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Fashion in Britain

Informative Piece by Evie Weeks

Fashion in Britain then, fashion in Britain now. From shawls to shades, both men and women have changed their appearance to fit beauty standards and expectations better suited to the type of society they were living in at the time. Over the years, fashion has moved forward because of the new, biggest names in fashion globalising their creations.


People have different interests and different clothes but in the 50’s, 60’s, there was less difference in style than there is now because it mostly depended on where you were from and how much money you earned as well as limited connectivity and a smaller amount of global links than we have today.

Women in the 50s had jobs such as secretaries, teachers, bank tellers, clerical workers and sometimes private household workers, although women doing more industrial work would need to wear very simple outfits consisting of overalls, worn over short-sleeved blouses and tops in the summer, and over long-sleeved sweaters in the winter. There were many more professions men could work than women at the time. Men who were working in industrial environments wore denim overalls and heavy duty boots. Service oriented jobs required a uniformed appearance. On the uniforms they could have a name tag embroidered with the company's name onto their shirt. Unemployed men and women or those in their free time, wore casual attire such as dresses with a modest high neckline for the women and for the men, shirts and trousers that were often worn with a pair of braces. Simple clothes were popular all over Britain in the 50s which could be because of lack of availability of more adventurous clothing or just because of modest earnings.

Bursting into the scene was Mary Quant, an English fashion designer who had a great impact on the next generation's clothing. Bright and bold colours became popular and it was something people in Wales had never seen. Eventually the trend took hold and the style was around for a long time after and people today often dress like it as it is now seen as a more vintage style.


The 1970s had a new take on clothing but the remanence of the 60’s shone on for a while longer. 70s clothing in Britain had more woollen materials. The 70’s brought excitement as the evolution of clothing in Britain followed some of the more major countries such as the USA. Bell Bottom jeans were extremely popular and due to this, when people think of the 70s, most think of disco.

In 1971, one of the most famous Welsh fashion designers, known for his label and appearing on Britain & Ireland’s top model was born. Julien Macdonald was growing up in a Welsh household with this decade's new influences, not knowing he was going to be a main pillar of Welsh designers today. Over the years, he has styled people such as Beyonce and Kylie Minogue. He made a great impression from the start and has been recognised as the most famous fashion designer in Wales which had a great impact on fashion in Britain as a whole.


People then would normally wear jeans and long sleeve shirts in the winter and shorts and t-shirts in the summer, they might have been from older family members or bought for a small price. When linking back to past fashion it's not as easy as people think, they wore denim like we do now and they wore shirts with colourful patterns but not everyone liked dressing like that: punk was popular, mod was still going and as a young person in the 80s you could express yourself like we all do now. The 1980s saw variation in style like never before.


Lastly, The 1990s to 2020s have more a moden look. Through the years, money had a very big impact on people’s appearances and from where they were from, but not to the same extent now. You see all different styles of clothes in charity shops all across the UK and walking down the street you may see people wearing items of clothing that are baggy, tight, long or short. The internet gives everyone the resources to source new clothes, understand that people come from different places and follow different trends. Where previously it was newspapers and magazines, social media being so accessible gives us the influences we need to create our own style.


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