Since the 1800s, Canadian fashion has been heavily impacted by the trends of Great Britain and France. In the early 19th century, men's fashion was composed of pants, high-waisted shorts, and tall hats. Women in both urban and rural areas would discover new fashion trends through catalogs and try to emulate the models, who were often too thin. Until then, clothing styles were largely set by fashion houses that catered to the adult market, and young people's clothing simply followed the fashion of adults. In the 1970s, the fashion silhouette was typically characterized by tight-fitting garments at the top and looser garments at the bottom.
Women rarely saw what others were wearing in other parts of the world or even in their own country since fashion publications were rarely found in rural homes. There was a great diversity in fashion trends during the 1960s due to the multiple social movements that emerged during this decade. In Canada (or rather British North America), changes were not only seen politically and socially, but also in the realm of fashion. Michael Jackson's iconic red leather jacket from MTV's popular Thriller music video marked the beginning of this trend. Platform shoes that appeared on the fashion scene in 1971 and often had soles that were two to four inches thick also became popular. However, long hair for men became fashionable in the late 1980s due to the influence of heavy metal music.
Fashion was also spreading around the world and was also spreading culturally, bringing new fashion styles to the U. S.