Fashion is the art and science of adapting the products of nature to man’s needs. Its popularity has waxed and waned over the years. In its infancy, fashion was confined to the elite, middle-class citizens living in fashionable cities like Paris, London, New York, and Rome. As time passed, the appeal of fashion was enhanced by the rise of mass culture, and in particular, the movies. In the latter half of the twentieth century, fashion started to become more mainstream, including the generation of baby boomers who had grown up in an era when fashion was not only a glamorous “invention” but also an important part of everyday life. Fashionable fashions were no longer limited to the exclusive circles of the elite, but were accepted and encouraged by a wider range of people, including many who belonged to the working class.
The nineteenth century witnessed the development of a new fashion that would influence all other fashion movements: the avant-garde. In nineteenth century fashion, the designer was a sculptor of form rather than of function. The avant-garde designer used his or her knowledge of the natural world to translate these changes into raw materials and fabrics, employing a multiplicity of complex technologies to create new patterns and styles. The French called this type of fashion “a la mode” and theirs was an unparalleled success, first in Europe and then in all the major countries of the world.
The nineteenth century saw the birth of several fashion styles, the most notable among them being haute couture. Haute couture was characterized by an experimental attitude. Fashion designers experimented with fabrics and cutters, combined with innovative cuts and forms. In general, haute couture was characterized by an excess of ornamentation, extravagant textures and colors, and an absence of simple or standardized design features such as cut, stitching, and buttons. Haute couture clothing was therefore quite radical, offering a break with the traditional conventions of dress.
This revolutionary fashion style was extremely popular among artists, celebrities, and royalty. Cartier, diamonds, and other precious stones were worn as a sign of wealth and power. As a result, when high society ladies wore clothing crafted from expensive fabrics and embellished with precious stones, it became quite fashionable. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, dresses from this fashion style were in high demand. During the early Twentieth Century, dresses styled in the haute couture fashion style had become so fashionable that they were all the rage with middle class women.
Another fashion style that emerged during the Nineteenth Century was the pant suit, also known as the dressed pants. Dress pant suits are characterized by their characteristic cut, which was originally square or rectangular and flared in the legs. The legs were dressed in bright, bold colors, often contrast colors like black and white, blues and greens, red and yellow, and orange and purple. Dress pants were originally worn by military personnel, railroad workers, policemen, sanitation professionals, and construction workers.
Pant suits made a great fashion statement during the 20th century and beyond. Pant suits, however, are not very popular among working women. Women who wish to wear clothing in the stylish but practical chic style will choose skirts and dresses for everyday wear, skirts and dresses for special occasions, and pants for casual or dressier occasions. One can easily find a wide selection of skirt and dress pants in any fabric, color, length, or material. With a bit of shopping around, you will be able to find the perfect skirt for every occasion.