Back-To-School Fashions Throughout The Ages

Fashion sure has changed throughout the years, but the excitement of picking out a first-day-of-school outfit sure hasn’t. Take a look back at the styles of years’ past and get your dream back-to-school outfit for up to 70% off at Nordstrom Rack.

1. 1920s: smocks, collared shirts, and short ‘dos.

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Playing sports in tights and smock dresses seems less than ideal, but these gals made it look good.

2. 1930s: long dresses and tights, hair bows, and varsity sweaters.

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Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty Images


Style in the 1930s starts to relax a bit, but imagine how long those flawlessly coiffed curls and pencil-thin eyebrows must’ve taken to perfect!

3. 1940s: patterned blouses and dresses with pretty detailing.

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The 1940s introduces separates with feminine touches, like this blouse with 8,000 buttons guaranteed to make someone late to class.

4. 1950s: short-sleeve tops, wool blazers, and flats.

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FPG / Getty Images


Comfort in the 1950s was a thing of fiction with those restrictive skirts and those wool jackets that were oh, oh so itchy.

5. And who could forget the ubiquitous poodle skirt?

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Only cool if you have a matching poodle, really.

6. 1960s: A-line skirts, knee-highs, and cardigans.

Phillips Academy Archives / (CC BY http://SA-2.0)

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These schoolgirl preppy looks are super cute, but what kind of sorcery did they use to keep those knee-high socks from falling down?

7. 1970s: wide-leg pants and peasant tops…

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In French, bell bottoms are called “pattes d’éléphant,” which means “elephant legs.” Aren’t you glad we don’t live in a time in which we have to wear elephant leg pants?

8. …and platforms of ankle-defying heights.

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9. 1980s: neons and big hair, spandex, and high-tops.

Maria Taglienti-Molinari / Getty Images

Mari Taglienti-Molinari / Getty Images


If you could pull it off, power to you - but we’re glad our spandex days are behind us.

10. 1990s: paisleys and stripes, colorful tights, and grungy oversized tops.

The LIFE Images Collection / Getty Images

The ’90s may seem like they were simpler times, but have you ever tried to pair a paisley shirt with your daily go-to flannel? That’s as difficult as fashion should ever get.

11. And later in the decade: giant jeans, wallet chains, and goth realness.

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Heavy-metal music and accessories went hand in hand — hard look to pull off if you’re clumsy.

12. 2000s: trucker hats, flared jeans, and velvet sweatsuits.


Digital Vision / Getty Images


Extreme comfort and extreme irony finally partnered up in fashion with mixed results.

13. Today: statement necklaces and a statement top.

Nordstrom Rack

Find everything you need to turn heads on your first day back to school get your back to school outfit for up to 70% off at Nordstrom Rack.

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