In the early 20s in Europe people began to forget quickly the consequences of the war. Industrial development, transport and economic relations between the countries began to be established. People exhausted from the tragedies, not knowing that soon will come again the black strip of the Great Depression, would like to enjoy life, have fun, catch up and enjoy the present day. On the pedestal of luxury, new people raised wealth and power instead of bankrupt aristocracy, which in almost every country had to move somewhere, so that warm place under the sun is occupied by others, dictating their lifestyle and needs. All this leads to changes in fashion and style, because fashion always feels the pulse of time, and sometimes it changes, goes at the same speed with the events occurring in the world. Particularly striking changes are always visible in women’s fashion.
Features of 20s fashion
So, the fashion of 20s relied on the image of the “new woman”, which appeared in the 1910s. The lady of the new era had the equal rights with men, a higher education and a good job, drove a car and played golf, spent time on the tennis court, and smoked cigarettes.
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Women manifest themselves in new forms of entertainment, and it concerns primarily sport. Besides skates, and horse riding, which had previously been available to women, added bicycle and tennis. And still, dancing, dancing and dancing. But it wasn’t only huge halls, where men lead their decorous ladies, admiring them and bowing down to them. Now it is the time of restaurants and bars where the audience gathers often in the evenings – men and women, it sounds rhythmic music Charleston, and cuties in short dresses dance like mad. The new ideal – a woman-boy with short hair, slim, thin woman.
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Clothing has become easier, but much more functional. Silent film turned into a real passion. In those films we find everything easier to choose to live, to think. The era of jazz, there was a foxtrot, slowfolks, shimmy. Tango, an obscene dance before, has been present in the most decent houses. Then emerged the gramophone. Dancing at its peak, all dancing, at any time of the day. And the new clothes were in harmony with the fast rhythm of the dance. Daily dance erased the boundaries between everyday and festive clothing. Sunday walks outside the city demanded new clothes.
In the early 1920s, the silhouette of women’s clothing was elongated, cylindrical, understated waistline, skirt length – no higher than the middle of the ankle. Towards the 30s skirts became shorter but dresses – more fitting. Silhouette of the daytime dresses middle of the decade still had a basis straight cut and understaited waist. Evening dresses became more straight and short.
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In recent years, a decade in the fashion is back with an elongated silhouette close to the natural waistline. The most compromise the year in relation to the length of the skirts became the 1928th: couturier offered both long and short evening dresses.
Fashionable dresses 20s
The most popular kind of clothes in the 20’s were the dresses. A special emphasis in the models of steel structural parts, which gave skirts a certain originality. Skirts were double-layered and multi-tiered, with cuts and button down closure, with folds and pleating, elaborate drapes and flounces. Waist, unlike the skirt was simple enough, often with deep cleavage. It long scarves, bows, and other elongated shapes, strings of the tape served as a decoration.
The most common options were evening dresses with lace.
Before the 20s years of relatively recent era flourished Art Nouveau style. Therefore, in the memory of fashion designers were still pieces decorated with embroidery and lace, especially the models of the first and second period – from 1890 to 1900 years.
By the way, check my post about the lace
Garments trimmed with fringe couldn’t lose its popularity. Everybody loved it and in the wardrobe of every self-respecting fashionista fringe was a necessarily outfit, and sometimes more than one. Lively, elegant nature of the fringe, rocking to the beat of the women’s movement, was an expressive element of clothing that not only decorates, but tells a lot about the owner. Fringe was made of thick silk or beaded strands.
To read the history of fringe you can read in my previous post
Stylish suits 20s
In addition to the dresses in the 20s a lot of attention was paid to business clothing, in fact, many women started working. In this regard, they wore suits most frequenly. Creating this kind of clothes, designers of that time focused primarily on the classic “English” suit. Already in 1914 in woman’s wordrobe appeared a piece, reminiscent of men’s suit.
The appearance of the female suit 20s had severe character with feminine elements. For example, the shelves of the jacket had a low position fasteners, or in general were without it. In the form of collars and lapels, bead lines and other elements adhered clarity and sharpness. In the 1920s, there were not only suits, but also separate jackets, which are offered as a complement to skirts or dresses. These jackets can be worn not only with dresses made of thick fabric, but also with dresses of chiffon.
Sportswear and style of the 20’s.
The sportswear was dominated with blouses and skirts. Sporty blouses had always undertated waist, sleeves were long, straight with tight cuffs that fastened in the same way as in a man’s shirt.
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Skirts were often with deep folds or fine pleating. The sportswear and dresses were popular. Wool dress was decorated with a light collar and long, tied up near the neck tape. Extremely popular are white summer dresses that were complemented by vests or jackets.
Coat Fashion 20s
Straight coat silhouettes in the style of the 20’s performed with asymmetric buckles were variations on the same clasp or coat with the smell. In the 20s it was sometimes shorter than the dress, then a coat called a trocar (coat 3/4 length).
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In models of the 20’s it was possible to see the fur trim, simulating leopard. They spread raincoats that were comfortable to ride in a car or train travel. There were even evening coats, slightly extended downward and trimmed with fur fox. In the late 1920s capes became popular. They also had a simple cut, they were sometimes instead of a cloak or in an ensemble with a suit. Capes were sometimes replaced by a sleeve in a raincoat, or simply sewn on top of the sleeves.
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Coat was decorated with fur. Especially popular was the rabbit’s or hare’s fur. These furs were among the cheapest and easily treatable. Fur coats made with fur on the wrong side and cuffs, collar and fringe at the bottom side were decorated with more expensive including the long fur. Fur-suite were two-sided. At this time, depending on the financial wealth people wore fur coats, combined with various kinds of fur. Designers created often original combinations.
Fashionable and stylish accessories 20s
1. White collars, long colored neckties, boas include the long fur, usually draped over one shoulder. An indispensable accessory for respectable ladies evening dress was a fan of lace or feathers.
2. Small bags for an evening ensemble and bags of sports of large sizes. Summer bags made of colored straw.
3. Umbrellas were rare, as it was the fashion for tanned skin.
4. A popular addition to the clothes were scarves & shawls, which could overshadow the beauty of elegant dress. Fringes can be up to half-meter sizes.
5.Rolled stockings were shiny from artificial or natural silk, sand, pink, sometimes ashen colours. Dark and black stockings disappeared only at the end of the decade. Winter stockings were made of cotton and wool.
6. The most fashionable gloves were gloves with cuffs. They were decorated with embroidery, painting, inlay, lace, pleating.
7. As for the jewelry extremely popular long strands of pearls, bracelets, similar to the old, big earrings, clips. And in the 20’s all began to wear their watches.
New fashion created an opportunity for every woman to look young. Short hair reduced significanly the age. Paul Poiret went away into the background. Luxury of his clothes contradicted fashion trends. One of the best designers of the time was Chanel. She introduced the simplicity and breathed in youth the fashion.
And so, we have found out that it was the decor and original discoveries in the field of cut were the main ideas of the attractive style 20s. These ideas are for today’s design inspiration.
Our fascinating journey though the 20s comes to the end. About these “crazy” years, flown by very quickly, but preserved the shine of the privileged youth, for which this short time has become an endless party. And for the majority of people, as well as for some countries in general, this time was a period of political turmoil, inflation and unemployment. But everything comes to an end. The “golden 20’s” ended at October 1929 -when the rich became poor and the poor poorer.