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From Poodle Skirts to Crop Tops: A Fashion Journey Through the Decades of Children's Clothing

From Poodle Skirts to Crop Tops: A Fashion Journey Through the Decades of Children's Clothing

From Poodle Skirts  to Crop Tops:  A Fashion Journey Through the Decades of Children's Clothing

Have you ever looked back at old photos of yourself or your parents as children and laughed at their fashion choices? Children's clothing is a reflection of the times, and each decade has brought its own unique trends. From poodle skirts to crop tops, we will take a journey through the decades of children's fashion.

sisters in the 1960s in retro clothing

Get ready to explore the age of flower power and mini skirts in the 1960s, neon colors and punk rock in the 1980s, and athleisure and crop tops of today.

Join us in discovering how styles have evolved and how kids have always used fashion to express themselves.

The 1950s: The Age of the Poodle Skirt In the 1950s, post-war America saw a shift in children's fashion. Girls' dresses became fuller and shorter, and skirts were adorned with bold patterns and hues. But the most iconic fashion piece of the decade was undoubtedly the poodle skirt. Made from felt, these circle skirts were embellished with appliquéd designs of various images, including poodles, which gave them their name. Poodle skirts were often paired with cardigan sweaters, bobby socks, and saddle shoes, creating an overall playful and wholesome look. The skirts were also a way for teenage girls to express their individuality and creativity by designing and creating their own skirts. The style of the 1950s was heavily influenced by Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, who were known for their feminine and glamorous fashion choices. This trend carried over to children's clothing, with many parents wanting their children to look just as stylish and sophisticated. As we move on to the next decade, we will see how the fashion world continued to evolve and how children's clothing became a reflection of social and cultural changes. The 1960s brought about a new era of youth rebellion and counterculture, which we will explore in the next section.

Girl in ruffle pinafore skirt

The 1960s: Flower Power and Mini Skirts The 1960s saw a wave of social and cultural changes, and with it came a completely new take on fashion. This decade became known for its revolutionary spirit, with the counterculture movement taking center stage. This movement was all about challenging the establishment, and what better way to do that than through fashion? The youth of the time completely rejected the more traditional styles of the past and ushered in a new era of freedom, creativity, and self-expression. One of the most iconic fashion items of the 1960s was the mini skirt, which became the ultimate symbol of liberation and independence. Suddenly, hemlines were rising, and young girls were free to show off their legs in a way that had never been seen before. Paired with knee-high boots and bold patterns, the mini skirt quickly became a staple in every fashion-conscious girl's wardrobe. The 'Flower Power' movement also had a significant impact on fashion during this decade. Bohemian elements, such as flowy fabrics, floral prints, and fringe, became increasingly popular. This trend was all about breaking free from the traditional fashion rules and embracing a more relaxed, carefree look. As we move onto the next decade, we will see how the fashion world continued to evolve and how children's clothing adapted to the new trends of the time. The 1970s were all about disco, bell-bottoms, and a newfound appreciation for all things groovy.

flower power dresses and rompers on girls

The 1970s: Bell Bottoms and Disco The 1970s were a time of change and self-expression. As the decade progressed, disco became a cultural phenomenon, and bell-bottoms became a fashion staple. Kids' fashion during this period was brightly colored and daring, with a focus on bold patterns and fabrics. The disco trend influenced children's clothing, with sequins and shiny fabrics becoming increasingly popular. Kids' clothing embraced the era of disco by adding sparkles and glitter to everything from t-shirts to shoes. Bell-bottoms also made a statement during this time, offering a new silhouette that made a statement on the dance floor. The 1970s also saw the rise of punk rock, influencing fashion with its rebellious and edgy aesthetics. For children's clothing, this meant more leather, studs, and chains. The punk influence can still be seen today in children's clothing, with graphic tees featuring rock legends and denim jackets adorned with patches. As we move into the 1980s, neon colors and punk rock would continue to shape the world of children's fashion.

