The Most Influential Fashion Trends, Decade by Decade

Hilary George-Parkin

When you think about it, in the course of human history, 100 years isn't a particularly long time. But in the course of fashion history, it's the difference between trying to get around in a bone-cinching girdle and ankle-length skirt, and the Nike leggings and Vans sneakers you might be wearing at this very moment.

In the intervening years, there have been major shifts in technology, politics, culture and social norms—and fashion has reflected that in its ever-changing cycle of trends. From the sky-high platforms of the '70s to the high-waisted bikinis of the '40s, we see plenty of the most popular looks of decades past serving as inspiration for designers today.

Below, take a look back at the most influential trends from the 1900s through to today (and see which ones you'd actually still consider wearing).

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