These 60s Feminist Fashion Trends Are Now Your Closet Staples
Feminist fashion trends were unapologetic, they sparked conversations, drove the feminist revolution, and most of all, flourished through generations.
Your beloved boyfriend jacket and wide-legged paper-bag waist pants aren't in your wardrobe purely because of evolving runway fashion. They are there because of the second wave of feminism. Most of what's in your closet today is a result of feminist fashion trends that are now making a comeback.
Back in the, women could only allowed to wear outfits that conformed to a certain societal standard. Think dresses, tight clothes, skirts, girdles, heels, and blouses.
But the feminists of the 60s and the 70s carried on the baton for social, political and economic equality, carrying on the suffragette movement in a way. This movement led to a reinvention of women's fashion at the time and dresses were soon replaced by pants and androgynous dressing.
Women wore these pieces of clothing unapologetically, it sparked conversation, it supplemented the feminist revolution, and most of all--flourished through the generations. Without these past generations of feminists, we would not have been able to wear the feminist fashion trends we now wear on a daily basis.
Honestly, we're more than happy to see feminist fashion come back for all the right reasons.
Being a feminist is not a topic of discussion among activists anymore. Women, regardless if they're outright feminists or a no-labels type, are consciously making choices that empower one another. They don't label anybody or anything based to their biological framework.
That's how it's supposed to be in the first place.
Millennials today are expressing themselves through style. They are breaking the glass ceiling and changing the way the world thinks they need to dress.
And it's not just women, men are slowly but surely are being more flexible with their fashion choices.
Just look at one of Pharell Williams' magazine covers, he's wearing a dress, isn't he? This is what the world needs right now, because fashion is self-expression, and self-expression is limitless. Putting labels on fashion choices just places people inside a box.
And certainly, feminists back in the day were aware of that. They wanted change and thirsted for equality like their life depended on it (and frankly, it did).
Here's a rundown of the seven feminist fashion trends that we so proudly slay in today.
Women had to wear really long skirts to cover their legs and to adapt to society's definition of modesty. It wasn't fully functional because the hemlines were way too long, it was borderline 'suffocating' the female body.
Mini skirts came to the rescue, as popularised by Mary Quant in 1966, and became a symbol of sexual liberation. The shorter length also helped women do their work better (mind you, they're not the micro mini skirts you see today, so these mini skirts were really functional and stylish.)
While today, shorter lengths on minis may have stirred the debate of whether women wear it to hypersexualise themselves or for fun. The fact is that mini skirts were almost an armour for feminists.
You may not know this but back in the day feminists would wear men's suits in order to distance themselves from the gender discrimination imposed through clothing.
It was also one of the ways to counter personal and professional equality, mainly to reject provocative and alluring styles that sexualised them in the workplace.
In a sense, these blazers were the feminists' way to express the idea that women can wear whatever a man wears--and look better in it. Today you see blazers (and boyfriend jackets) and even full-blown tailored suits worn by women, either for work or for formal events. It has become a closet staple and is definitely a power piece in anybody's wardrobe.
Ah yes, denims are undoubtedly our favourite. They go with everything, work anywhere and are a staple in every wardrobe.
But if feminists didn't wear denims as a form of rebellion, can you imagine how our closets would look? Like the blazer, it's also another feminist fashion trend that aimed to claim menswear as womenswear.
In a sense, it was a way to minimise gender in fashion--to make it genderless. Now denims or jeans are gender neutral, all thanks to the second wave feminists who started wearing jeans.
At a time when well-fitted and body-hugging clothes were the norm for women, wearing anything oversized was a clear statement to challenge the gender status quo. Oversized clothing was also associated with the working class.
By wearing such pieces feminists were breaking fashion's glass ceiling. Since then, styles have evolved so much that oversized clothes are now a fashion item. Baggy is the new black, as they say, and this fashion is here to overstay.
This might just be #freethenipple's older sister. But then again, wearing bras has always been a topic of discussion given its discomfort.
It provides support, yes, but to wear a bra for your tatas to look big, round, and perfect? We think the feminists won't nod to that. It's impractical, restrictive, and forces women to follow norms fit for a conservation and patriarchal society.
Nowadays more and more people aren't wearing bras just because, well, boobs are natural. If a man sexualizes this or misinterprets this then it his responsibility to think otherwise.
In The Feminist Current, American writer Aurora Linnea notes, “Feminists came to recognise and resent ‘femininity’ as a contrivance of traits and behaviours imposed upon women by male supremacist culture.”
However, we think that femininity doesn't necessarily mean you're no feminist. Mainly because it's a form of expression, something that is purely subjective.
You can be feminine and be a feminist in the same way that you can be tomboyish and be a feminist. Nonetheless, back in the day, feminist wore loafers instead of heels to break their 'feminine' image. And let's be honest, heels were uncomfortable and impractical to wear for the whole day. So loafers was what they chose to wear to keep the spirit of rebellion alive.
Something else that feminists wanted to break-free from was consumerism. Feminists weren't interested in succumbing to the latest fashion trends. Why? You guessed it, the fashion trends weren't always pro-woman.
Women opted to stick to the styles they were loyal to and preferred to shop at thrift stores for vintages styles. Now, this is still relevant and even today practices because it's an eco-conscious choice. Fast fashion is big no-no and thrifting is the way to go for vintage style and hidden gems.
Historical feminists should be proud because these feminist fashion trends are now closet staples for every Millennial woman. It's what women wear to work to look presentable and more importantly for their functionality.
It's what women wear to parties, to feel confident in their own skin. And most importantly, it's what women wear to express themselves, to flaunt their right to freedom of choice.