The Cycle of Fashion Trends in America's Depression, Recession and now Pandemic

Believe it or not, fashion and trends are highly influenced by national and global climates. We wanted to look back in American history (hehe I am a history nerd!  How are you suppose to know where you are going if you do not know where you came from?)  and see how fashion and trends changed after going through the great depression (1929-1938), great recession (2007-2009), and make our own predictions on what trends consumers will lean towards after the Covid-19 Pandemic.

It is important to note that the fashion trends right before the depression were shorter hemlines, gold, metallics, low necklines, and the most revealing fashion the world had ever seen. Once the great depression hit certain things changed to make the clothing more cost-effective i.e. starting to use zippers instead of buttons. There was an immediate change to a much more conservative look and we have seen this as a trend when the economic state of our country gets hard. The midi dress length was the most common. The cap sleeve and rounded collar came back out of practicality. The style was simply practical.


The Great Recession, a more recent event, also had its own effects on fashion trends. In the early 2000's many of you will remember the boldly colored Juicy Coutour tracksuits and wearing your brand's name on your shirt or on the rear of your pants. Fashion was loud bold and sexy. The flashier your apparel the more on-trend you were, just look at Carrie Bradshaw as an example, the fictional style icon for the 2000s. The great recession hit-- and peoples' style changed overnight. Many say because it was not "cool" to "showoff" their wealth thinking it alluded to you being connected with the mortgage scheme. Whether that be true or not the minimalistic era was born. The staple items of a white t-shirt, jeans, and a leather bag is all you needed. This also translated in the more minimalistic home interiors not much color except the greenery of plants. Many brands were born out of these new clean simple minimalistic designs such as our own ABLE brand and Raven & Lily. 

So what does this mean for the fashion trends after our current Corona Pandemic? In the 2010s athleisure was the hot trend, sportswear anytime anywhere. We saw brands like Lululemon and Adidas climb to the top. A lot of celebrities joined in making their own athleisure brands as well.  After a long quarantine time and wearing athleisure wear constantly, I believe that consumers will value getting dressed in the morning. Wearing a nice dress or suit in public will no longer be taken for granted. As we have seen when the economy takes a turn for the worse clothing seems to lean towards the more conservative side. I think that this will definitely come into play after the American people get out of quarantine but it will no longer be in athletic wear. People will go back to getting fully dressed in the morning to do simple daily tasks like going to the market and out to lunch. 


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