Fashion Forward Through the Decades By Natalie Cerf

Fashion transcends time. Whether the fashion includes poodle skirts and paddle shoes or low-rise jeans and leg warmers, it is always a way to remember and reminisce about past decades. Sometimes we want to forget the past—awkward phases of wearing feathers in our hair and cargo shorts, for instance—but it is still amusing to look back at how our fashion has evolved. For better or worse, the way to describe this decade’s fashion can be summed up with one word: comfort. Now more than ever we value our sweatpants, sweatshirts and comfy sneakers to serve us throughout the school day. Gone are the days when “fluorescent green skirts with a hair ribbon to match” (as described in a 1985 issue of the Bark, referred to as the “Madonna Phase”) are what you’d normally find around the halls.
Who knows where fashion will be 10, 20 or 50 years from now! There is so much potential for new styles in the future that we can’t even begin to guess what is to come. We can only look at the past and the present to see what went wonderfully right or horribly wrong throughout the decades.

The 50's

“Various fashion-minded females have worn gaily-colored tights, new pointed shoes, exciting plaid shirts, bulky mohair sweaters and even modified versions of trapeze. The chemise, predicted by some only to be a fad is more popular than ever.” “Men’s sweaters made of thickly knit wool are more handsome than ever.” (Judy Webb, Bark reporter)

The 60's

“A portrait in beige sets the scene with a backdrop in wool. This newsy color with a slight caramel flavor can be termed strictly offbeat and is found among the best of this year’s lucious pastels.” (Clothes horse column in Bark issue)
“Fashion reaches a new height as coats also creep up above the knee, tapered to accent legs, legs, legs!” (Clothes horse column in Bark issue)

The 70's

The seventies have always been known for their bell-bottom jeans and printed tops, and Redwood High schoolers did not fail to meet the decade’s fashion statements.
Students are pictured wearing flowers in their hair, sweaters draped over their shoulders and sporting bell-bottom jeans!

The 80's

“Sources for clothing include army surplus stores for warn pairs of khaki pants or shorts, sporting goods stores for fishing tackle jewelry, the back of parents’ clothests for authentic college sweaters and thrift stores for an old lady’s screaming print or polka-dot dresses.” (May 3, 1985 Bark feature story)
“Sporty designer purses look great anytime. Redwood students are very ‘in’ with the latest styles.”(“New look,” 80’s Yearbook)
“The casual look consists of overalls often covered in pins and brightly colored painter pants, both assisted by sporty tennis shoes.” (“New look,” 80’s Yearbook)

The 90's

“Bodysuits are what’s in and what’s hot. But that’s not all. There’s always the scoop-neck t-shirts that go perfect with the worn out, light blue, cut off jeans with holes forming at the rear end. It is a comfortable and cute outfit.” (Avid Alavi, former Bark reporter)
“From the students’ point of view guys are presently wearing styles such as Cross Colours, Guess overalls, Levis, Bum Equipment and Stussy. Some of these baggy pants are worn comfortably around the rear ends display wild colors ranging from bright red to deep magenta.” (Shakena Hall, November 1992 Bark feature, ‘Express Yourself: Fashion ‘92’)

The 00's

The early 2000s were home to a brand new age of fashion no decade had seen before. Low-cut jeans, heeled sandals and mini crop tops flourished in this era. Then sophomore, Ida Kuhzarani, said in the 2002 yearbook to reporter Ashley Mangus, “I wear belts and jewelry as a way to accentuate my outfit and add a touch of my own personal style to clothes that otherwise would be generic.”


Freshmen Martha Fishburne and Ellie Weiksner wear Hollister jeans and a pull-over from Urban Outfitters.“I choose jeans because they are comfortable and they were on my floor, so it’s just easy,” Fishburne said.
However, this is not a new trend. Easy and accessible clothing always has and probably always will be a high-schooler’s go-to. In the Redwood 1995-96 yearbook, then freshman Alex Lundberg said the same point about her fashion sense as Fishburn.“I wear what is cleanest and nearest to the top of the pile of clothes on my floor,” Lundberg said.
Senior Dana Nguyen wears low top Nike Air Force Ones, a massive trend in shoe wear, paired with some individual stylistic elements to her outfit. “These are Eddie Bauer jeans I got vintage from Goodwill or something,” Nguyen said. “I got this sweater from Goodwill—it’s rainbow and vintage from Old Navy—and the red jacket from Thrift Town in San Francisco.”
Nguyen said she likes to add a little bit of color into her comfort.“I wanted to look good, but I was also really cold so I just wanted to wear something that was kind of comfy,” Nguyen said. “I just like to have a lot of color on because it was going to be a nice sunny day.”

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