Paris Fashion Flashbacks

Paris is undoubtedly the fashion capital of the world, but has it always been? Looking back, France has always seemed to set the style trends – whether it was the class centered styles of the 1700’s or the more laid back styles of the 1800’s. This week we take a look back into history to see what those stylish Parisians were up to and how they influenced the fashion world throughout time.


Derived from the French term for coat "manteau", the Mantua was considered high fashion for women in the 1700's, and was made from fine silks and fabrics.


The robe à l'anglaise was a closed-bodied gown and a less formal version of the mantua,


Mens fashion in the 1700's did not change much from the 1600's - everyday and formal attire typically consisted of a coat, waistcoat, breeches, buckled shoes, and a wig.



Womens fashion in the 1800's resembled that of long and flowing Roman and Grecian style dresses. Though simpler in design, women expressed their individuality with unique pieces of jewelry and other accessories.


The 1800's saw the end of frill and lace in mens clothing, and most importantly the white wigs. Instead, trousers became popular, along with simple coats, and tall hats. Emphasis on tailor quality was placed on their clothing by allowing the clothing to be simpler, thus showing off expert stitching.



In the early 1900's, womens fashion changed pretty drastically through the decades. One thing that stayed the same - more shoulders and legs were shown. Before we hit the 1980's and 1990's fashions we're all familiar with, one popular style introduced in the 20's was the "flapper" dress.

Mens suits in the 1920's more resembled the suits popular today. Wider trousers and double breasted vests were also popular.

During the wartime era of the 1940's, womens dress was of simpler design and fabric. Skirts and dresses worn generally coming to right below the knees.

Suits with wide shoulders, thick padding, and fedora style hats were a widely popular fashion for men in the 1940's.

In the 1950's, womens fashion was all about celebrating femininity - the skirts and dresses were a bit longer, but the shoulders, breasts, and arms were accentuated and tiny waists were shown off.

Fashion in the 1950's for men ranged from tailored suits, to trousers with button up shirts or sweaters, to the "greaser" style clothing which included jeans and leather jackets.

Dresses and skirts were shorter once again in the 1960's, but we also saw the popularity of pants being worn by women increase.

Fashion for men in the 1960's included tighter jeans, tighter shirts, and lots of bell bottoms.

The 1970's were all about pants, feathered hair, lounge suits, mini skirts, and platform shoes.


The "disco look" that was popular for men in the 1970's was definitely an unforgettable style - tight and flared pants and brightly colored shirts made up this fashion look.


Paris: French for How to be Fashionable

For most, when thinking about Paris, three things come to mind: food, amour (love), and fashion – for the style savvy, the latter of the three being the most important. Paris has set the fashion curve high for the rest of the world by producing numerous outrageous and extremely talented designers, by its residents taking pride in their style and daring to be bold, and by being a city that truly embraces uniqueness and trend setting in fashion. Even the biggest fashion event of the year worldwide is held here once a year – Paris Fashion Week.

For those of you not lucky enough to make it to Paris Fashion this year in 2012, you don’t have to miss out on all the designer fun! Check out these shopping hot-spots to catch all your favorite designers’ most recent collections. Hey, even if you can’t afford them, the window shopping is still worth the trip!

Street: Avenue Montaigne – Here you’ll find such designers as Yves Saint-Laurent and Christian Dior.

Street: Avenue Hoche – Visit Dior’s store here!

Street: Rue Cambon – Chanel!

Street: avenue des Champs-Elysees – Pick up a real Parisian Louis Vuitton bag while you’re here!

Street: avenue George-V – You won’t want to miss the Givenchy designer store located on this street.

Street: Rue Vivienne – The Jean Paul Gaultier store is a must see when you’re in Paris.

Street: rue de Montpensier – Marc Jacobs!

Those are just a few examples of the famous designer boutiques you can easily locate within Paris. Now, if you’re the type that would rather do most of their shopping in a mall area, instead of running from store to store, there is also the Carousel du Louvre that features some great boutiques. Not to mention the tasty café’s located in the mall!

So, when in Paris, do as the Parisians – dress to the nines in the latest fashions! Have fun and splurge a little – why not? You’re in Paris! Happy shopping!