The Best (and Worst) Trends From Every Decade, Plus How to Wear Your Faves

Fashion comes and goes. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst trends in recent fashion history, plus how to wear the ones you love!

Ever look at an old family photo and cringe at your outfit? Yeah, us too. Like many trends, fashion comes and goes. While some clothes, such as high-waisted pants, are classic pieces that work in any look from any decade, other items quickly become retro fashion or fade from popularity altogether.

In every decade, there have been fashion hits and fashion fails. Skinny jeans? Yes please. Carpenter jeans? Hard pass. Then again, you never know what everyone’s going to be wearing in your favorite Instagram tag next month. Thanks largely to social media, many trends (especially from the 80s and 90s) have resurfaced and pieces that were once “the worst” have been reborn as hot, stylish looks.

So let’s take a trip through fashion history and revisit some of the best and worst trends from each decade. Get ready to get some retro fashion inspo and learn how to wear all your timeless, classic faves.

The 60s

The 60s were a cultural revolution. Rock and roll, hippies and alternative culture became mainstream for the first time, allowing people to begin expressing themselves with more creative types of fashion.

One of our favorite items was born in this decade: the miniskirt. Miniskirts first appeared earlier in the decade in chic, urban Mad Men circles, but soon spread to become a fashion staple. For tall and curvy gals, we love a black miniskirt with a dark top and red heels to really accentuate your shape.

The worst of the 60s? While we love colors and BoHo fashion, tie-dye is a very, very specific art. Let’s just say it takes a lot for this trend to work. To see it done best, check out spring 2019 runways for inspo and try the trend yourself – if you dare.

The 70s

In the 70s, the fashion trends from the previous era continued to evolve while also becoming more elevated and professional. Designers began using more synthetic fabrics in items like tall high-waisted pants and collared shirts, and incorporating slimmer fits. Disco and punk styles also emerged around this time.

Although it’s hard to choose just one, we think the best trend from the 70s is the wrap dress. Comfortable, versatile and flattering, wrap dresses are an essential part of every tall and curvy women’s wardrobe. With a wrap dress, you may be wearing retro fashion and not even know it!

For spring and summer, try a floral wrap dress with light brown or black ankle boots and a light-colored crocheted cardigan or shawl.

But we can’t talk about the 70s without talking about its riskiest fashion move: bell bottoms. Yikes. We love a well-tailored pair of flared pants, but huge bell bottoms are a line only few should cross.

The 80s

The 80s are one of our favorite decades for culture in general, not just fashion. This decade generated some of the world’s most iconic films, music and pop culture. Hip hop started to become mainstream and brought bold, bright, vibrant colors and styles to clothing.

While denim has never gone out of style, it ruled the 80s and gave rise to another trend we love: the jean jacket. Jean jackets are available in a wide variety of color tones and cuts, and they’re a playful way to add more personality to your wardrobe because they look great with pins and patches. Embrace this retro fashion look by pairing a white denim jacket with black tall high-waisted pants.

Despite all the 80s trends we love, the decade wasn’t all new-wave glory. There were many regrettable life choices made in the 80s, and one of the worst? Shoulderpads. Suit jackets in the 80s went way, way overboard. We’re 100% fine leaving those behind.

The 90s

Then there’s the 90s. The era of Blockbuster Video, Nickelodeon, Tamagachi and so many other gems. 90s nostalgia has become a huge boom recently, thanks to Instagram and websites like Buzzfeed cashing in on the craze.

But hey, we’re not mad about it. In the fashion world, the hottest looks of the 90s largely evolved from 80s casual fashion, muting the previous decade’s intense colors and patterns while also ushering grunge into mainstream culture.  

Plaid flannel shirts were the best trend of the 90s. Thanks to figures like Kurt Cobain, plaid shifted from the wardrobe of lumberjacks to a fashion staple worn by everyone. It’s a look that endures today. We love pairing a loose, red plaid shirt with tall high-waisted pants, especially black high-waisted skinny jeans, a vintage tee and high-top canvas sneakers.

On the flipside, the 90s also made it acceptable for adults to wear overalls in public. Let’s just say it was a confusing era for anyone trying to hire a house painter.

Stay Timeless Yet Trendy with Alloy
Whether you’re looking for updated tall girl basics or the next big trend in your perfect size, Alloy Apparel has you covered. Our tall and curvy wardrobe staples are made with fashion-forward design and your gorgeous proportions in mind. Check us out today!

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