Fashion in the 1920s

The 1920s was a decade of glamor and glitz in fashion. To know about the style and fashion of the 20s and to recreate this retro fashion in your wardrobe, read this article.
When we talk about 20s fashion, a trend that immediately comes to mind is the flapper dress. The flapper dress was one of the most iconic fashion trend of the 20s and it is still seen in new avatars in today's fashion. But 20s fashion was just not about the flapper dress, there are many noteworthy trends of this decade which was rightly called the "roaring 20s". For women calf length and ankle length dresses were popular during the early part of the decade. By mid 20s hemlines started to rise and short dresses and short skirts were in vogue. For men, short suit jackets worn with narrow pants were the norm in the early part of the decade. The 20s were one of the most glamorous and influential decade in the fashion world and some of the silhouettes and styles of these decade are still seen in today's fashion.

Women's Fashions of the 1920s

For women, fashion in the early part of the 20s was still conservative and hemlines that just showed the ankles were the norm. One of the most noteworthy change in fashion during this decade is that women discarded the use of corsets, crinolines and petticoats that were worn in the earlier decades. By the mid 20s skirts were calf length with narrow and cylindrical silhouettes. Although the skirts were cylindrical and narrow, they were not body hugging and were mostly cut on the bias. The dresses worn by the ladies during this period had the same silhouettes as the skirts. Dropped waist dresses and skirts were also very much in vogue during the 20s.

Perhaps one of the most iconic look of the 20s was the flapper dress. A flapper dress is a straight fitting dress that is not unlike a shift, although the cut is more fluid and unrestrained. Flapper dresses were usually knee-length or above and did not have a defined waistline. Pastel colors and neutral colors like cream, navy, beige and tan were much favored in flapper dresses which were made with materials ranging from lace to jersey. The androgynous look was also a popularized during the 20s and women with boyish figure with bob haircuts were considered to be stylish and chic. Cloche hats worn with bob hairstyles were one of the much-loved fashion trend during the 20s. By late 20s hemlines showed a steady rise and dresses and skirts had hemlines that fell just above the knee. Women began to wear pants for the first time in late 20s and this change in fashion was heralded by the Parisian fashion designer Coco Chanel. Tunic tops, hip length sweaters and rolled stockings were some other key fashion trends of the 20s.

Men's Fashion of the 1920s

Just like women's fashion, men's fashion in the 1920s also saw some changes from the bygone decade. Although, there was no major fashion trend in men's fashion that emerged in the 20s, unlike women's fashion, there were some subtle but key fashion trends. During the early part of the decade, men wore what is referred today as "the conservative suit". This type of suit had a very defined narrow waist also called "pinched waist" with narrow shoulders. The colors used for these suits were dark and somber. For evening wear, tuxedos emerged as the new fashion trend in the early part of the 20s.

By mid 20s, the conservative suit lost its popularity and was replaced by the "jazz suit", although this trend did not last long. The jazz suit was a major departure from the conservative suit and it consisted of tight-waisted jackets with slim fit pants also known as stovepipe pants. The jackets were either single breast or double breast with buttons that were placed close together. Baggy pants were also a popular trend in men's fashion of the twenties. Men's shorts, also known as knickerbockers or breeches were also worn by men during this period. Men also wore hats for both day and evening wear and the most popular hats during this period was the trilby hat and Panama hat.

Women's fashion in the 20s was timeless and romantic and saw some major changes from the earlier decade. Men's fashion too had some noteworthy trends. Fashion in 20s has a classic and timeless appeal and that is the reason why some trends from this decade influence the fashion of today.
By Rimlee Bhuyan
Last Updated: 10/22/2011
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