By Molly Haas | Photos by Paul Jones
With new music, art and style trends, popular fashion trends cycle and recycle through popular subcultures, constantly changing what’s in and what’s out.
“What we see is probably a rehashing of a trend, which was a rehash of another trend,” said Kathleen Conery, a costumer with the school of theatre and dance.
Today, there are more options than ever for looks and accessories. But where the styles began is far from the style capitals of the world today. Whether preppy, bohemian, hipster or a combination of the three, the options for style are endless for expression.
With the increase of communication, new trends may be in one month and out the next, said Conery. A hipster, however, will already be onto the next trend by then. The first hipster styles were seen in the 1940s with the beginnings of the jazz movement. Men began to wear tighter pants and cuff the bottoms in order to move more easily to the music and expose their socks and shoes in order to add style to the look. Accompanying the styles were the same button-up shirts and ties worn in the past with a twisted, more casual feel. As the music changed, so did the look of the hipster, constantly on the lookout for the underground trends.
Today, hipster style continues to be closely linked to music. The tight pants of the 1940s can still be seen in hipster fashions today, along with the hats worn by the jazzmen. Throughout the decades, the hipster has become even more casual, wearing cardigans and sneakers to replace the blazers and loafers of years past. As music changes, the hipster look evolves quickly, constantly adding and adjusting trends to stay ahead of the look.
A look that continues to recycle throughout popular fashion is bohemian chic. The bohemian look dates back to 1860s when gypsies and refugees traveled throughout Europe, living unconventional lifestyles. Gypsy women often wore as many of their clothes as they could in order to carry less in their travels, draped in long skirts, tops and jewelry. In the early 20th century, boho chic was revived and brought into popular culture by wealthy socialites, modeling the layered and comfortable look. «The romantic lives and stories of the gypsies are constantly drawing people in,» Conery said. The look then traveled to London and became popular in the 1950s before hippies adopted it in the United States in the 1960s. Women used the draping in order to rebel against wearing bras and feeling constrained, and the look continues to operate in this way today.
Boho chic has evolved today into maxi dresses and gladiator sandals that gained popularity in the last decade. Whether it’s the romantic lives of the gypsies or the comfort of the styles, bohemian fashion is still rising in popularity.
In the 1950s, preppy styles got their start from the influence of the Ivy League man. Many of the most popular fashions came from the standard uniforms worn at preparatory schools and universities in the Northeast. Men began to wear fitted blazers and ties outside of the halls of their classrooms and the women followed similar trends, pairing uniform skirts and tops with additional accessories. According to Conery, it is simple adjustments, additional accessories and the integration of other colors and trends that keep the look fresh.
Today, the look continues to be marked with classic pieces: a tailored blazer, woven button-up tops and understated shoes, with a twist of style evolution. Now, the pieces come in spring-inspired pastels. Women often pair the look with a printed headband, a structured bag and a statement watch to complete what remains a polished look.