In high school, popular fads and trends are ever-changing. As someone who pays close attention to fashion, I was interested in finding out about the popular fashion trends throughout the past few decades at Oyster River High School. Mouth of the River will share some of the general ORHS fads and trends from the 1970s to present time.
In the early 1970s, the fashion trends were very vibrant and colorful. Both men and women wore tight-fit pants and platform shoes. Women also wore high cut boots and low-cut pants. As the 70s progressed, pant suits, leisure suits, and track suits became much more popular. In addition, cowl neck sweaters and striped V-neck shirts were big fashion trends. During this time, tunics and robes were also very trendy. As the decade came to an end, the fashion trends became less colorful and earth tones became more popular.
Doug Clark (‘74) noted that the big fashion trends at ORHS in the 70s included, polyester, leisure suits, flared and bell-bottom pants, and 3-inch platform shoes. The trends also consisted of tight jeans with All-Star converse. Once the flared and bell-bottoms became less popular, Calvin Klein designer jeans became the new trend. Clark also stated that Nike waffle trainers paired with all types of clothing, dressy and casual, was a huge fad in the 70s.
The fashion in the early 1980s consisted of darker tones, including browns, tans and oranges. Velour was popular, but velvet was even more fashionable. Dressing like a tennis player was also very “in” at the time. Both men and women wore clothing with a higher waistline. During the mid 80s, many people owned bright-colored accessories, including sunglasses, bangles, and hoop earrings. In addition, teased hair, bright makeup, and neon colors were big trends. These trends can be found in the music video for the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. Women also enjoyed wearing both giant sweaters with leggings, or V-necks with parachute pants. At the end of the decade, Coca-Cola brand clothing became popular, as well as Nike clothing. By 1989, women’s clothing became much more baggy.
Daniel Gordon (‘82) and Amy Trafton (‘82) both mentioned that at ORHS, the preppy look was quite popular in the 80s. High schoolers at Oyster River wore striped shirts, flannels, corduroy pants, Calvin Klein jeans, and Levi’s jeans. Trafton also noted that big, curled hair was a fad for girls in the 80s. Gordon stated that Timberland boots were often worn by boys at Oyster River. In addition to clothing, boom boxes were a huge fad for high schoolers.
In the early 1990s, the fashions trends were more loose and colorful. Air Jordan sneakers, big t-shirts, long shorts, and tapered pants were the more popular clothing items. Both men and women wore baseball caps and turtleneck sweaters. As the 90s progressed, flannels were “in” and jeans with holes were worn over top of leggings. In the mid 90s, camouflage became popular, as well as the “The Rachel” haircut and the Justin Timberlake “frosted tips” look. Towards the end of the decade, clothing that was more glamorous and expensive-looking was trendy.
Jamie Renner (‘98) noted that many different styles existed at ORHS in the 1990s. The varying styles included, “ ‘lumberjack tough’ (plaid shirt, jeans, work boots, baseball hats), ‘lumberjack prep’ (plaid shirt, khakis/corduroy, indoor soccer shoes), ‘practical’ (jeans & t-shirts/sweatshirts), a sprinkling of hippie (long flowy clothing items), a dash of ‘athletic-gangster’ (athletic baggy pants, high top shoes, oversized sweatshirts, maybe a gold chain here or there, maybe a hat off to the side), and a touch of goth (all black).”
The fashion in the 2000s was nothing new; old trends became new ones. In the early 2000s, the trends for women included: denim jackets, ponchos, miniskirts, hip-hop style sweatpants, ripped jeans, and short-shorts. The men wore khakis, polo shirts, and white Nike shoes. During the mid 2000s, low-rise skinny jeans, commonly sported by Britney Spears, knee-high boots, tunics, and capri-pants were trendy for women. Men wore vintage t-shirts, slim fitting jeans, hoodies and converse. At the end of the decade, the popular clothing items for women included, long shirts with belts, shirts with camisoles, knitted dresses, denim leggings, and acid wash jeans. The trendy clothing items for men were t-shirts with low neck lines, flannels, sweaters, and straight leg jeans. Some of these looks can be sported by the actors in the American comedy series, Hannah Montana.
Hannah Igoe (‘14) stated that the fashion at ORHS in the 2000s was very laid back. High schoolers wore a wide range of clothing from sweatpants to dresses. Igoe mentioned that, “uggs, jeans and scarves were the norm. We would wear bodycon skirts and a flowy tank top.” In addition, athletic teams dressing up in either formal clothing or costumes for team spirit was very “in” at ORHS in the 2000s.
The fashion trends in the 2010s consisted of a variety of clothing items. Women often wore cardigans, off the shoulder tops, high neckline shirts and dresses, bell sleeves, skorts, rompers and bomber jackets. In addition, ripped denim or denim skirts, loose jeans, All-Star converse, chokers, and baseball caps were big trends for women. In the 2010s, men sported hoodies, khakis, sweatpants, track pants, and dress boots or sneakers.
Isabelle Saputo (‘16) stated that the ORHS “fashion was really trendy, and boho” in 2016. Saputo proceeded to say that “oversized sweaters, leggings and boots were a big trend. Converse and burks were really popular as well.”
Fashion trends will continue to change and evolve for future Oyster River High School students. Saputo believes the next decade’s ORHS fashion trends will consist of “distressed two tone denim, graphic tees, and lots of vintage things that are coming back, such as overalls and clothing items like that.”
Written by Abby Schmitt