Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Laver's Law: Fashion History

Several years ago, I discovered a handy little timeline by which to gauge the appropriateness (or lack there of) of fashion choices, particularly those which reference other time periods or trends.  Laver's Law, created by costume historian and museum curator James Laver, gives one an idea of exactly how far back into the past one must go in order to find suitable material for replay.  It is as follows:

Indecent:  10 years before its time
Shameless:  5 years before its time
Daring:  1 year before its time
Smart:  current fashion
Dowdy:  1 year after its time
Hideous:  10 years after its time
Ridiculous:  20 years after its time
Amusing:  30 years after its time
Quaint:  50 years after its time
Charming:  70 years after its time
Romantic:  100 years after its time
Beautiful:  150 years after its time 

Upon looking back at these distinctions for the first time in awhile, I cannot help but think, how true.  By Laver's Law, Balenciaga is daring, the 90s are ridiculous, the 80s are amusing, and a Jackie O suit is quaint.  Beyond that, we have the charming 1940s ruffle blouses, pencil skirts, and hair dos, and of course, there are Victorian-era inspired pieces that could be anywhere from romantic to beautiful due its span.     

This week's Style Advice on CollegeFashionista? V is for Victorian.  Check it, girls.

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