The Impact of Newfound Freedom on 1920s Fashion

The 1920s were an amazing time of change and progress.  World War I had just ended, and America was entering an extremely prosperous time period.  The stock market boomed, new forms of music and dance became popular, and women finally gained the right to vote.  Because of this new right, women’s roles in society changed dramatically.  They began entering the workforce in increasingly large numbers.  The general idea of freedom, which had finally been attained by women, changed the 1920s fashion radically.  This change is easily identifiable when one takes the time to examine the unique styles of the 1920s.

Women’s Fashions in the 1920s

1920s fashion for women changed with the new roles of women in society.  They stopped wearing corsets during this time, and gave up longer hairstyles in favor of the short bob.  Long, flowing trains were abandoned for short pinafores, and the waistline eventually dropped from the natural waist to the hip.  By 1928, hemlines had risen to slightly above the knee.  It became popular for women to wear belts on their coats, and towards the latter end of the time period, women started adapting men’s clothing for a more comfortable look.  The swimsuit too was developed in the 1920s fashion period.

Women’s 1920s fashion was very heavily influenced by the flapper movement.  Flappers were women who promoted this new style of dress by wearing boyish clothing—even when they wore dresses they were short and loose.  Flappers also promoted the bob hairstyle, and they were the first to begin wearing make up.  The flappers played a major role in the development of 1920s fashion.

Men’s Fashion in the 1920s

Men’s 1920s fashion was distinguished by the high waist jackets with narrow lapels; these jackets were often worn with belts.  The pants that were worn were generally narrow and straight, and during 1920s fashion men began to cuff their trousers.  Men’s early 1920s fashion seems to have been influenced by the styles of the World War I uniform.  However, after 1925, men’s clothing became looser.  Double-breasted vests became quite popular in the late 1920s fashion.

By examining the cultural and environmental changes that occurred during the 1920s, it is easy to see how they came to influence the fashion changes of this time period.  It was during the 1920s that men’s clothing became slightly less constricted, and women rebelled against the restrictions that had limited their fashion choices for hundreds of years.

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