May 2, 2011

Why Americana Will Always Be In Style

Kate Bosworth at Coachella this year

Some people wonder why we have "trends." Trends don't only exist in the fashion world, but in many other industries. Trends are a sign of the time. That's why fashion relies so heavily on them. Fashion is influenced by so many things but one of the biggest factors is what's going on around the world socially. Throughout the history of fashion this has been proven.

A momentous example is women wearing pants. Women didn't wear them until the 40's because they weren't invented because they weren't working. When all the men went off to war the women had to start working in the factories and therefore started wearing the factory uniforms. There are so many examples like this but one that gets repeated every other decade or so is 'Americana.' I've wanted to discuss this topic and felt there was no better time than after President Obama's speech last night announcing that we had finally (after 10 years) killed Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist who plotted the 9/11 attacks on our country.

Americana is by definition all things indigenous to America. Americans are and always have been proud people. Americana doesn't necessarily mean we prance around in an American flag because we know how unattractive that is. It can be as simple as wearing denim or Western inspired pieces, buying Made in the USA only products or military inspired pieces to show support for the troops. I love me a good military inspired jacket and I may subconsciously do it to support the troops. I know I would never wear camo to do so but epaulets, sure.

Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have built empires on this very ideal. You wonder how they've sustained such long careers when the fashion industry is paved with fads... I'll tell you. It's because they've built this "all-American image" that will be always be in style. It may change slightly but the basic concept is always the same. National pride.

Americana has shown itself recently in O.P.I's "Touring America" collection where they were influenced by their road trip across the states. Another designer influenced by a recent road trip was Proenza Schouler who showed a lot of Native American inspired prints on the runway. We tend to forget that we do have some Native Americans in our country and wearing Navajo prints or ponchos is an Americana (kind of messed up, I know) influence. We also love Western wear. Fringe is a big trend, cowboy boots had a big moment and plaid has stuck around for awhile.

The 50's had American cars, pin up girls and June Cleaver. The 70's had hippies wrapping themselves in American flags, flashing peace signs. The 80's had the prep look. I think with the death of the man we hunted so long, the year 2011 will remembered for the refashioning of American pride once again. I also strongly feel that as long as there are wars there will always be this trend. That's not to say that "Americana" wouldn't be present, but war has definitely helped keep it in the cycle of fashion.

How do you feel about Americana? How do you show your national pride through fashion?

Image Source
Image Source


  1. Awesome post and very appropriate considering the state of our nation right now.

    I love how you wrote showing our pride doesnt mean prancing around with a flag but wearing US made products, denim, military pieces, etc.

    I def love to wear military inspired looks and an american flag tee/tank is always in style. I like cutting mine up a bit too. ;-)

  2. Aw thank you :) I thought of it about a month ago and have been adding to it and then after Sunday night I was like I HAVE TO WRITE THIS!

  3. Hello dear. While I agree with some of what you had to say, I also disagree on the other hand... You should take a look at what "Bangs and a Bun" had to say on this topic:



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