Deborah Gobey, marketing manager of corporate clothing supplier Dimensions, explains how fashions from the past 30 years are shaping wardrobes for the coming year

Since Dimensions started trading 30 years ago, there have been many changes in style and silhouette, yet when looking through the archives this summer in preparation for our 30th anniversary, it was fascinating to see how the fashion of the last 30 years is still influencing today’s wardrobes, be it at home or in the workplace. 

The 80s was a decade of bold, contrasting colours and patterns and strong silhouettes, known for its shoulder pads and perms! Men’s fashion was relaxed with oversized sportswear styles and loose fitting tailoring, whereas women’s working wardrobes boasted power suits and strong body shapes.

For AW19/20, we see the bold colours of the 80s such as red and orange influencing our choices and brave patterns contrast to create innovative prints. Colour block dressing is prevalent, making a strong statement. Performance fabrics enriched with technical details such as heat-welded zippers or drawstrings around hoods are injected with colour to brighten otherwise dark hues. Oversized double-breasted jackets are worn with pleated front, wide leg trousers offering the original professional look.

The wide trouser legs of the 80s are back

The 90s marked the end of the yuppie era and fashion became more relaxed. Men were heavily influenced by the music of the day and the sports clothing that the artists wore. Women opted for a softer silhouette, wearing slip dresses with kitten heels, or Dr Martens if they were part of the grunge scene. 

For 2019 we continue to see 90s-inspired sports clothing and big logoed items. Sportswear-influenced tailored pieces with blocks of colour and tapes add an interesting contemporary edge to traditional fabrics such as checks and dogtooth designs. The concept of a traditional check has also moved into new designs with skewed, scrambled, layered and bold artworks. Graphic art deco-inspired buckles and tapes feature in accessories and trims. Utility-styled cargo trousers with lots of pockets were also a staple of this era, especially if they were camouflage!

Brands, logos and lettering

We see brand logos being used inventively to create innovative prints and surface patterns; messages and positive words are used in a subtle way to create pattern. Brands, logos and lettering are shown in a creative way along with prints, jacquards, flocked, laser cut and debossed designs. As such, textured fabrics are key with jacquards; embossing and sheen are used to create an interesting look to the garments.

The noughties were heavily influenced by globalisation, with Middle Eastern and Asian styling being incorporated into mainstream fashion. The movement in sustainable fashion was also prevalent in the noughties with an increased focus on ethical clothing and eco-friendly practices such as up- cycling or shopping for vintage pieces. Recycled objects made from discarded clothes and workwear-inspired utility pieces reminiscent of the noughties are trends for 2019, with robust fabrics being key in both fabric and garment design; this trend has a substantial look and feel.

The current decade places emphasis on gender fluidity and the importance of being comfortable in your own skin. Garments have a fluid structure that provide an effortless look and feel, with fabrics having a suppleness whilst also being substantial enough for outerwear and wardrobe key pieces. Decorative surface patterns with textures, jacquards and quilted fabrics create interesting and contemporary designs for AW19/20.