1920's Fashion GabBY Barresi

Fashion is a tool that men and women alike have been using for centuries as a means of expressing their personalities. Fashion can be used to show social status, or can be used to stand out among a homogenous group. Each decade marked a new trend in the fashion industry. The late 1880's, 90's, and early 1900's were marked with tight corsets and long skirts. The 1920's, however, marked a significant point in the history of women's fashion. Hem lengths were getting shorter, the "bobbed" hairstye came into the picture, and rouge and bright red lipstick adorned the faces of women everywhere in the 20's. With the creation of films and magazines, many Americans were able to delve into the "flaming youth" culture, where wild parties and free love were emphasized. This brought more awareness of sexual desires and rebellion against the traditional female roles. The fashion of the 1920's was a direct outcome of this phenomenon.

http://image.glamourdaze.com/2014/04/Mary-Pickford-Tea-Party-held-in-September-1928.jpg "With silken legs and scarlet lips/ We’re young and hungry, wild and free,/ Our waists are round about the hips/ Our skirts are well above the knee/ We’ve boyish busts and Eton crops,/ We quiver to the saxophone Come,/ dance before the music stops/ for who can bear to be alone?” an excerpt from James Laver's poem "The Women of 1926."

In this excerpt from the poem "The Women of 1926," James Laver describes the rebellious techniques that women were implementing, such as using bright lipsticks and having "skirts well above the knee." Women were learning during this time to embrace feminism in a new way by disregarding the traditional rules of women, such as staying in the house and avoiding activities specifically for men. Now, women were enjoying the new music of the Jazz age, smoking cigarettes, and joining clubs; just as the men were.

Fashion advertisements such as this one allowed for many to purchase clothing that was in trend at the time, which was how new styles in the fashion industry were were becoming more and more popular. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042345/1920-04-17/ed-1/seq-10/>

With a rise in "consumer culture," products were able to be advertised in magazines and in newspapers, allowing for the exposure of many new inventions and products.

The Cloche Hat was created to frame the face, making faces appear thinner. These hats were easy to make and became a staple accessory for women. http://image.glamourdaze.com/2014/04/1920s-Fashion-Cloche-Hats-and-Cropped-Hairstyles.jpg

Fur coats became a popular trend as a result of consumer culture. Fur coats were not just something the rich owned anymore. They became more and more accessible to women all over America. http://image.glamourdaze.com/2014/03/Le-Jardin-des-Modes-1925-Fur-decorations-for-coats.jpg

Intricate beading and sequins on dresses paired very well with long pearl necklaces. This was a typical date night look for women in the 20's. http://image.glamourdaze.com/2014/02/Significant-Flapper-Evening-dresses-of-the-1920s..jpg

Women's fashion in the 1920's: "Gas" or "Brakes"? Women's fashion during the 1920's exemplified a step on the gas pedal. The goal of most women during this time was to break away from the restricting and exhausted roles that women played in the home in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They wanted to defy the term of "gender roles," and their new innovations in fashion were a direct output of that. The new fashions reflected these rebellions against traditional female roles. These ideas set the stage for developing the concept of feminism and embracing femininity, but at the same time holding values similar to that of men. Women were able to work out of the home, allowing them to bring a paycheck to support the family. The fashion of this era aided in bringing out these social issue, beginning to close the gap between male and female divides.

The word "flapper" was coined during the 20's, referring to the young women who used shorter skirts, shorter hair, sheer stockings, gauzy fabrics, drove cars, smoked, and gambled as means of defying the proper pre-war standards. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/progressive-era-new-era-1900-1929/roaring-twenties (above photo)

The bob hairstyle helped to embrace femininity and masculinity at the same time. http://image.glamourdaze.com/2014/04/bobs-crops-fingerwaves-shingles-iconic-1920s-hairstyles.jpg

The women who invented and wore the fashion trends in the 1920's were adventurous and fearless individuals. They used a medium such as fashion as self expression to highlight social issues during their time. The styles of clothing that were created contributed to the liberated lifestyles the women of the 20's wished---and succeeded---to live. The fashion that these women created and wore set the stage for future decades to build off of. This shows that fashion is a universal tool to help get across messages, all of which could be interpreted in different ways.

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