Fashion and Women Empowerment

Cecilia Gagliano, Entertainment Editor

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Throughout the decades fashion has been influenced by major movements, wars, and entertainment.

Believe it or not fashion was also used in favor for feminist throughout history. Clothing became designed to make women more comfortable, allowing them to do more, and inspired women to take more risks while also looking their best.

Starting all the way back in the late 1800’s many women were inspired by women rights advocate Amelia Bloomer, the first women to put on a pair of pants. The pants soon became a symbol for the women right movement.

Dresses were also influenced by the Civil War. Many women were spies and messengers using their dresses and accessories to hide secret messages. This was a big step for women they were able to do a man’s work which influenced their fashion.

The 1900’s fashion was mainly inspired by the women’s suffrage movement. During protests and marches, feminist would identify themselves by wearing the colors green which represented hope, white, and purple representing dignity. Women would wear these ribbons on their hats, sashes, and dresses.

Almost twenty years after the suffrage came the 1920’s, a fashion era inspired by the silver screen and flappers. Women became a little riskier with their clothing, and the bobbed hair was introduced as a symbol of the modern women. Short hair was seen as freedom for women and a staple look for feminists.

In the 1930’s after the first world war women started to become more independent after tasting what it felt like to be in the work force during the first world war.

French designer Coco Chanel designed a version of the two-piece suit, making the male suit feminine. This fashion trend started to show the beginning of independence for females.

In the 1940’s came the Second World War, the way women dressed was greatly affected by the war. Due to rationing many resources for clothing were unavailable, but the world of fashion still flourished in very different ways.

Women accessorized with hand bags that held gas masks and buttons that would glow in the dark during raids. The war also gave women an excuse to go back into the workforce. Women worked in factories making bombs and missiles which inspired how they dressed. The factory fashion consisted of women wearing turbans so their hair wouldn’t get caught, and overalls.

The 1960’s was the era of the mini skirt. It was a time where being single wasn’t looked down upon and divorce rates started to rise. The mini skirt was a way for women to leave their traditional roles of being a wife and mother behind. There would even be protests on the streets for the acceptance of miniskirts.

Then came the famous wrap dress designed by Diane von Furstenberg in the 1970’s. The dress was designed to be worn in a working environment as well as out in the social scene. It symbolized women’s liberation and how powerful females are.

The 1980’s symbolized women working their way into the office which influenced the power suit. Powers suits disguised their figure from men using it as a way to gain respect.

Today as women we are more free to express ourselves with fashion due previous women who’s clothing inspired women and vice versa.

Fashion throughout time was a tool for feminist, used to show how strong females are and symbolized their freedom.