You can easily tell the fashion trends of a certain decade just by looking at what the big designers were creating and what was being featured in the magazines. But what about what everyday women were wearing? How these big trends were interpreted by women from different countries and backgrounds isn’t something that is seen in vintage fashion magazines.
Candid street style photos and personal family photos help piece together how big trends trickled down to certain areas. How women of different areas and socioeconomic backgrounds chose to interpret certain trends while leaving others behind. How they put their own spin on looks and in the process, made them into new trends. These photos give us a glimpse into what life was like back in a particular country, during a specific time. These photos are a key to history.
It is truly sad that vintage photos of Latinas are not necessarily easy to find online. The internet is great for finding information but it gets harder when the content is decades, sometimes hundreds of years old. Add in women and people of color who weren’t represented a lot, or at all, during those moments in history, and it can be like finding a sartorial (and proverbial) needle in a haystack. This makes it important to get people to share their old photos online more, as it not only shares their own family and personal narratives, but also helps the rest of us Latinxs fill in the blanks on our country’s history, culture, pop culture, and our identities.
We are very happy, though, that we found these photographic gems online. The following 30 photos showcase fashion spanning over 100 years, and they are all of Latina women in Latin American countries. Check them out!