Québec around 1980

A revolution in clothing

Clothing revealed social status

In the past, people had little choice of what to wear. There was very little choice if one wanted to stay within the norms of social conventions. The poor dressed in one way and the rich in another: Clothing revealed a lot about social status. The line between the way men and women dressed was very clear. Women showed very little shape and skin, and they rarely wore pants!

A revolution!

Starting in the 1960s, women’s liberation changed things. Freeing themselves from constraints, women took to wearing pants and discovered miniskirts and bikinis. The differences between the social classes quickly lessened, and fashion became more accessible because of ready-to-wear clothing and shopping malls.

Clothing reveals personality

Gradually, clothing became a way of revealing personality. Each person was free to choose his or her own style, and sometimes because people wanted to be original, they would borrow clothing styles from other cultures. The tight elephant pants of the 1970s gave way to the fluorescent styles of the 1980s. Whatever the style, fashion dominated and there were limitless possibilities!

Author:  Marianne Giguère

See also – Links:

Quickly check your knowledge:

Teacher's Corner

Teacher resources specific to this section will be available soon.  Use Educators menu for now.