1920's Fashion - Women's Dress and Style

Thursday, May 6, 2010


 1920's Women's Dress Fashion and Style

Download a beautiful rare 1920's Beauty Guide from Vintage Make-up Guides - our sister channel, which publishes uniquely restored beauty and make-up guides from the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's and very soon the 1960's !



For other 1920's related fashion posts - See also :
1920's Womens Fashion Revisited
1920's Swimwear Fashion
1920's Makeup- History
The 1920's Make-up Look - How to Apply

If you're planning a 1920's party, fancy dress or just lookin for a good resource for flapper fashion from the 1920's, it never hurts to actually learn a bit about that incredible decade of style. Womens Fashion in the roaring twenties was all about elegance.



1920's Silhouette 

The key was feminine grace, but without curves. This loose clothing fad only lasted a short while and eventually was replaced by more austere lines in the more grim days of the 1930's. A Slender and flat chested silhouette was the objective for women, and large busts could be flattened with the help of early bras like the infamous Symington Side Lacer.

Most people tend to think of the 1920's style as the Flapper Look. The short,flared mini skirt with headbands and long cigarette holders etc, but this style applies more to the 1960's revival of the roaring Twenties look, made popular by films such as the amazing Cabaret and The Boyfriend, starring Twiggy.



The Flapper Look

Descriptions of the Flapper as reported in newspapers of the times.

" She is a symbol of the times. As she sweeps down the street, she is like nothing so much as a fine, young spirited puppy-dog, eager for the fray"

"But then it was not good form to wear paint in daylight. Now it is, apparently. That many young women now carry this to extreme is not unusual..."

"One hears it said that the girls are actually tempting the boys more than the boys do the girls, by their dress and conversation..."

"How can I sell these styles?...the flappers won't buy them."


1920's Dresses

Most  dresses and skirts between 1925 and 1930 rested just below the knee, often just  above the ankle . To be truly authentic - knee length dresses were matched with short necklaces and long dresses had long necklaces ! Day Dresses often were little different from evening wear but would employ lace or some other type of overlay .

Dresses were often made at home with the help of the Womens Institute designs, and were designed to be simple - two pieces of fabric sewn up the sides ! Mary Brooks Picken's 1920's Dress designs were extremely popular. You would use a Dress form to hang it on for fitting to your own specific body shape. The style would hang loose and quite straight over the waist, and therefore was straight forward enough to cut out from a pattern and sew.

The Dress Form



The waistline was very low - often below the bum, until 1925. Thereafter the waistline was nearer the natural hip.



Dress accessories, Fabrics and Popular 1920's Dress Colors

Oodles of Beading, furs, feathers, flowers, and lace ! especially when going out at night. Popular fabrics were chiffon,taffeta, satin, velvet and brocade! beading, furs, feathers, flowers, and lace. Floral dress colours, as can be seen in our archive film below, were hugely popular.


Shimmering Art Deco styles in gold for your purse, makeup cases etc.


Not to mention your personal gold cigarette case !




The Cloche Hat and 1920's Hairstyles

Feathered headbands and turbans  - often the image associated with the flapper look were really an art nouveau left over from the 1910's and by the mid 1920's if you chose to wear one, you pushed it well back and lost the feathers ! Sequined caps - often heavily ornamented were also popular. Hat Fashion went side by side with hair styles. The big decision facing many women was to Bob or not to Bob, to Crop or not to Crop, or just play safe go with the Fingerwave style !

The Bob 


The Eton Crop


The FingerWave Hairstyle


In the early twenties,hats were wider in order to hold the longer hairstyles. As more and more women bobbed or cropped their hair, hats were tighter to the head and the most popular style was the famous cloche hat. In our opinion, the coolest hat ever designed.

Early 1920's Hat - Wide brim for longer hair.



 Late 1920's Cloche hats





1920's Underwear

Vintage Corsets remained popular among young working women in the 1920's, but come evening time, off went the corsets, stockings were rolled to the knee and women danced !! Long Girdles with attached suspenders were often worn.


Women wore directoire knickers, or cami-knickers or knickers and a petticoat. In stockings,Soft pastel colours or flesh colours were popular and the new artificial silk called Rayon. Nylons were not due until the late 1930's.


Vintage womens coats - The 1920's

Wrapover coats were the essential style, especially in winter. Large buttons and belts galore. The coat lining was often fashioned to match dress fabric.




1920's Womens Flapper Shoes

In the 1920's women's shoes focussed on the strap design. Bar Shoes and T- Bar shoes were all the rage.
Popular because you could dance without them slipping off !




Finally sit back and enjoy some beautiful archive films of 1920's fashion.






Stay tuned for a full post on 1920's Makeup style on its way soon.
Also a dedicated Vintage Makeup Guide site with downloadable ebooks!

That's all !

Copyright Glamourdaze 2010 - All Rights reserved.