Decades of Threads

Abbey Whittington, Staff Reporter

Going through the Warbler and looking at student’s golden years  you may experience one of two things: laughter or embarrassment, simply because of the clothes they are wearing. Although these images make today’s youth laugh, many of these old trends walked on our own campus, and remain as elements in current fashion. Some of the most iconic decades are the 1920s, 1960s-1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s; these years are being reviewed now as we celebrate our 100th year of Homecoming.

The 1920s

This decade is known for sassy short hairstyles, pearls, blood red lips, and dresses that showed skin for the first time. The roaring twenties was a barrier-breaking time in fashion for women. Many of the women who followed these trends were called “flappers,” and they didn’t exactly get the greatest feedback for appearing rebellious and independent.


With many women just beginning to attend college, it is possible that many of these young flappers were Eastern alumnae. Even so, the trends of these times have survived today. With the release of “The Great Gatsby” in 2013, many individuals were inspired to dress as if they too thrived as a partying aristocrat during prohibition.

The 1960s-1970s

This is when the “housewives dress” got a little more retro, along with accessories and shoes. The 1960s were filled with bright colors, patterns, hippies and eventually disco. These two decades clash together because they both have trends very close in relation, and what was referred as “hippie” is now “boho-chic” or just “bohemian.” From retro, patterned, knee-length dresses to bell-bottoms, maxi-skirts/dresses, long hair, and bangs, this was another era of fashion that would appear again today.


Vintage turquoise accessories have become popular again in addition to what is now called “flow pants,” which are loosely fitted and decorated with bright and intricate patterns. These pants poured into campus as students finished their last weekend of summer and began their school year.

The 1980s

While the colors definitely transitioned into the ‘80s from the ‘70s, the pants went from loosely fit to skin tight.

This decade was at sometimes tacky but glamorous. On one hand there were the hair metal fans who wore black leather jackets, big hair and thick black eyeliner. Then there was the Michael Jackson and Madonna junkies that brought white lace gloves and leather jackets. Rap music became popular thus introducing new trends. The pop culture and new wave of music in the ‘80s was a big influence in the fashion world.


You’ll probably see someone on your way to class wearing black or patterned leggings with leather jackets and over-sized hoodies.

The 1990s

A personal favorite of 10 celebratory years of un-brushed hair, dirty stone washed jeans, tattoo chokers, crop tops, oversized flannels and grunge music.

This decade has made the biggest comeback in current trends, including the popular music in the ‘90s. It’s hard not to find Nirvana logos on T-shirts worn by students.

Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani were icons of the ‘90s fashion sense.

This decade is reflected in today’s threads with oversized flannels, band tees, ripped-up jeans, and dark lipstick, serving as an easy and effortless outfit for a busy day.

It is also going to be the theme of Saturday’s Union Party that is inspired by the TV show, “In Living Color” which will showcase the trends of this time.

As we experience this 100th year of Homecoming, we look at the history of these events, and reflect on how we’ve changed, but also how we have stayed the same.

Flipping a page in old editions of the Warbler will make us realize the threads that hang in our closet are new, but will always have a little piece from the past.

Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]