What’s your fashion — and why?

Looking over yearbooks gives us a glimpse of the way students from earlier decades dressed.

Fashion and clothing styles result from a combination of influences from clothing marketers, entertainers, politicians and others. In 1934, the sale of men’s undershirts declined sharply after Clark Gable, the star of the Frank Capra comedy It Happened One Night, took off his shirt and appeared bare-chested on the screen.

John F. Kennedy did wear a top hat on the day of his inauguration but he rarely wore one after that and, coincidentally or not, the sales of men’s hats , standard feature of every man’s wardrobe, seems to have begun a steep decline with Kennedy’s Presidency (1961-63).

For a time in the 1980s many women wore only one glove when going out on the town after Michael Jackson wore a single white glove while performing “Billie Jean”on television.  The temporary trend was reinforced when Jackson waved to fans wearing only glove after being seriously burned while filming a Pepsi commercial and when he accepted a Grammy award for a record eight wins while wearing a black bugle-beaded military jacket and the iconic single glove.

Although students in the 1980s looked nothing like students from the 1960s in terms of fashion, students from the year 2000 bear a surprising resemblance to students 40 years earlier, thanks to a trend of retro clothing featuring pre-washed and beaded jeans, prints from the Flower Child generation and other 1960s-era fashion offerings.

Why do YOU look the way you do?  What are your influences?

Steve Smith

Stephen E. Smith is News Bureau Manager at Missouri Southern State University and editor-in-chief of "Accents."