girl in two piece mustard and pink retro floral outfit

The 1980s: Neon Colors and Punk Rock The 1980s were all about bold and flashy fashion, and children's clothing was no exception. Neon hues dominated the scene, with everything from leggings to windbreakers coming in bright pink, green, and orange. The punk rock influence of the previous decade also continued to leave its mark, with studded belts, leather jackets, and metal chains adorning many kids' outfits. This was also the era of the iconic "fashion tracksuit," a velour or nylon two-piece set that was both trendy and comfortable. And let's not forget about the rise of designer labels in children's fashion - brands like Guess and Calvin Klein became popular choices for parents looking to dress their kids in the latest styles. But perhaps one of the most significant fashion movements of the 1980s was the emergence of hip hop culture. Kids everywhere wanted to dress like their favorite rap stars, sporting oversized clothing, bucket hats, and high-top sneakers. This laid the foundation for the grunge and baggy clothes of the following decade. In the 1990s, fashion took a turn towards a more relaxed and understated look. Baggy jeans, oversized t-shirts, and flannel shirts became mainstays of the grunge trend, while the popularity of hip hop continued to influence streetwear fashion. But that's a story for the next decade.

The 1990s: Grunge and Baggy Clothes In the 1990s, fashion went through a major shift with the emergence of grunge. This was the period when children's clothing began to take on a more relaxed and understated look, with baggy jeans, oversized t-shirts, and flannel shirts becoming the order of the day. This trend was heavily influenced by hip hop culture, which had laid the foundation for this movement in the preceding decade. In the 1990s, kids everywhere wanted to sport the kind of outfits that their favorite rap stars wore, and this fueled the popularity of streetwear fashion even more. But the story doesn't end there. As the decade drew to a close, a whole new era of fashion was about to dawn upon us. The 2000s would see a shift in the opposite direction, with tight-fitting low-rise jeans, cropped tops, and velour tracksuits becoming all the rage. So buckle up and get ready for the next chapter of our fashion journey through the decades of children's clothing.

The 2000s: Low-Rise Jeans and Juicy Couture The turn of the millennium ushered in a new era of fashion for kids. The 2000s saw the rise of low-rise jeans and Juicy Couture tracksuits, which became a must-have for girls everywhere. These low-rise jeans were often paired with belly-baring crop tops and graphic tees, making for a bold and daring fashion statement. One of the defining trends of the decade was the velour tracksuit made famous by Juicy Couture. Girls wanted to emulate the look of their favorite celebrities and socialites, like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, who were often seen sporting the brand. The tracksuits came in a range of colors and styles, from hot pink to baby blue, and were often embellished with rhinestones and other bling. While the 2000s were characterized by more form-fitting clothing, the decade also saw the emergence of athleisure. Clothing that was designed for working out, like yoga pants and sports bras, became popular for everyday wear. This trend would continue into the following decade, with crop tops and leggings becoming a staple in many girls' wardrobes. As we move into the next section on the 2010s, we'll see how athleisure continues to influence the fashion choices of today's kids.

The 2010s: Athleisure and Crop Tops With the turn of the decade, the athleisure trend has continued to dominate children's fashion. Comfort and functionality are now fused with style, resulting in an array of trendy options. From graphic tees to joggers, kids' clothing has become more versatile and casual. Crop tops, which had emerged in the previous decade, found their place in the fashion industry and are now a wardrobe staple. They can be dressed up or down, making them a popular choice for both casual and formal occasions. Another notable trend from the 2010s is the resurgence of '90s fashion. Denim jackets, overalls, and cargo pants have made a comeback, and kids are embracing these retro styles. The fashion industry is also becoming more inclusive, with many brands introducing gender-neutral clothing lines, allowing kids to express themselves regardless of gender norms. 


Overall, the evolution of children's fashion has been a reflection of the social and cultural changes of each decade. From the poodle skirts of the '50s to the athleisure of the 2010s, children's clothing has undergone a significant transformation.  As we took a journey through the decades, we saw each era bringing its unique style and trends. But through it all, one thing remains constant- kids will always want to express themselves through their clothing. As parents, we can encourage their creativity and let them choose their own style. So, the next time you're shopping for your little ones, remember the rich history of children's fashion and let them have a say in what they wear. As fashion designer Marc Jacobs once said, "Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them." 


At Strawberry Jam Kids we focus on incorporating style influence from the 50s-70s in our kids clothes but with modern fabric and needs in mind. We take these fun classic and groovy styles and make them into wearable clothes for modern kids. The 2010s and beyond saw a lot less color in clothes, and we're here to bring it back. 

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