Fans of fashion simply can’t get enough of the 1920s. When it comes to clothing and style, the Roaring Twenties are the pinnacle of good taste. A time of social change, the fashion from this era was revolutionary and had never been seen before. Flappers - fashionable women from the 1920s - used their outfits as a way to signal that times were truly changing.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what fashion was like during the 1920s.
Not everyone was wearing 1920s flapper dresses when they left their house in the 1920s. With that said, women’s casual wear also reflected what was happening in society during this revolutionary decade. After the end of World War I, the world was a different place. Suddenly, women began playing a larger part in society. They gathered in groups to earn the right to vote and were holding jobs outside of the home.
Contemporary women in the 1920s didn’t want to wear restrictive corsets. Instead, they opted for loose silhouettes that allowed them to move with ease. While dresses and stockings were still the norm, women’s daywear as a whole became more relaxed than ever before. Hemlines started to rise to the knee and sleeveless styles were gaining popularity.
1920s Evening DressesPerhaps the most exciting garments worn during the 1920s were the fabulous evening dresses. In the past, evening dresses were always floor-length and mostly modest in design. Flappers cast off these conventions and started wearing short skirts that they could move around in - after all, they didn’t want layers of fabric getting in the way when they were dancing to “The Charleston.”
Evening gowns started to feature more shapeless silhouettes. Shift dresses and drop-waist dresses were the most popular styles for women when they wanted to dress up. Often they were made of luxurious fabrics and adorned with beading or other embellishments for added effect on the dance floor.
1920s SportswearSportswear truly came to life in the 1920s. For the first time in history, women were also being included in sports. This meant that they needed clothing that was comfortable, easy to wear, and could keep up with the men during a round of golf. Although they were still expected to wear skirts, materials became more lightweight and allowed for a larger range of movement.
Perhaps the most noticeable activewear achievement during the 1920s was the bathing suit. Only a few decades before, women would show up to the seaside wearing traditional “bathing costumes,” which consisted of heavy wool stockings, billowing skirts, and even a tightly tied corset. Luckily, in the 1920s swimsuits started to resemble a shape that we would be more familiar with today.
1920s AccessoriesFlappers loved adorning their outfits with accessories of all kinds. The industrial revolution brought about mass production, which in turn led to the rise of “costume jewelry.” Suddenly, women could own necklaces, bracelets, and other items that resembled fine jewelry for a fraction of the price.
No matter if they are authentic jewels or more casual pieces, almost all of the jewelry that was designed during the 1920s reflected the popular Art Deco movement. Bold, contrasting colors and geometric designs were a hallmark of jewelry designs during this time period.
The other accessory that women almost never left home without was a cloche hat. These beautiful, bell-like head coverings were the perfect way to accentuate a cropped “bob” hairstyle. Some were simple and worn every single day. Others were embellished and meant for more formal occasions.
1920s MakeupWearing makeup was a relatively new concept in the 1920s. Women in the past had passed down tips and tricks to make their complexions look more radiant, but it wasn’t until the Twenties that makeup became mainstream.
The popularity of mainstream makeup started because of the Silver Screen. Silent film actresses needed to wear bold makeup to ensure their features and expressions would connect with crowds. Women started to want to emulate their favorite movie stars and wore makeup looks that they saw on actresses like Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks.
1920s HairstylesWithout a doubt, “The Bob” was the most popular hair trend in the 1920s. For the first time ever, women were cutting off their hair to a drastically short length - and simultaneously casting off society’s old-fashioned expectations. Women who weren’t bold enough to completely cut their hair would sometimes wear hair nets to emulate this look. Or, they would create “finger waves,” which were also popular during this stylish period.
Hair styles were serious business in the 1920s. These additional resources will help you explore these trends even further:
When it comes to “The Bob,” there was no one-size-fits-all look. There were actually several different variations on this sensational haircut that became popular during this decade. This awesome guide "6 Easy Vintage Hairstyles"even shares photos of the different kinds of haircuts women were clamoring for during the Twenties