Outfit Ideas from Nearly Every Decade That Still Look Cool Today

Ulyana Sergeenko
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

It was often said that the fashion industry cycled through trends every ten years, but that bit of conventional wisdom has been erased in the age of social media and globalization. Because we now have access to what people are wearing around the world, style has become a huge melting pot of influences that currently span all the way back to the Edwardian era. As it stands now, trends are being replaced by fashion movements and you can pick and choose looks from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and still be totally current.

Forget all the hard-and-fast mantras taught to you by glossy magazines and embrace the wide world of fashion, which is more democratic and global than ever before.


The 1950s were defined by nipped-waist silhouettes, full skirts, feminine accents, and ladylike accessories like top-handle totes and chic pumps.


The cultural revolution broke out during this decade, which meant a relaxing of strict dress codes and the embracing of hippie-dom. Style in the 60s was dominated by peasant frocks, flared pants, bohemian embroidery, and loose, flowing shapes.


Style in the 1970s built on bohemianism from the previous decade, but also incorporated glam rock and dandyism. Looks from the 1970s included jumpsuits, exaggerated flared trousers, printed suits, and more.


The 1980s were a time of excess and also the breeding ground for the hip-hop movement. Style from that era was defined by sharp-shoulder silhouettes, slogan tees, neon brights, slouchy knits, and loud graphics.


The 1990s saw a boost in second-hand clothing style, made popular by the Seattle grunge movement and Marc Jacobs. For a 1990s look, all you need is a backpack, choker, slip dress, plaid shirt, and combat boots.