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What Are Two Ways Women’s Fashion Changed

Women’s fashion has undergone dramatic changes over the past century. From the conservative, restricted fashions of the early 1900s to the free-flowing styles of the 1960s and 70s to today’s blend of comfort and style, women’s clothing continues to evolve. Here we will explore two major ways women’s fashion has changed in the past 100 years – the liberation from restrictive undergarments and the mainstreaming of pants and trousers.

What Are Two Ways Women's Fashion Changed

The End of Restrictive Undergarments

One of the most restrictive aspects of early 20th century women’s fashion was the undergarments. Corsets, girdles, and petticoats were tight, heavy, multi-layered, and allowed for very little flexibility or comfort. These undergarments were seen as essential for modesty and a polished, feminine silhouette.

This began to change in the 1910s and 20s. As women became more independent and physically active, the restrictive undergarments became burdensome. The development of modern brassieres offered some support while allowing more flexibility. By the 1930s, the waist-cinching corset had mostly disappeared, replaced by light girdles or pantie girdles. Petticoats became shorter and less full. This new freedom encouraged slimmer, straighter dress silhouettes.

The 1960s saw another undergarment revolution. New seamless, lightweight girdles and bras allowed even more comfort and flexibility. Women began rejecting girdles and structuring undergarments altogether. At the same time, the feminist movement encouraged women to free themselves from physical and social constraints – including overly structured undergarments. By the 1970s, modern women were embracing a braless, pantyhose-free lifestyle. Today, women can choose from a wide variety of options for all levels of support and comfort.

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The Rise of Pants and Trousers

Another dramatic change in women’s fashion over the past century is the mainstream acceptance of pants and trousers. In the early 1900s, social etiquette dictated dresses and skirts only for women. Pants were seen as strictly masculine attire. However, some pioneering women adopted pants early on for sports, leisure, and work activities. Slowly, social norms began to shift.

During World War II, more women took over manual labor jobs previously done by men. Wearing pants made practical sense. By the 1950s, pants became a fashion statement thanks to movie stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe wearing them on and off screen. The 1960s saw pants cement themselves in women’s wardrobes for good. They allowed women flexibility and comfort that enabled the active, modern lifestyle.

The 1970s took women’s pants into new territory with hot pants and bellbottoms. By the 1980s and 90s, pants became everyday professional wear for women. Today, we take for granted all the options women have – dress pants, jeans, leggings, joggers, and more. From weekend wear to boardrooms, pants have secured a permanent place in women’s fashion.

Who Would Benefit from This Article

There are several target audiences who may find this article engaging and informative:

  • Fashion students studying clothing history
  • Those interested in women’s history and changing gender norms
  • Vintage fashion enthusiasts
  • Everyday women looking to understand how their wardrobe options came to be
  • Men interested in better understanding women’s fashion and perspectives

Unique Angles to Explore Further

There are many interesting angles one could take to dive deeper into this topic:

  • The influence of feminism and women’s liberation movements on fashion
  • How fashion both reflects and shapes social change
  • The role of influential style icons in popularizing new fashions
  • Regional and cultural differences in the acceptance of fashion trends
  • The interplay between changing gender norms and clothing choices
  • How women’s fashion continues to evolve in the 21st century
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By understanding how women’s fashion has transformed in the past, we gain insight into the changing social fabric and inspiration for the future. There are endless perspectives to explore!

What Are Two Ways Women's Fashion Changed

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