Sixty Years of Style

Posted by: on Jun 6, 2012 | One Comment

This week marks Queen Elizabeth II’s sixtieth year on the throne, and WHAT a monumental six decades it has been for the world of fashion. Our Queen has managed to maintain her timeless, classic style throughout her time on the throne- not to mention copious amounts of (expensive) bling. But there is no denying that she has seen sixty years of iconic style which will forever be a notorious part of our country’s history.

In celebration of the Queen’s jubilee, here is a rundown of six decades of fashion that have been a symbolic part of the time during Elizabeth’s monarchy:


When Queen Elizabeth II began her reign in 1952, icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe influenced the style of women everywhere. Fashion in the fifties oozed femininity, with clenched waist dresses and A-line couture, and ballet pumps and stilletos were footwear essentials. A statement cat’s-eye eyeliner flick and a red lip finished off the look, teamed with groomed hair that was kept short and simple.


Although many aspects of 50’s fashion remained at the beginning of the 1960’s, the longer skirts gradually became mini skirts, with hemlines reaching seven or eight inches above the knee. The memorable Mod style was created with splashes of monochrome and prints inspired by pop art, and tailored pieces for both men and women. Style in the 60’s was somewhat revolutionary, with fashion that challenged previous ideas about what women should wear in order to remain respectful. The legendary Twiggy made the pixie crop an iconic hairstyle in the sixties, along with show stopping eyelashes against a natural canvas of nude matte eyeshadow and flawless skin.


The beginning of the 70’s saw the hippy trend that began at the end of the sixties grow into a collection of flares, peasant skirts and eclectic jewellery. Platform shoes were huge in the seventies, in all senses of the word! Many people wore retro style platforms with two tone colours and the more neutral colours that were prominent in the thirties, although brighter colours often made an appearance. By the time the Queen celebrated her silver jubilee in 1977, styles were beginning to transform into those seen in the next decade; the eighties.


The beginning of the eighties saw a continuation of the Punk era that began at the end of the seventies, adapting into the ‘New Romantic’ style that was developed by the likes of Vivienne Westwood, and showcased by eighties icons such as Madonna, Boy George and the Human League. This decade gave us power dressing, as seen on the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana, costume inspired pieces and makeup, of which the general unspoken rule was ‘the brighter, the better’, and, of course, the notorious shoulder pads.


Denim, scrunchies, butterfly clips, neon, grunge, dungarees, Doc Martens, crop tops, wedges… need I say more? Style icons of the nineties included the Spice Girls, who more or less summed up nineties fashion in five words; Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and, erm… ginger? Okay, maybe not the last one, but THAT Union Jack dress was definitely an iconic piece of nineties nostalgia. Other stylistas included Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica-Parker) and, of course, THE SUPERMODELS; Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, and Linda Evangelista.

The Noughties and Now

The last decade or so has given us fashion that has been made famous by the likes of Britney Spears, with her crop tops and low rise jeans, Jennifer Aniston and her ‘girl-next-door’ style, and Paris Hilton’s Juicy Couture tracksuits. The noughties have also seen a revival of Boho style with long gypsy skirts and ponchos, along with the transformation of one of the biggest style icons to date; Victoria Beckham, who has changed from a nineties pop star to a high end fashion designer.

The future of fashion is uncertain, however it is inevitable that it will continue to change and surprise us all. In another sixty years, we will be looking back on what we are wearing now, no doubt with cries of “what was I thinking?!”. But as Henry David Thoreau said, “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.” And this is, with one last reference to Queen Elizabeth II and her sixty years on the throne, something that also makes our Royal Family very special.