What Is a Fashion Trend Timeline?

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A fashion trend timeline is a chronology of fashion styles. Typically, the fashion trend timeline shows the most popular styles and most iconic looks from a given time period and displays how they change over a given time period. The timeline is often segmented by decades, though this distinction depends on the creator.

Fashion trend timelines can take the linear form of a chronological timeline. However, the information can also be displayed in a line graph or even a series of blog posts that discuss the shifting ideals of the fashion world and how these are displayed in popular culture.

Fashion historian James Laver was the first person to make a fashion trend timeline. His timeline showed how a fashion style gets viewed over time, and he posited that it doesn't return as desirable until 50 years later. This is known as Laver's Law. Because of technology, that timing has been condensed.

According to the BBC, fashion trends cycle back. For instance, shoulder pads were in fashion in the 1980s, but disappeared from fashion from the 1990s through the early decade of the 2000s. As of 2014, they have made a comeback both in designers' styles and in department stores.

Certain realities still govern fashion trends. While a trend like shoulder pads can come back into style, the bustle and crinoline never will. They do not fit the strictures of living in modern society, such as sitting in a car or using public transportation. According to the BBC, another reality is that trend-setters have to introduce a style to make it fashionable.