If necessity is the mother of all invention, then fashion trends born of hard times are surely the stylish sister.
The Zipper, 1930sImagine putting on a pair of jeans or a sheath dress without a zipper. Up until 1933, the zipper (which was invented in 1893) was used mainly for shoes and military jackets. Then designer Elsa Schiapralli adapted visible plastic zippers for use in clothes and a fastening revolution was born.
Pants for Women, 1930sUp until Marlene Dietrich popularized wearing tailored men's pants, women used pants primarily for sports. But once women fell in love with the ease of trousers, they became a wardrobe staple.
Hip Hop Fashion, 1990sThe U.S. was in recession the early 1990s, but that didn't keep the hip hop culture from spreading its belief in bling and baggy clothes. From baseball caps to must-have sneakers, hip hop fashion's influence could (and still is) felt in every aspect of the market, including the runway where even Chanel showed hip hop references in 1991.
Power Dressing, 1980sThe recession of the early '80s may have spawned the whole trend of power dressing.