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100 Years of Workwear: Women’s Trends

Photo by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

1910’sRole Reversal

During WW1, women took on a lot of male jobs, working as blacksmiths, welders and electricians. They would often wear men’s overalls and their hair tied up in knots.

Style icon: Mary Pickford

1920’s – Taking shape

Post war, popular women’s jobs such as nursing and waitressing still required strict uniform, however styles began to take shape and waistlines could be seen under fabric.

Style icon: Joan Crawford

1930’s – Hips don’t lie

Both hair and hems got longer in the 1930’s. Skirts widened softly below the hip and then stopped at mid-calf. Ensembles; matching dresses and skirts, appeared as a popular trend.

Style icon: Bette Davis

1940’sSewing gets sexy

Despite the economic struggle, women embraced the call to ‘mend and make do’. They sewed cups into their bras and cut material, so it clung to the body.

Style icon: Doris Day

1950’s – Tied back to type

A lot of women worked as typists after WW2; hemlines sitting just below the knee and dresses getting looser. Hair was short and parted to the side, so it wouldn’t get in the way of typing.

Style icon: Grace Kelly

1960’s – Pants get pretty

Photo by Seb [ P34K ] Hamel on Unsplash
Photo by Seb [ P34K ] Hamel on Unsplash
There is a new trend in town, and it’s called unisex. For the first time, a woman in pants was acceptable both in and out of the workplace.

Style icon: Cher

1970’s Bold blouses

Bold stripes and polka dots were splashed onto dresses and blouses. It was a loud era, not just in protest, but in style.

Style icon: Joanna Lumley

1980’sWorking girl

Keen to succeed, an increasing number of women were focused on climbing the career ladder. Dropping the cleavage and high waists, a wild perm resting on shoulder pads was the money-maker.

Style icon: Madonna

1990’s – Goodbye shoulder pads

When shoulder pads fell out of vogue, more relaxed suiting took their place, pants often being swapped for pencil skirts and heels.

Style icon: Julia Roberts

2000’s – A decade of denim

In the decade of denim, women felt empowered to wear their jeans straight to work. “Business casual” was a trend accepted by most workplaces.

Style icon: Britney Spears

2010’s – Athleisure

With almost 50% of the UK workforce set to work remotely by 2020, both women and men are embracing the out of office culture in athleisure. Oversized hoodies, joggers, and snapbacks aren’t uncommon in today’s working world. To see a suit in the creative industry is rare. Amazon is the best place to look for unique snapbacks to add to your wardrobe.

Style icon: Meghan Markle

Credit: Woodhouse Clothing

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