Can you tell a leisure suit from a bathing dress, or a trucker hat from a cloche? Are you confident you can date a style to a certain time period with just a single glance? If so, this fashion trend quiz is the perfect place to show off your skills!
When you hear the word fashion, the seasonal haute couture shows in New York and London might pop into mind, but fashion has been around long before the days of Dior or Chanel. A 2011 study by the University of Florida concluded that humans started wearing clothes around 170,000 years ago. This seemingly simple change had vast implications for mankind -- allowing early humans to stay warm enough to migrate out of Africa and settle across the globe.
Of course, fashion has come a long way since then. You no longer have to chase down your own buffalo and skin it to create a warm outer garment. In fact, improvements in technology over the past few centuries have made clothing more accessible than ever. That easy access has meant that fashion trends are changing faster than any other point in history, as people can easily swap out "dated" clothes for garments that are more on-trend.
Think you can name some of the fiercest fashion trends in history? Take our quiz to find out!
World War II led to rationing in all aspects of life, including fabric used for clothing. When the war ended and fabric was more readily available, Dior introduced a style known as the New Look in 1947. This fashion trend included long, full skirts, slim waistlines and a return to haute couture.
For centuries, it was considered scandalous for women to reveal so much as an ankle. As the 20th century dawned, hemlines started to rise until they reached a new high in the '60s with the mini skirt trend. Designer Mary Quant is often credited for starting this daring trend of skirts that ended mid-thigh.
Corsets, or stays, have been giving women an hourglass figure since the 1500s. In the 1700s, the garment largely created an inverted cone shape, giving women narrow waists. The so-called "health" corset made its debut at the start of the 20th century, giving women an unnatural S-shape in the spine. The garment soon fell out of favor and is now more likely to be worn as outerwear than underwear.
Poodle skirts defined the '50s sock hop craze, and are still worn today at '50s theme parties. The knee-length of longer garments are usually a solid color, with an applique of a poodle or other image somewhere near the hemline.
Up until about a century ago, women went swimming in heavy bathing dresses made from flannel or wool. The need to wear such impractical clothing on the beach was more than a matter of modesty too -- you could actually be arrested for indecency if you wore anything skimpier to the shore. Fortunately, changing social norms and a shortage of fabric due to rationing in WWII led manufacturers to make more form-fitting swimwear, including the bikini.
Designer Paul Poiret claimed to have "shackled the legs" with his popular hobble skirts. The skirts had a very narrow hemline that fell around the ankles, forcing women to take tiny steps to avoid falling over. The trend peaked around 1910, and quickly fell out of favor.
Athletic wear was all the rage in the '80s, leaving the trendiest fashionistas looking they were always on their way to the gym. The 1980 film, "Fame," made leg warmers a huge hit with women, who began wearing them over jeans, leggings and even with skirts and dresses.
The It Girls of the early '00s showed their fashion sense by donning body-hugging velour tracksuits. The hottest of these suits had messages or brand names like Juicy written across the posterior in sparkly gems.
In the '80s, big shoulders were totally in vogue. This meant that women's clothes often came equipped with gigantic pads, which gave garments a more masculine look. By the '90s, this look had largely fallen out of favor.
In the '70s, the grooviest kids were the ones with the widest leg openings at the bottom of their jeans. These ultra-flared fits went perfectly with the platform shoes that were so hot during the decade.
The cloche hat is so named because of its bell-like shape -- cloche is the French word for bell. The fitted hats were often made from felt to conform close to the head, and were a favorite for women in the 1920s.
Leisure suits first gained traction in the 1930s and '40s, when men started wearing them thanks to their cooling colors and lightweight fabric. This fashion trend truly hit its stride in the '70s, however, when disco clubs were packed with the synthetic pastel suits.
If you've ever seen the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," you may remember that the ultra-fashionable Holly Golightly finished off her finest outfits with a pair of gorgeous gloves. In the first half of the 20th century, the glove trend was in full effect for women, with short white gloves being the most common for daytime.
