Fashion Through the Decades

Americans faced an uncertain future as they entered the 2000s. People were afraid that the nation’s technological infrastructure would be unable to handle the transition to the new millennium. The economy slid into recession with the crash of the dot-com boom and revelations of major business scandals. And the presidential election that began the decade threatened to drag on with no end in sight. When September 11th happened, the government developed new programs and organizations that tried to protect us from foreign and domestic threats, but also threatened our liberties. This was a very insecure age, in which people longed for comfort and simplicity, and deeper connections with other people. To that end, garments featured bright colors and tended to reinforce gender divisions. Concurrently, there was greater diversity in body shapes than ever before, especially with the rise of obesity in the population. Fashion designers responded by creating garments that were asymmetrical or had mismatched proportions.

To view the full text articles that correspond to these pictures, click here. Not all of the pictures in this gallery came from news clippings. Many of them came from binders of photographs donated by the Fashion Department to the Harper College Archives. To view these binders, please send an email to archives@harpercollege.edu.