Clothing of the roaring twenties

Written by june lee
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Clothing of the roaring twenties
The flapper dress was a fashion staple for many young women during the 1920s. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The term "Roaring Twenties" is used to describe the artistic and cultural boom of the 1920s in America, Europe and elsewhere. Vibrant and full of energy, the 1920s saw the rise of jazz, the flapper aesthetic and art deco. During this period, women and men experimented with new styles, notably the flapper dress, headband accessories, wide trousers or "oxford bags" and much more.

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The Flapper Dress

The most iconic piece of clothing during the 1920s was the flapper dress. The flapper dress embodied the spirit of many young women during this era. Flapper dresses were often cut in a boyish, drop-waist style and embellished with fringe. They were shorter and more flirty than dresses of previous eras. The flapper dress complemented a whole flapper aesthetic, notably sleek short hair, red lipstick and accessories like cigarette holders.

Men's wear

Men were also stylish during the 1920s, adding a more relaxed, modern approach to everyday dressing. Fedoras and wing-tipped shoes were popular, as were baggy and wide-legged trousers called "oxford bags." In addition, as influenced by the jazz age, men began to wear form-fitting suits with long jackets and stovepipe skinny-legged trousers. Tweed was a popular fabric for clothing during this time.

Shifts and Drop-Waist Dresses

The Roaring Twenties saw a significant change from the early part of the century when dresses were more constrictive and tight-fitting. Women's clothing became more about comfort and youthful exuberance. Drop-waist dresses, which lowered the natural waistline, and shift dresses were popular. Women also began to wear trousers more often, usually in a loosefitting style. In the latter part of the decade, after 1925, dresses were made to fit closer to the body, emphasising femininity with short hem lines (worn at the knee).

Fur, Embellishments and Accessories

Much of the clothing during the 1920s were a reflection of the unique and flourishing art scene. As such, clothing were anything but simple. The French designer Coco Chanel made an impression on 1920s fashion, introducing couture style to many women across the world. Coats for women were lined with fur, dresses were embellished with intricate beading and accessories were all the rage with cloche hats, feather headbands, elegant silk scarves, long strands of pearls and more. Much of the 1920s clothing also included buttons, hooks and eyes and snaps, which added to the design.

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