20s 30s fashion

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Posted by Karina Reddy Last updated Aug 18, Published on May 11, , 20th century , decade overview. Twenties fashion is often remembered for its glitz and glamour, though underlying this was a move toward simplicity in dress. For women, this meant shorter skirts and simple shapes, while men enjoyed casual suits. A t the dawn of the s, the world was still reeling from the First World War. The conflict, which ended just over a year before the new decade began, had a fundamental and irreversible effect on society, culture, and fashion.

Dress historian Jayne Shrimpton writes in Fashion in the s :. Also known as the flapper, the look typified s dress with a dropped waist and creeping hemlines that could be created in economical fabrics. Coco Chanel helped popularize this style Fig. Both waistlines and hemlines followed similar, though inverse, projections throughout the decade, as waistlines dropped until before beginning to rise again in ; while hemlines rose until , when they started to fall again Pel Evening dresses sometimes still nearly reached the ground, though many of the popular styles followed the hemline trends of daywear, as demonstrated in the difference between a evening dress Fig.

While simplicity in construction was key to both daywear and eveningwear, the latter benefited from ornate decoration: beadwork, sequins, and embroidery all helped create the glamorous nighttime looks of the decade, like this yellow evening dress made of silk and rhinestones Fig.

Evening ensemble , Gift of Gytha M. Rupp, Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Evening dress , Silk, rhinestones. Fred May, Evening dress , ca. Silk, metal. Silk, glass. Gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, Robe de Style , Cotton, silk, glass, metal. Stephen C. Clark, Though this was one of the more popular styles, it was by no means the only. They were feminine and romantic, like the pastel dress deed by Lanvin in , accessorized with a straw hat itself removed from the brimless cloche hats that were popular during the twenties Fig. Another trend for women that enjoyed massive popularity in the twenties was that of sportswear worn as daywear.

Sportswear had long been an acceptable form of casual wear for men, but in the s, it also became acceptable for women. The popularity of sports clothes in the s is often attributed, like many of the most popular styles of the twenties, to Coco Chanel, but deers such as Jane Regny and Jean Patou also contributed to the sportswear trend. Tennis was the most popular sport for women and thus the most popular inspiration for fashion. Indeed, one of the most popular fashion stars of the early twenties was tennis star Suzanne Lenglen whose short sleeved, pleated tennis dress and bandeau were created for her by Patou Pel Her style both on Fig.

So popular were elements of these sports clothes that in a issue of The Tatler , M. Fashion in the s was all about the whole look and there were trends in how the body itself was fashioned. The simple lines and androgynous shapes of fashion looked best on bodies free from curves.

Through exercise, diet, and various shaping undergarments, women attempted to achieve this look. The sporting look also helped facilitate a mode for suntanned skin. Many women cut their hair into a bob, a popular hairstyle that emerged early in the decade.

Hairstyles kept getting shorter first with the shingle and then with the Eton crop, but like hemlines, as the decade drew to a close, women were starting to grow their hair longer again. The cloche hat became an extremely popular accessory that looked best with these short hairstyles. While the deers mentioned above created and sold their styles, as did department stores and the like, the simplicity of the prevailing mode throughout the twenties made it easy for women of all means to recreate those styles at home.

Anyone could achieve the fashionable look even if it meant the simple lines were created with a less expensive material and made at home rather than in an atelier. This phenomenon is studied by fashion historians but was also felt during the period. Dress , ca. Purchase, Various Funds, Source: Wikimedia. French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen with her manager Charles C. Pyle in , France, Horse racetrack , Source: Pinterest.

Oxford bags grew in popularity around when undergraduates at Oxford adopted these wide-legged trousers. Oxford undergraduates began wearing these around the university and soon the style spread. As the style spread, so too did the width of the trouser legs until at one point they reached up to 44 inches wide. The trousers were made out of flannel and came in a variety of colors. The other development in menswear in the twenties was the plus-fours.

Plus-fours developed out of ordinary knickers — short-legged trousers that gather around the knee — and like Oxford bags were a bit baggier version of their precursor. They had four extra inches of material hence the name but instead of extending the trouser leg, they still fastened around the knee and the extra material hung over the band, creating the baggy look as seen at a racecourse in Fig. Often worn with a sweater, plus-fours were popular golf attire, but much like how tennis-wear crept into casual womenswear, this style was also popular daywear for men, as was tennis-wear for men, too.

You can see the casual way men dressed to play tennis, though some still wore ties in Fig. Fashion Plate , Source: The Met Digital Collections. The Bystander, Oxford , Source: Hear the Boat Sing. Exchanging jokes at Ascot racetrack, Brisbane, August Prince of Wales and a group of young socialites enjoying a chat at the racetrack. Ipswich City tennis club members , Like womenswear, the look had to be completed. Men moved away from uncomfortable lace-up boots and preferred lower-cut oxfords or brogues Shrimpton Oil on canvas. Young girls wore simple loose dresses often made in cotton or linen, though velvet, like this coat, was popular for special occasions Fig.

The length of the dresses varied by age getting longer as the girls got older Shrimpton There were modifications, but many popular styles for women in the decade already looked girlish, so it made sense to dress girls in similar styles. Ensemble , Wool, silk, fur. Horace Figuers, Source: The Met. Gift of Woodman Thompson. Montage showing three children modelling knitwear: s , London: Museum of London, Source: Museum of London.

Young boys wore shorts with a tunic or sweater, while older boys began wearing long trousers, often with similar tops. Like men, Fair Isle sweaters and blazers were popular for young boys, with blazers often a required component of a school uniform, like the uniforms worn by the young boys below Fig. Uniforms were literally topped off with caps that looked inspired by cricket, like this one below, as well Fig.

The most important development in babywear during the decade was the rise of the romper which we might now refer to as a onesie, an example seen on the smallest model above Fig. Shrimpton writes:. Made in plain, easily laundered fabrics, these were convenient for mothers and enabled much more freedom of movement for babies at the crawling stage and toddlers than traditional cumbersome petticoats.

This new simplicity in dress reached nearly everyone: from women to men, young boys to young girls, and even the tiniest members of society. All in a Row by Vintage Lulu , s. Wool and cotton, machine stitched and hand stitched. Have a primary source to suggest? ! Vogue Archive Subscription Required , s. Metropolis , Protazanov, Yakov. Aelita: Queen of Mars , Get Your Man , Arzner, Dorothy.

The Wild Party , Badger, Clarence G. Red Hair , It , Beaumont, Harry. Our Dancing Daughters , Our Blushing Brides , Brenon, Herbert. Dancing Mothers , Brown, Clarence. A Woman of Affairs , Flesh and the Devil , Clair, Malcolm St.

20s 30s fashion

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