How Feminism Changed Women's Fashion


...And the idols that opened the doors

How Feminism has changed Fashion The world has evolved over time, and fashion has with it. Fashion has previously been used by feminists to break free from subjection. Here are some of the ways feminism has influenced and changed Fashion.

1. Trousers

It is odd to think of a time when women wouldn’t own a countless amount of trousers, but in the past femininity was primarily associated with frills, lace and gowns. It was only when the war broke out that women would often have to wear trousers for practical reasons while working in traditionally male jobs roles.

The relationship first formed between women’s fashion and trousers by legendary Fashion Designer and businesswoman; Coco Chanel who helped reshape the way women wore clothes forever more. She would famously borrow clothes from her boyfriend and fashioned women's clothes out of wool jersey, which had previously been used for men's underwear. Chanel played a huge part in making trousers the popular fashion item amongst woman they are today. Although she did have her regrets, aged 86 Coco said: “I came up with them by modesty. From this usage to it becoming a fashion, having 70% of women wearing trousers at evening dinner is quite sad” But nonetheless she helped open the doors to a revolutionary style for women.

2. Corsetry

The corset itself has been an important piece of clothing for centuries evolving as fashion trends have changed. Prior to the war, it was an almost essential part of getting dressed for a woman. In a male-dominated time of the world, the corset was used to beautify women and ensure modesty. Fast forward to this day, women around the world have reclaimed the corset as a symbol of their freedom, sporting them not only for both mainstream and alternative fashion statements, but also taking tips from our ancestors and rediscovering the importance of waist training.

3. Wrap Dress

Building her company from scratch, Diane von Furstenberg arrived in New York with a suitcase full of jersey wrap dresses. What made her version of the wrap dress different than the others that had come before her were mostly its plunging neckline and a slight sex appeal, making her notoriously successful for her signature cut as it appealed to both the office girls and cocktail girls. When Diane was questioned about how she came up with the idea for the iconic dress, she answered boldly, "Well, if you’re trying to slip out without waking a sleeping man, zips are a nightmare."

The wrap dress helped envisioning woman in a new way, having the role of the predator inside the boardroom and the bedroom. Becoming more than just a dress, but a symbol of liberation and sexual freedom.

Fashion is ever changing but it will always be a way to create your own identity, the possibilities of using Fashion for feminism are as endless as long as you aren’t afraid to break the rules.

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