabric allowed for intricate pleating and gathering to create full voluminous dresses and skirts shirts with petticoats....made from taffeta and bold prints.

The defining styles in women's dresses were the Swing Dress ( form fitting bodice with detailed necklines or folding with a pinched in waist and a full gathered or flared skirt to the knee ) , the Wiggle dress (tight accentuating curves...think Marilyn Monroe), the pencil skirt and tight sweaters. For Men, it was short sleeve Shirts, Bowling Shirts, Fedora Hats and Braces and Suits.....think the Brat Pack...Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, Frank Sinatra.


This was also the era when Mass production and consumerism really took off especially in the U.S due to the booming economy, So fashion also started to emphasise a conformity. A certain look, a certain body shape, confining foundation garments and a certain role for men and women. Lots of people, especially the youth started to find these ideals very confining ...which leads to the Sixties!

1960s Fashion, a fashion era that started out emulating Jackie Kennedys two piece Suits and Pillbox hat certainly was in a different place by the mid to late 60s. Culturally, the people were becoming discontented with the political system and society. A counter culture movement began as a result of the Vietnam war and the Civil rights movement and as a reaction against American Culture being corrupted by Capitalism and Materialist culture..."Tune in and Drop Out" was the motto. We see Bell Bottoms, Tie Dye, Exotic Eastern Prints , Paisley and Psychedelic Prints, as people experimented with freedom and opening their minds in other ways.

                           60s Fashion- Started here........Finished Here!

Get the 60s Look with ALTS Vintage Paisley Shirt and Maxi Skirts by ALT Finery

We also see the beginning of the feminist movement, where women were burning their bras and ditching bulky foundation garments, feeling more sexually liberated. Fashion wise, wearing mini skirts and shift dresses and clothing that felt less confining.

This Counterculture movement continued in the 1970s with the feminist movement gaining traction along with the Sexual revolution, the Anti war movement continuing and the environmental movement beginning. The man started to react to all this revolutionary thought, and conservatives such as Richard Nixon started gathering information on any public figures involved in the movements....then came Watergate..and Nixon went.

In Fashion, the "hippy" fashion was in Full swing. Bell bottoms, Thigh High Boots and Platform Shoes and boots, Vintage Fur and Leather Jackets, and jeans. The seventies was in fact the era that really embrassed the "Casual Chic" look. By that I mean T-shirts, Jeans and Sneakers, which was seen as different and non- conformist


ALT Finery's Vests and Denim shorts rock that 70s Vibe.


Charlies Angels vs ALTS Angels!  Seventies Looks ....Love the Silver and Gold Leggings! Only $20!


Music in the 70s also played a huge role in Fashion. We can see this in the androgynous look of Bowie and  the whole Glam Rock look with Silver, Jumpsuits, Space age vibe then Disco, with Hot pants and Sequins and then early Hip Hop and Punk, that was a reaction against Disco.

Debbie and Zoe both rocking Denim like Queens! Alt Denim Dress

Then we are in the 80s....the era of excess. "Greed is Good!" the 80s catch cry by Gordon Gecko on  in the movie "Wall Street" It was all about money baby! Big Houses, Fast Cars, big shoulder pads, power suits, big hair. Its like after two decades of activism people were like..."Fuck it...Im tired of being responsible, Lets party!" The baby boomers sold out! The capitalist model was held up as something to aspire too...and the Champaign did flow for a while....until the crash!

I like our take on "Suiting up" better...Cheak out our Van Heusen Shirts...even Gordon Gecko would be impressed by our Range.

While the 80s was interesting as a social phenomena, what i always found interesting about the 80s was the Street Culture.and Subculture. Punk and Hip Hop both starting in the late 70s . These subcultures had their own Fashion, Music, Art, film and Culture with a real DIY ethic. Punk fashion was spear headed by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren.  Hip Hop Culture started out as different neighbourhood crews, getting together, playing tunes in their basements, messing with those tunes, beat boxing and talking over those tunes, people digging it, parties grew. Fashions emerged from each crew, as did Break Dancing and Street Art. Special mention here to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Afrika Bambaataa

....and the Sex Pistols....even though musically MC5s and the Stooges were probably the true Punk Pioneers.


As you can see, Leather Biker Jackets and Studs were the look

Alts Faux Leather Studded Jacket is one of my favorite pieces, that take me back to this era. 

This "Street" level punk and Hip Hop subculture was introduced to the mainstream through music, through the likes of Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Adam and the Ants( Sigh..Childhood crush!) that became a brighter Pop version of Punk called New Wave. Salt and Pepper, Run DMC, Cool Keith, The Beastie Boys and various 80s Break Dancing Movies such "Crush Groove" and "Breakdance " made Hip Hop Culture popular.

Madonna •  Desperately Seeking Susan                       Alt Biker jackets


Adam Ant (Love a Pirate!) .                  Alt Military Jacket and Leather look Leggings

Cindy..Love her! She was a good role model for girls in the 80s. She would have loved Alts Petticoats and Tartan has a matching top too.xx

Seriously...I could write for ages about the 80s... but i must stop.

If you like any of the clothes in the blog, just click on the title links and it will take u straight to the product or hit up our website

Next weeks Blog ill go from the end of the 80s, talk a bit more about Hip Hop culture, the Dance party culture. Brit Pop... popular trends in fashion and how its all changed and evolved into the present day. That will be Fun!

Stay Cool! Love yall!


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