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Britain’s Iconic Decades For Style

British fashion has a rich and diverse history, where style and cultural influences have shaped the nation’s landscape through centuries. From the groundbreaking fashion first of the miniskirt during The Swinging Sixties to the rise of power suit dressing in the 1980s, British fashion trends have long drawn inspiration from iconic styles of past decades to inspire the modern dresser.

Established in 1994, AllSaints was founded at a time when the alternative fashion movement was booming in British culture. We continue to be inspired by the underground culture of London in the 1990s and the heady essence of the era’s alternative music, film and grunge fashion. For the AllSaints community, Britain’s fashion past celebrates individuality and there are eras which continue to influence our wardrobes today.

To discover Britain’s most popular fashion decades from the lens of the digital age, AllSaints UK analysed data points across Google and an AI Chatbot to find out the leading decades recognised for style influence. Step into our AI time machine for a journey which takes us back and to the future.

Timeless Inspirations

 

The 1980s, 1990s and 1970s are the most googled decades for fashion inspiration in 2023.

 

    Fashion decade     

80s fashion
90s fashion
70s fashion
1920s fashion

Y2K fashion

 

 

UK Monthly Search Volume

28,000
22,000
15,000
10,000
   10,000  

1980s: The Bold Dressing Decade

 

According to search interest, a staggering 28,000 monthly searches in the UK are dedicated to 1980s fashion trends, with this era continuing to captivate the nation to this day. Reflected on as one of the boldest fashion movements in history, the 1980s embraced self-expression through dressing. From the punk and new wave influence which shapes how we embrace leather jackets in contemporary fashion, to experimentation with bold neon colours and clashing patterns - the 1980s championed extravagance.

The recent re-emergence of oversized blazers, athleisure attire and denim-on-denim outfits, connect to the rise of searches around 1980s dressing this year. Delving into AI’s take on 1980s style, the decade introduced an impactful shift from minimalistic styles to extravagant dressing.

According to AI, the 1980s highlighted a style ‘decade of excess’: “The 1980s were a decade of self-expression and individuality, with fashion serving as a reflection of the era's dynamic and colourful spirit. The styles of the 1980s have left a lasting impact on the fashion industry, with occasional revivals of these bold and iconic trends in contemporary fashion.”

1990s: The Grunge Movement Influence

 

Following the decadence of the previous era, the 1990s brought us a shift to effortless and carefree styling. AllSaints is irrevocably tied to the alternative movement of the 1990s, which saw the rise of grunge culture and introduced minimalist dressing on a new-found level. Considered the ‘antithesis of high fashion’, 1990s fashion generates 22,000 monthly searches in the UK, highlighting its timeless appeal.

Plaid shirts, oversized ripped jeans and slip dresses continue to be recognised as iconic 1990s styles, with the decade also influencing the rise of DIY fashion and thrifting, both of which are having a major comeback.

According to AI, it was a time defined by “minimalist and maximalist trends, with fashion reflecting the cultural, musical, and technological changes of the time.” AI insights also claim that this decade is “celebrated for its casual and rebellious style”.

1970s: The Disco Era Impact

 

Following the daring styles from the 1960s, the 1970s saw the rise of all things disco dressing in the spotlight - from shimmering sequin jumpsuits to flared jeans. Known for its hippie and disco influences, there are over 15,000 monthly searches around 1970s fashion trends - but how is this era still ever present in our style choices today? Retro styles and materials continue to take to the high street today and pop culture has also created a surge in the 1970s trend recently, including a revival of boho chic. Think flowing kimonos, paisley dresses and nature-inspired shades.

According to AI, it was a time defined by “1970s fashion was characterised by its diversity and individuality. It embraced a mix of bohemian, disco, and glam influences, reflecting the dynamic and ever-changing spirit of the decade.”

1920s: The Timeless Roaring Twenties

 

The 1920s, or The Roaring Twenties, was a transformative era known for its revolutionary changes in fashion which “embraced a more liberated and modern look”, according to AI. Iconic fashion garments from this era include cloche hats, art deco style and the flapper dress, which introduced a new wave of fashion styles in Britain.

With over 10,000 searches every month in the UK alone - the decade is coined for its extravagant silhouettes, beaded and sequined embellishments, and timeless class. Today, with micro trends like ‘quiet luxury’ taking TikTok by storm, much of this can be traced back to the influence of this era.

From an AI perspective, the AI Chatbot highlights The Roaring Twenties as being a pinnacle time for fashion history: “The 1920s were known for their bold and revolutionary changes in fashion. Women's fashion embraced shorter hemlines, dropped waistlines, and a more boyish silhouette. Flapper dresses, cloche hats, and art deco-inspired jewellery were popular during this time.”

2000s: Y2K Fashion Revival

 

The Noughties A.K.A 2000s fashion, brought us diverse styles which have recently become popularised, particularly by Gen Z. With over 10,000 monthly searches for ‘Y2K’ fashion in the UK, it's a significant decade which represents celebrating music, pop culture and comfort. From low-rise jeans and head-to-toe denim, to casual streetwear and high-heeled boots, the majority of microtrends we see on TikTok can also be traced back to these styles.

According to AI, “2000s fashion was characterised by a diverse range of styles that reflected the spirit of the new millennium. It was a decade of contrasting trends, where elements from the past resurfaced alongside innovative and futuristic looks.”

For more timeless inspiration on trends and styles from past decades, visit AllSaints.

Methodology:
To reveal the most popular decades for fashion, AllSaints analysed research on Google search volume via Ahrefs and ChatGPT for insight.

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