How fashion has changed through feminist reform

How fashion has changed through feminist reform

A look into the power of clothes and the significant affect they have on the public.

The modern day woman is sporty, proactive and involves herself with business, just like men. Now that we have more social, economic and political rights, doors have opened up for us and that is because of all the strong, fearless females who fought for equality change. Since the wave of feminism begun, fashion has shaped us as human beings and much has progressed in the space of 80 years. Your clothes represent who you are; giving outsiders a clue of the status of your class and race, so clothes have the power to symbolise your identity.

For example, up until the 1950’s, women of all ages and backgrounds wore ankle-length dresses and skirts, the style was conservative but that was transformed when the miniskirt became a phenomenon in the 60’s. British designer, Mary Quant, introduced a collection of mid-thigh length skirts, they were worn by celebrities and were popular internationally, representing a new age of liberation and beauty.

Before, women were considered only to be capable enough for raising children and doing household work but during WW2, women took on ‘masculine’ jobs in factories doing labouring, dangerous work in mechanics and that sparked an eagerness to alter the males opinion of women being thought to be restricted to cooking and cleaning.

It is arguable that Coco Chanel was one of the first designers to create trousers for women; which were traditionally for men, however, the trend was revolutionary and to this day is still a wardrobe staple. Chanel’s patterns and materials catered to the needs of sophisticated, urban women. Yves Saint Laurent was also one to draw public attention to his pantsuits and this gave young and old women an alternative option of wearing dresses, with the style being worn to this present day.

One of the last waves of feminism occurred in the eighties, when suits were worn by both sexes and the exaggerated shoulder-pads accentuated the look of a masculine silhouette, it was a very fashionable choice. It was to make people realise that you can be powerful and trendy. Clothes have the power to reconstruct you internally and influence others. It’s important to have your own flair, be dressed to your own comfort and of course, be a walking piece of art.


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