Looking at fashion and style of the African American culture


For hundreds of years, African Americans haven’t had the voice that they’ve always dreamed of. Because of this, they were driven to express themselves in tons of other forms. Some may say that African Americans’ creativity has inspired and changed the fashion industry throughout the ages.

Fashion major Dhayla Jemmison said, “Being a black woman, being interested in fashion just seems to come naturally to me.” In celebration of Black History Month, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane and look at how far fashion in black culture has come. We’ll start from 1900 and groove our way all the way through the century. Next week, we’ll be taking a look at the style throughout the 2000s and grooving our way to the present day. 

1. 1900 -1920-  It was all about the fabric. Tons and tons of fabric. Being conservative was the way to go. Your shirts were always buttoned to the top. Women always had on a high neckline dress and corset.

2. 1930 – 1940 – Men had all the fashion sense here. The high waist, wide legged pants was the way to go and you always had your watch chain hanging out your pocket. Women had their own little thing too. Bandanas. They always kept those edges laid down.

3. 1950-1970 – Let’s just say bad and bougie started here. The Motown female singing group, The Supremes were all the craze. You always had your long white gloves on and your dresses were always trimmed with ostrich plumes. Now for the makeup, your lashes were ‘popping’ and voluptuous. P.S, don’t forget your fur coat.

4. 1980 – Bring out those leg warmers and leotards ladies because the 80s had us getting into shape. After our bodies get into shape, we had to step out like pop stars and Michael Jackson helped with that, with his rhinestone, blinged out jackets. With the great Mr. Jackson walking alongside us, we have to pop up like a ‘baddie’ in your shoulder padded cropped jacket and checkered mini skirt.

5. 1990- Standing up for what you believed in was the way to go in this era. You had to wear your message on your tees everywhere you went. I hope you have your hammer pants ready because while sending your message you gotta do your “groove-iest” dance while walking down the street.