Music and fashion are inseparable. Like love and marriage, as Frank Sinatra says, you can’t have one without the other. In looking at history, you’ll find each music genre has its own fashion identity. Often what became a fad may have been caused by the popularity of the musician that wore it. But its hard to know which came first, the fashion trend or the music, or whether their collaboration is what made them all the more popular. Below is a look at some of the most popular genres of music and the fashion trends that ruled that era.
The evolution of Jazz in the roaring twenties was met by changes in the fashion industry to reflect the time. Bobbed haircuts, low heeled shoes, and free flowing dresses were the style for the popular dance music. The low waist flapper dresses and shorter hemlines featured fringe, pleats, gathered fabric, and slits to allow motion to rule women’s fashion.
Rock & Roll
Fashion brands during the Rock & Roll genre of the 1950’s transitioned from conservative looks tailored to adults to the edgy and informal styles attractive to youth. Elvis Presley was the Rock & Roll idol of his time and his look was as popular as his sound. His trademark pompadour hairstyle with side burns and blues suede shoes influenced a generation of fashion. Boys who loved rock and roll wore tight-fitting blue jeans, white T-shirts, black leather jackets and white bucks or blues suede shoes. The girls wore poodle skirts with images of record players and music notes attached to the front paired with fitted blouses and sweaters.
The 1980’s was the decade of the music video which gave pop musicians great influence over the fashions of the time. From kooky and bright looks made popular by Cyndi Lauper, or punk fingerless gloves worn by Madonna, there seemed to be a musician and a fashion trend for everyone. Michael Jackson’s white socks worn with black shoes, skinny jeans, and leather biker jacket was also a staple during the 1980’s. And don’t forget the big bangs, shoulder pads, and blue eye shadow.
Hip hop styles in the early 1990’s had the theme of the baggier the better for both men and women. Rappers like M.C. Hammer made blousy pants popular for their dance-oriented music. The Fresh Prince and TLC popularized baseball caps and bright, neon colored clothing. Both men and women wore oversized pants paired with extra large t-shirts and flannel shirts made popular by a variety of hip hop musicians. And don’t forget the fad of wearing your clothes backwards, made popular by Kris Kross.
And the good news… some of these awesome fashion trends get recycled. So if you’re desperately hoping to wear fingerless gloves again, don’t worry, it will probably be back in fashion very soon.
On Saturday, August 29, the Elite Dance of the Keys will present the Island Stars Swing-sational Dance-Off & Costume Party from 6-11 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Tavernier. Enjoy dinner catered by Mangrove Mike’s Café and live band while watching some of your favorite locals boogie for charity and compete to be crowned the winners of the Island Star Dance Competition. Embrace the fashion trends of the swing era and come dressed in your favorite 40’s fashions (think classic suits for men and swing skirts and blouses for women) and win prizes for best costumes. Tickets are $75 per person and proceeds benefit the Elite Dance of the Keys to provide scholarships for deserving boys and girls to attend dance conferences and receive dance lessons. Buy your tickets at the door or through any of the local contestants including: Alan Newman, Dr. Janis Jeffers, Clay Crockett, Nancy Cooper, Demetrios Efstratiou, Jennifer Mahaffey, Tiffany Wheaton, and John Dunn.