Holiday fashion was a major part of 1920s fashion culture. The era was known for its showmanship and outlandish style choices which included everything from crazy makeup trends to outrageous costumes even during the year-end holidays.
Known primarily for flapper dresses, the decade also witnessed short skirts, big hair, and lots of fringes. These styles were popularized by young women who didn't want to conform to traditional Victorian styles anymore. They wanted something new!
Today, we’re celebrating holiday fashion in the 1920s by talking about key fashion pieces and trends that were all the rage back then.
Let’s get started with 1920s holiday fashion trends for women.
1920s Holiday Fashion Trends for Women
The fact that the 1920s were a time of change was clearly reflected in the holiday styles that women wore.
During the holidays as well as the rest of the year, women's clothing often showed off their curves with shorter hemlines and tighter-fitting waists. This look was meant to highlight the new silhouette that was popular at the time: the hourglass figure. Women wore short skirts and high heels which added to their confidence.
During that era, women took greater control over their own lives and asserted their independence. They gained the right to vote and took on jobs that had previously been reserved for men.
Styles reflected women’s newfound freedoms. Women wore short dresses with knee-high stockings and high heels. The flapper look became popular during this decade and was characterized by short hemlines and loose-fitting silhouettes.
Shoes were a very important part of 1920s women’s wardrobes. They had to match their outfits and be comfortable enough for long walks on city streets. Flats were traded in for high heels and ankle-high boots with fur trim.
Women wore hats for every occasion. They were a part of one’s overall outfit and no one left home without them. Women wore different styles depending on their moods and fashion preferences.
Some popular styles included cloches (a small round hat with a narrow brim), picture hats (a small, flat-brimmed hat that could be decorated with flowers or feathers), and berets (a soft knit cap that was often worn at a tilted angle on the head). Hats were made of various materials, including straw, felt, and wool.
The bob was considered a very modern and fashionable hairstyle in the 1920s. Many women wore their hair short but longer styles were also popular. The most common length for women’s hair was shoulder-length or longer. In addition, hair was usually worn down or in a very loose updo. A popular style for this era was the chignon (a French word meaning “bun”) which involved curling the ends of long hair up into a coil that could be pinned at the back of the head. It was also common to wear one’s hair in finger waves or pin curls which were achieved by wrapping small sections of damp hair around rollers and letting them dry overnight. This created gorgeous loose curls that were released from their pins the next day.
Women usually wore plain black leather gloves in the 1920s. They went well with the short and long-sleeved dresses that were in vogue at the time. If a woman wore her hair up, she wore black velvet or satin gloves. If she had an elaborate hairstyle, jeweled or beaded opera-length gloves might be worn instead.
Women wore fur coats in the 1920s, usually made from mink or sable. They also donned long, stylish jackets made of wool or tweed. Women often paired these with matching hats and boots for a fashionable ensemble. In the early part of the decade, women put on long fur coats that reached past their knees. In addition, they often wore hats and gloves to protect themselves from the cold. By the middle of the decade, shorter fur coats had become popular.
Women were seen sporting various pieces of jewelry in the 1920s, ranging from simple necklaces and bracelets to ornate earrings and brooches. Most women wore pearls as part of their everyday ensemble. In addition, they often decorated jewelry with rhinestones or diamonds which were popular during the decade.
Indeed, the 1920s was an age of excess. Women wore elaborate jewelry that reflected the times and fashion trends were extravagant.
Women put on heavy amounts of rouge, eye shadow, and lipstick, often in bright reds. Cheekbones were emphasized using a pink-tinted powder which highlighted the bone structure. Noses were occasionally powdered white to give them a more prominent appearance. Makeup was applied heavily and emphasized the features of women's faces.
The most common color combination for 1920s makeup was red lips and blue eyeshadow. The eyebrows were made darker with a pencil or powder. Women also wore false eyelashes which were glued onto their natural lashes using an adhesive called Vaseline.
The most popular holiday colors for women in the 1920s were red and green. These colors were often used together, as seen in many clothing styles produced during this period. Women used the red and green combination for many different types of clothing, including hats, shoes, stockings, and gloves. The colors were also seen on purses, handbags, and jewelry.
Celebrities That Defined the 1920's
The 1920s was a time of great change in America. Also known as the Roaring Twenties, it brought new fashions and trends, many of which were defined by celebrities. Here are some of the most iconic women who defined the era:
Clara was a silent film actress who played the role of It Girl in many movies. She was known for her trademark hairstyle which was short and curly on top with long, straight bangs. Her signature look has been copied by many modern-day celebrities.
Greta was a Swedish actress who was known for her mysterious persona. She often wore black, lace, and beaded outfits with matching veils. Greta Garbo also wore a lot of pearls and jewelry with her outfits which caught on during the twenties.
Gloria was a silent film actress who was known for her beauty and style. She often wore large, head-to-toe black ensembles with white accessories. Her signature look included dramatic makeup and dark eye shadow.
Josephine was a jazz singer and dancer from France who became famous for her performances in Paris. She often wore African-inspired outfits with large, colorful headpieces. Josephine Baker also wore beaded jewelry, fur coats, and hats with feathers on them.
Marlene was an actress, singer, and dancer who became famous in the 1920s. She often wore men’s clothing and had a masculine style. Marlene Dietrich was known for her long cigarette holders which she often used while performing on stage.
Louise was an American actress and dancer who became famous in the 1920s. She usually wore her hair in a bob cut with bangs and often donned simple black dresses. Louise Brooks was known for having pale skin and dark, dramatic lipstick.
Mary Pickford was an actress, producer, and co-founder of United Artists, a motion picture company. She was famous in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s. Mary Pickford was known for her curly red hair and big blue eyes. She wore dresses with wide skirts and puffy sleeves that were often made from satin or lace.
Actress Colleen Moore popularized the bob haircut by wearing it in her silent films. Because of this, other women began sporting their own bobs making Colleen one of the greatest beauty influencers of her time.
In her heyday, Anita Page reportedly received 35,000 fan letters within a week! The actress was known for her beauty and for wearing beautiful pearl necklaces in films. Her trademark fashion style included wearing long gloves that reached past the elbows, a look that could be seen in many of her films. During the 1920s, she began to wear more daring outfits in public like short skirts and low-cut dresses. It's no surprise that fans started wearing them too!
Pola was a famous silent film star who wore elaborate headpieces and jewelry. She was known for her turban-like hats and headpieces as well as large necklaces that she wore on screen. The popularity of these accessories helped fuel the Great Depression jewelry trend which is still going strong today.
Celebrate 1920 Holiday Fashion with WardrobeShop
The 1920s was a decadent and bold era marked by unforgettable fashion pieces that are still considered chic to this day. Though you can’t rewind time to witness it for yourself, you can still wear 1920s fashion by visiting WardrobeShop.
Inspired by the 1920s and created for the holidays, our gorgeous vintage selection features distinctive and beautifully made clothes for women. We have a wide assortment of tea party, flapper style, and maxi dresses among others. We also offer shoes and accessories for a complete and more authentic 1920s look.
So, if you’re looking to celebrate the holidays 1920s-style, look no further than WardrobeShop!