In the late '90s and early '00s, all of the hottest celebs were sporting trucker hats. These mesh caps with a foam front often sported logos, especially the brand name Von Dutch, which was popular during the period.
From about the 11th through the 13th century, the most stylish men and women sported bliauts -- long gowns with voluminous folds. One common and impractical feature of these gowns was the ridiculously long, bell-shaped sleeves, which often hung all the way to the ground.
During the 19th century, padding or frames were used to create an element called a bustle. Worn at the base of the back, the bustle helped keep heavy skirts from dragging the ground, and also preserve the shape and structure of undergarments throughout the day.
In the '40s, Dior introduced a trend known as the New Look, which included full A-line skirts. Over the next decade, many designers turned away from this style, creating a cleaner look with the H-line, or pencil skirt.
Uggs were never supposed to sweep the fashion world. The Aussie sheepskin boots were initially popular with surfers, and their popularity with the non-surfing crowd spread across the globe starting in the late '90s.
Fashionable '80s kids completed their "just left the gym look" by donning thick terry sweatbands across the forehead, and sometimes around each wrist too. Bonus points if your sweatband sported a bright neon color, and if you paired it with your leg warmers, you were at the height of fashion.
Shoes reached new heights in the '70s thanks to the platform shoe trend. These high-flying heels were uber-popular in discos, and glam rock stars helped to spread the trend. The shoes themselves were made of wood, cork or synthetics -- and some really crazy styles came complete with built-in aquariums.
Thanks to the synthetic, stretchy fabric used in modern clothing manufacturing, today's garments have no trouble clinging to every curve. That wasn't true a century ago, however, and most fabric was just not capable of hugging the body. The bias-cut gown trend relied on a new way of cutting fabric to help dresses cling more closely to bodies starting in the '20s.
Fabric rationing during WWII helped spur the popularity of the bikini during the 1940s. By the '80s, around 20 percent of all swimsuits sold came in two pieces.
The flapper style of the 1920s and '30s was a huge departure from the dresses worn by earlier generations. Flapper style consisted of shapeless shift dresses with drop waists, rather than the dramatic gowns worn just a decade earlier.
Leggings became trendy as part of the workout wear craze of the '80s, spurred partly by Jane Fonda's popular line of workout videos. Women wore the stretchy pants alone, or under skirts or dresses. A couple of decades later, the trend was rebooted in the 2010s.
The '50s greasers and '60s rockers made skinny pants popular, and while the trend changed over the decades, it was still going strong more than 60 years later. The stovepipe pants of the '50s transitioned to the '80s acid wash, and by the '00s, both genders were slipping into skinny jeans.
Saddle shoes are traditional Oxford shoes with a strap of leather in a contrasting color running width-wise over the ball of the foot. While black and white is the most popular color combo, the shoes come in many different shades. The trend reached its peak in the '50s.
Teens and tweens of the late '90s and early '00s were all about popcorn shirts, or bubble shirts. These tiny tees were made from super stretchy fabric that allowed them to go from the size of a hand when they were sitting in the closet to fitting like any normal shirt.
Cat-eye glasses included an extra sweep of material at the outer edge of each eye, giving the wearer a cat-like appearance. This style of glasses was hugely popular in the '50s and '60s, and often associated with the beehive hairdo and the poodle skirt.
Rapper MC Hammer became a huge star in the late '80s and early '90s. Fans began copying his on-stage style, which included harem-style pants that were tight at the ankle, but billowed out above the knee. The trend faded quickly, but was briefly revived in the 2010s.
When Nancy Sinatra crooned that "These boots are made for walkin'" she did so sporting a pair of go-go boots. These low-heeled boots were all the rage for women from the mid-'60s through the '70s, and came in many colors, though white was the most common.
