The Fashion Cycle
By Marion Sichel
A dress seems immodest ten years before its time
Shameless five years before its time
daring one year before its time,
Unfashionable one year after its time
hideous ten years after its time
curious thirty years after its time
amusing fifty years after its time
enchanting seventy years after its time
romantic one hundred years after its time
exceedingly beautiful one hundred and fifty years after its time.
If you enroll in a fashion course you will likely at some point run across this poem or a credited paraphrase. It's a generally accepted idea, although modern observers note that the fashion cycle is compressing. In fact you could probably cut the times in the poem in half and that would be the truth as of February 2012. I think this is likely because of the internet. Fashions can spread at the speed of, well, the click of a button. What Angelina Jolie wears in LA today will be commented on by thousands of bloggers tomorrow, and what Kate Middleton wears tomorrow will likely be sold out of stores next week (and no, I'm not exaggerating. This has happened).