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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Friday, July 5, 2013

Best and Worst Years in Fashion

So I recently got a bit of a complaint that my blog is mostly Sponsor Salutes etc. This isnt intentional. I actually plan to post something non-sponsor or affiliate related every week and then I get super busy. So that's my excuse for that. But if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I posted a collage of what I considered to be the best and worst years in fashion, as inspired by my funny friend Amy Jeanne. It was so fun to research, because I've always known my favorite aesthetic year for everything pretty much, from cars to clothes. But my LEAST favorite was more of a challenge.

Being super opinonated, I think there are actually quite a few years in fashion that are just horrid. Most of them are between 1975 and 1992. For instance, 1976 had this lovely ensemble to offer:

And 1991, ah the beauty of the brightly colored tapered leg pantsuit:

But I guess before we determine which year won out as the WORST year in fashion, we should first visit the BEST. Of course this is entirely subjective and no one will necessarily have the same answer. I've noticed on Facebook, when this question was raised, 1939 was a popular answer. The fashions of that year were bold and varied, a nice combination, but also they were flattering to the female curves. Amy Jeanne chose 1932 and indeed the 30's did seem to universally be popular. I have always been an enormous fan of New Look fashion, however, which made its appearance awkwardly in 1949 and really reached it's peak in 1956. I adore the fashion illustration of this era, probably because my grandfather specialized in it, but the lines and silhouettes are just my favorite on the female form. In 1956, even as the automobiles became more sleek and angular, so did the clothing.

The hips became very pronounced, in contrast with the narrowness of the waist; the bullet bra was utilized to add even more contrast. It was a modern and powerful look, but also starkly feminine:

Boxy jackets and hats further accentuated the angles of the new look, but the sleek pencil skirts still hugged the natural curves of the body, to lend some softness:

Full skirts were also still the rage, and again these were beautiful contrasted with the narrow waists and pointed appearance of the breasts. I'm a huge huge fan of the full skirt:

Also, colors and patterns of the late 50's were bolder and braver than they had been in the decade up to that point.

And don't even get me started on the swimwear. Swoon-diggety-swoon:

So 1956 is my pick for the best year,and my reasons for choosing it should be quite evident. :)


Coming up with the WORST year, as I mentioned, was a bit more tricky. So many sordid years to choose from! But then I remembered the Urban Cowboy era, and those god awful bridesmaid dresses Deborah Winger's wedding party wore for her fancy Gilly's wedding. :) And I remembered countless early 80's episodes of the Gong Show and Pop Goes the Country, when fashion was definitely at a low point. The 'elegance' of evening attire included long dowdy 'Little House on the Prairie' dresses in varying insipid pastel shades and which covered the female form in its entirety:

Interestingly, as replete as television programming seemed to be with these dresses, they've all but vanished from the internet. I had a hard time finding a photo! Proof that no one is proud of these, evidently.

But that as it may be, never fear, 1981 also gave us gems like the polyester 'dress slacks' with an elastic waist...meant to be worn with blouse tucked in:

And our fellas were looking mighty snazzy too, in 1981:

Add to that the headbands and shoulder padded sweater dresses:

Plus the horrid swimwear that manages to even be unflattering on Christie Brinkley:

Yeah, I rest my case.

So that's my feelings on some of our more noteable declines and ascents in fashion. Let me know yours!

Til Next Time,



Amy Jeanne said...

The early 80s are extremely similar to the late 40s. Some of the clothes in the 1948 catalogs are identical to those in 1981 -- only made in polyesters. The 40s-does-Victorian came back in style around that time.

SandyS said...

OMG - what a post. I saw your posts on Facebook and was in shock about those pastel dresses with the big sleeves - horrible!
But that swimwear is just painful ugly. I hate the 80s - especially the fashion.
Your choice from the 50s looks that much more chique and sexy - love^^

Bunny Moreno said...

Great post! I adore the 30s but agree with you-1949-1956 was fabulous. The early 80s were scary and I find the 60s/70s fun and cheeky-don't you? Love your post-shared it on my fb page!! xox


Cyanilla Latte said...

Generaly, the 80s were horrible enough to forget, fashion-wise.

Lisa Carrieanne said...

what a great post hunny! i erally enjoyed reading it.

i have t agree i love how femanie women were in the 50's i think we seem to be loosing that more and more each year.

love this.


Carlene Kepley said...

great post thanks for share with us.Women Clothing

Glamour Daze said...

Great post Ash. yep - its hard to see anything redeeming in the 1980s. All those Dynasty inspired power suits. Leg warmers and boiler suits. Everyone was wearing them. I think - in preparation for Nuclear war or something. The 1970s has perhaps some good things - though i can't think of any right now. the 1930s has both the best and not so best. the early '30s were my favorite. A blend of all that was best in the late 1920s but with a return to more feminine curves. Hats went a little astray during that decade and I was never a fan of the Dali-esque shoe hats of Schiaparelli etc. The angular look, big shoulders is often credited to her, which we can see coming along by 1938 and taking prominence in the 1940s.The 1950's - what's not to love - the golden age of glamour in every respect. Anyway - thats enough from me. I miss your blog, been so up my arse with my own recently, must read you more often. Take care.Stevie

onlinephduk said...

I love this idea. I think it is important that someone point out the flaws and awes of the fashion world.

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