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50 years of fashion at UKC: the best and worst trends to have been on our campus

Photo: University of Kent

2015 marks the 50th anniversary for the University of Kent, so what better time to take a look at 50 fashion highs and lows that we have experienced. Starting from 1965, here goes…

  1. The mini skirt: An iconic item promoted by the fashion sensation of the time – Twiggy. Still a popular item today, the mini skirt tends to cause a fair amount of discussion of whether it was a fashion high or low.
  2. Gaudy jewellery and accessories.
  3. Tie dye: Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the whole tie dye trend. For those with an outgoing personality – this suits you perfectly! As a variety of colours and techniques are put into this, it is unsurprising that there was a resurgence of tie dye a few years ago.

    Photo: Tumblr via YourSummerDreamz

  4. Long hair: Definitely one of the best trends for me. Linking into tie dye and the ‘hippie era’, the general feeling was ‘the longer the hair, the better’.
  5. The ‘pant suit’: A trend which originated in America but undoubtedly spread to England, and was sure to have been featured by some of Kent’s fashion conscious alumni.
  6. Knee high boots: I’m not a huge fan, but in the 60’s everyone was.
  7. Turtlenecks for men: These became a common item for men and often replaced the shirt and tie for a more smart casual look.
  8. Flared trousers. A worst trend for me!

    Photo: Tumblr via Cliopeppiatt

  9. Unisex clothing: Towards the beginning of the 70’s the idea of unisex clothing, developed fashion that men and women could both enjoy.
  10. Chest hair: Whilst this might seem a bit of an odd trend to include, the concept of men showing ‘just the right amount’ of chest hair was an attractive trait to many ladies…
  11. Hot pants: Again, still an item often seen today, the birth of the hot pants originated in the 70’s and has stuck with us for years.
  12. His and hers: This trend has to be one of the worst ones for me. His and hers jackets, his and hers shirts, his and hers accessories. No, I’m not a fan.
  13. Jeans: Although jeans were worn many years before, they were viewed as a more casual item. Now they were beginning to be more common and fashionable. Who doesn’t love a good pair of jeans?
  14. Knitted clothing: A best, obviously.
  15. Shorter hair on women.
  16. T-shirts: These were once considered an undergarment, but they were increasingly being used as an advertising tool for slogans and sports teams.
  17. Jumpsuits: For those of you lucky enough to be blessed with long legs, a great invention.
  18. Velvet jackets for men.
  19. As we move into the 80’s, we witness the creation of shoulder pads. Uh-oh.
  20. Heavily styled and voluminous hair.
  21. Bold make up.
  22. Leg warmers: A trend promoted by Olivia Newton-John’s famous video ‘Physical’.

    Photo: Olivia Newton John ‘Physical’ Album shot

  23. Leggings.
  24. Puff ball skirts: Imagine a mushroom shape, and this is the puffball skirt. It made women’s hips look huge but was a popular item in the 80’s – even being worn by Princess Diana.
  25. Ra-Ra skirt.
  26. Skater skirt: Still a popular item today, it’s got to be a best trend.
  27. Animal print: A trend which not everyone can pull off, but if done right it can look good. (Sometimes).
  28. Acid wash jeans: These made a comeback during the late noughties!
  29. Ray Ban sunglasses: A favourite for everyone, even today.
  30. And into the 90’s we go, starting with sportswear. Often inspired by Sporty Spice, sports brands such as Umbro and Adidas were worn for fashion rather than exercise.
  31. Thongs: The whole thong-peeping-over-your-jeans look was very common…
  32. Mood rings: Surely we all remember these?
  33. The middle parting: A trend sported by David Beckham, this was a popular hair style during the 90’s.

    Rachel from Friends

  34. Tongue piercings.
  35. Crop tops.
  36. Now for the noughties. Keeping up? Skinny jeans. A trend worn by men and women, often referred to as the hipster trend.
  37. Boho-chic: A free-spirited, Hippie inspired style associated with Kate Moss. It includes items such as large sunglasses, flowing skirts and loose jumpers.
  38. Daisy duke shorts: Similar to hot pants, these are really short shorts. Their name comes from the character Daisy Duke in the American show The Dukes of Hazzard.
  39. Scarves: Sounds silly, but scarves were worn for fashion rather than practicality.
  40. Towards the end of the noughties the vintage movement began to flourish. This continued to grow rapidly and is still a loved trend today.
  41. Ugg boots.

    Photo: Tumblr

  42. Trainers: Nike Air Max, Adidas…I have never really kept up with this trend, but if you haven’t either it won’t be hard to find someone who does!
  43. Floral prints: A sort of resurgence from the 50’s, but a great trend.
  44. Aztec prints.
  45. Lace.
  46. Super high heels.
  47. Onesies: An item many Kent students even wear to lectures!

    Photo: Unique

  48. Bandanas: Not quite sure where this one originated, but many now work them into their hairstyle.
  49. Shiny suits: The whole grey suit with a shine on look is very popular!
  50. Parkas: For those cold morning treks up Tyler Hill, we all need something with a bit of warmth!

Phew! So there are 50 fashion trends over the past 50 years that Kent has witnessed for you. Hopefully future years won’t see the return of shoulder pads, flared trousers and puffball skirts (for me anyway!).

Who knows, perhaps for Kent’s 100 year anniversary the fashion we have today will be judged much more harshly.

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