Images from November 22, 1963, show Jacqueline Kennedy in a pink suit and matching round pink hat. The brimless hat she wore on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated was known as a pillbox, and was very popular among women of the era.
The crop top started to creep into wardrobes during the '70s, inspired by Daisy Duke. It enjoyed a resurgence in the '80s, thanks to aerobic wear and the popularity of "Flashdance," then came back once again in the late '90s, thanks to celebs like Britney Spears.
Converse named its famous All-Stars after basketball player Chuck Taylor. Though Chucks have been around since the '20s, they really hit their stride in the '90s with the alternative and grunge fashion trends.
Maidenform's Chansonette came out in 1949, offering women a whole new profile in bras. The so-called "bullet bra" trend quickly faded, however, as women went back to more natural shapes.
Modest dresses that completely covered a woman's legs were the norm throughout the Victorian period. By the mid-19th century, however, women seeking a little more freedom of movement switched to bloomer suits -- shorter dresses with very wide-legged loose pants worn underneath.
The earliest cities and towns didn't have paved roads. Instead, people were forced to walk directly on dirt, rock and cobblestone. To steer clear of these obstacles, some people in the 15th through the 18th centuries wore tall shoes known as chopines. They were so tricky to get around in that many wearers had to use servants to help them stay upright as they wore the shoes.
In the 17th century, men afflicted with syphilis often wore wigs to covered the balding associated with the disease. The wigs were typically powdered to mask body odor. After Louis XIV started wearing one of these wigs, the trend took off and remained popular through the end of the 19th century.
People of means in the 16th and 17th centuries often accessorized their outfits with a neck ruff. This starched ruffle of fabric got larger over time until many were the size of a dinner plate. By the 18th century, the look largely fell out of fashion.
A Greco-Roman revival during the early 19th century brought the return of the empire-waist. Dresses with this cut eschewed the tightly corseted style common at the time in favor of a waistline placed just under the bust.
In the Elizabethan era, it was common for people to bombast their clothes. This meant stuffing sleeves, legs and even the belly region with padding to make the body look much larger than it actually was.
Designer Diane von Fursetnberg is typically credited with popularizing the wrap dress starting in the '70s, but this trend actually started much earlier. Since the 1930s, women have been wearing these V-necked dresses that wrap around the body and fasten with a button or belt.
The power suit was one of the hottest fashion trends of the '80s. The concept of big name designer double-breasted suits with boxy shoulders was not only popular with men, but also women -- think Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl."
Grunge street style was huge in the '90s. Young people who loved the skater or hip-hop style turned to wide-leg jeans made by JNCO and other brands...think bell bottoms that were super wide the entire length of the leg.
At the start of the 20th century, cartoons featuring a young boy named Buster Brown appeared in many U.S. newspapers. Many mothers copied the character's style in choosing suits for their sons. The Buster Brown suit of the period had a large round collar, a huge bow in the front, and came with shorts or short pants.
At the start of the 20th century, many mothers began dressing young boys in rompers to give them more room to play. The trend spread to both genders throughout the decade, and even adult women were sporting rompers at times during the '00s.
The seersucker suit dates back to the British Colonial period. It later spread to the U.S., where men in the south were eager to wear the cool, light colored suits. Today, the traditional striped seersucker remains popular among the preppy set.
In the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy," the "and called it macaroni" line was based on a real fashion trend. Men who embraced macaroni wore very elaborate jeweled or embroidered coats, stockings, complex wigs and tiny hats. It was seen as an effeminate style but was hugely popular among a certain class of European youth.
In the 19th century, women attempted to out-do one another by wearing enormous bonnets covered in feathers. The trend became so popular that entire bird populations were being threatened. When wildlife protection laws went into effect in the early 20th century, the trend quickly died out.
In the mid-19th century, fashionable women made their skirts stand out with crinolines -- stiff fabric or frames used to create the hoop skirt style. The look was pretty impractical, and largely died out by the 1870s.