The 1920s was an era of change and revolution in many aspects of fashion and the lifestyle of people. World war 1 had just ended and new technologies were being introduced every day, and that translated into what the people wore on an everyday basis, especially women.
They experienced a new meaning of empowerment and expressed the concept in their daily wear. The fact that the roaring 20s fashion incorporated style with function helped take its status to the next level.
It is one of the reasons why it is still recognized to this day and many of the styles may still be adopted and inspired by those cuts in today’s line of fashion and trends by famous designers and brands.
What marked the beginning of popular trends, the roaring 20s fashion was an era to behold in terms of both heritage and revolution.
So, how did the change come to be? Let’s have a deeper insight into the history and how it left an impact on women’s dressing and sense of fashion.
The Liberated Women In The Roaring Twenties
It was in the 1920s that the suffragette movement became a success and women gained their right to vote. It was a significant step toward a more viable position for women in society and showed that anything could come out through persistence.
The fact that the nightclub culture became popular during the 1920s helped take this liberation movement further. This translated into the fun and flashy clothes that both men and women wore to fit into the hip culture.
The clothes worn in such a setting were heavily influenced by the people who owned the place. These were usually powerful gangsters and people who didn’t really fit into the innocent realm. This could be one of the reasons behind the revolutionary and rebellious outlook of the roaring 20s fashion that translated to both genders.
For women, this gave way to looser clothing, away from the traditional fitted corsets and long lengths of skirts, even incorporating more androgynous clothing.
Certain styles of dresses became more popular than others, although the change was not overnight.
1920s Dress Styles
The 1920s dress styles had some common features, but their differences are what made some more suitable for daytime dresses, and some for evening wear.
The 1920s witnessed the rise of famous designers like Coco Channel and Jeanne Lavou, whose designs were heavily influenced by the feminist movements taking an upsurge at that time. They became at the forefront of the roaring women’s fashion in the 1920s.
Some had a more feminine style while some adopted androgynous cuts to symbolize the empowerment of women in the 1920s.
Here are some of the 1920s women outfit ideas for you to wear at the next roaring 20s-themed party.
The La Garconne Style Flapper Dresses
The infamous flapper dresses that are still recognized today were a major part of the great gatsby roaring 20s fashion and hip culture of the night clubs. It was definitely a step away from the conventional style of dresses worn in the previous decade, a change that was welcomed graciously by women all around the west.
These included the ever-receding waistlines and hemlines that fell just below the knees. This change in length was not always the case and happened somewhere midway between 1922, making waves in the fashion world.
Flapper dresses are named after the groovy girl, jazz band of the 1920s, and Flapper girls who wore it in a variety of ways, each of which had their own individual vibe.
The prints were inspired by art decor at that time, and the dresses were made in different fabrics to create different looks for women, making them a versatile staple of the decade.
Robe De Style Dresses
This 1920s dress style fitted well into the evening gown category. However, in contrast to traditional floor-length evening gowns, these robe-style dresses gave a healthy dose of ankle flash. They were often incorporated with cinched waists to add to the form and elevated hemlines that were inspired by infamous flapper dresses.
Robe de style dresses were often a symbol of luxury, being made with expensive materials like silk, and velvet and adorned with beautiful crochet, handwork, and lace.
The puffed-up skirt along with ruffles and pleats enhanced the silhouette and was often worn with high-heeled boots, cute hairstyles, and the cloche hat, which brings us to the next crucial step of completing the roaring 1920s attire.
Brimless Cloche Hats And Bonnets
The brimless cloche hats were an indispensable part of the 1920s look.
The famous headwear of the decade was made out of varying materials including felt, horsehair, and even velvet. Straw varieties were also available where they fell a bit lower on the forehead than their fabric counterparts.
The hats were often adorned with brooches and bands and were available in a large variety of different colors and varying brim sizes to suit your 1920s attire.
This meant you could choose one to complement the outfit you were wearing, or opt for a more versatile black number to go with multiple looks.
Along with cloche hats, another famous headwear of the roaring 20s fashion were bonnets and wide-brimmed hats that stooped low on the sides. Like the cloche hats, bonnets had bows incorporated into the design but were fancier than cloche hats.
Wool Cardigans And Sweaters
Adding a cardigan on top of day dresses, added a dark academia vibe to 1920s women’s outfits. The style of these sweaters was originally inspired by the outerwear male aristocrats used to wear, signifying empowerment in women’s roles.
These came in various styles, some wooly and thick suited to cold winters, while some were light and could be sported during light breezes.
All of the designs were unique in their own way, where one could find one in every color, where they usually had a v-neckline often with intricate embroidery stitched onto their surface.
They could be worn with a daytime dress, or a simple blouse and pleated skirt along with Mary Jane pumps, which was a popular 20s style.
Wrap fur coat was another popular outerwear for women which proved handy in keeping the cold at bay as well as adding another coat of luxury to your evening wear.
They were best worn in long lengths, below the knee, and silhouette-less shapes, but could equally be worn in shorter lengths where there wasn’t much difference in the fabric of the material.
Mary Jane Pump Shoes
Also known as dancing shoes, the Mary Jane pumps were a grown-up version of kids’ school shoes with upgraded stylish straps and heels.
The stylish yet comfortable design of the mary jane pumps made them comfortable for walking and dancing around where women wore them on the streets and at work alike.
They were a perfect addition to the dresses worn at that time, a staple of the flapper girls in the roaring 20s fashion.
The fact that they came in a plethora of colors, and designs with multiple or single straps, the surface of which could be plain or solid or come in studded rhinestones or bows added to the charm of the dancing shoes. This meant that each woman could find a suitable pair for each occasion or setting.
The 20s fashion was unique and bold enough to be turning heads among the crowd, where the jewelry played an important role in completing the look. The long pearl necklaces along with styles inspired by art and decor made sure you stayed in the spotlight wherever you went.
The inclusion of bold jewelry into your 1920s attire was made all the more dapper by the popstars and stage presenters of that time, where influential women looked forward to incorporating the style. These included heavy headpieces and jewelry with intricate animal designs that were set into pendants.
The earrings of that time were usually big and drop-shaped, where they could be found in precious metals and gemstones, and were often worn by the ruling classes.
The Boyish Look
The boyish look was infamous in the 1920s women’s fashion for a number of reasons.
First, it signified that women were no less than men and could do the same things men and should be given the complete freedom to do so. This included driving, smoking, drinking and even dressing like their dominant counterpart and adopting their looks.
Unsurprisingly, the stylish bob cut of the 1920s first adopted by Irene Castle became the go-to hairstyle for most women in the decade where it expressed freedom and liberty to do as they wished.
Along with the short haircut, many joined elements of dressing were introduced into women’s attire. These included baggy pants, coats, and shoes with similar styles to that of men, which blurred lines between the genders.
However, women gave their own twist to the garments, giving the outfits a unique identity to wear on a daily basis.
FAQs – Roaring 20s Fashion
What Was Fashion In The Roaring Twenties?
The 1920s fashion was unique and bold in its own way, where there was a step away from conventional styles of dresses and outfits. These included flapper dresses, with hemlines that fell closer to the knees than ankles and the looser garments made the designs more practical. The bob cuts, wide baggy pants, boots, and petticoats made the attire more androgynous and granted a new meaning to what it meant to be a woman. The decade had its fair share of luxury with the edition of evening gowns, bold jewelry, and classic headwear.
What Colors Are The Roaring Twenties?
Different garments had their own variety of colors, but the highlights remained to be peach, gray, blue, and tan for women. Black, plum, and navy were popular in flapper dresses where the beads and sequins were highlighted against the dark fabrics and raging disco lights.
What Inspired 1920s Fashion?
The freedom movements seemed to be the highlight of 1920s women’s fashion. These could be seen in the change of designs for both men and women, where functionality was the top priority. The period just fell after World War 1, associated with the relative economic growth which required people to get active in their daily lifestyles. It was also influenced by the ever-raging pop culture of the time, which translated into the added bling and unique cuts of the garments.
What Do I Wear To A 1920s Party?
Opt for a great Gatsby look from the 1920s, and add a bonnet or cloche hat on top to go with your flapper dress. Big and bold jewelry was the highlight of the 1920s attire so make sure to add a multi-ringed pearl necklace to your outfit along with a pair of Mary jane pumps. You can even add a fur coat or a 20s-style cardigan on top of your dress for extra charm.
Perhaps, the best way to describe 20s fashion for women would be liberating and active.
It was the first time that hemlines rose close to the knees and were worn without bustiers or corsets to accentuate the waist. Pop stars had a major role to play in taking these trends further.
The fact that rich influential women were also incorporating these styles of dresses into their daily wardrobes, emphasized that people were not only accepting this liberating notion wholeheartedly but also encouraging it.
A new meaning was given to what it meant to be feminine, with the androgynous clothing and hairstyle. Just because fashion had taken a turn to be more practical, didn’t mean that it had forgotten sophistication. Long evening gowns were worn with lower waistlines, made with luxurious fabrics, and adorned with intricate jewelry and designs.
From the controversial hemlines to masculine manners of clothing as well as bold jewelry, 20s fashion had it all to make the decade roaring.