Friday, February 14, 2014


Anne Greene here:


In December I discussed Christmas During the Roaring 1920s. In January I discussed the Flapper In The Jazz Age. This month for  Valentine's Day, I’m homing in on Fashions During The Roaring 1920s. In March, I’ll discuss Accessories and Hairstyles During the Roaring 1920s.


When we think of the 1920s we tend to think of ancient history. But events that occurred after World War I still affect our lives today.

FASHION CHANGED AFTER WORLD WAR I. Social customs and morals relaxed in the optimism brought on by the end of the war and the booming stock market. Women entered the workforce. People ignored the prohibition on alcohol. A revolution occurred in almost every sphere of human activity. As women earned the right to vote, fashion trends became more practical. Flappers discarded the constrictive corset, an essential undergarment to make the waist thinner.

Undergarments transformed to conform to the ideals of a flatter chest and more boyish figure. The chemise or camisole and bloomers replaced the confining corset. Soon those shortened to panties or knickers. All-in-one lingerie grew popular.
The development of new fabrics and new closures in clothing affected fashion. Natural fabrics such as cotton and wool were abundant. Silk was highly desired for its luxurious qualities, but the limited supply made it expensive. Artificial silk patented in the United States became known as rayon. Rayon stockings grew popular as a substitute for silk stockings. Rayon was also used in undergarments. Before the 1920s buttons and lacing fastened clothes. Now metal hooks and eyes, zippers and snaps developed to make dressing easier and faster.
Improved production methods enabled manufacturers to produce clothing working families could afford. People’s fashion sense grew more sophisticated. Working-class women looked for modern dresses to transition from farm work to urban careers. Women adopted a modern look that suited their new careers as typists and telephone operators.

For the first time in centuries, women's legs were seen with hemlines rising to the knee. A more masculine look became popular, including flattened breasts and hips, and short hairstyles such as the bob cut and the Marcel wave.

But the 1920s also loved luxury. High end designers favored expensive fabrics like silk, velvet and satin, while department stores carried less expensive variations on those designs made of new synthetic fabrics. The use of mannequins grew widespread and showed shoppers how to accessorize the new fashions. The modern fashion cycle, established in the 1920s, still dominates the industry today.
Clothing fashions changed with women's changing roles. Although society matrons of a certain age continued to wear conservative dresses, sportswear worn by younger women became the greatest change in post-war fashion. The tubular dresses of the teens evolved into a similar silhouette that sported shorter skirts with pleats, gathers, or slits to allow motion. The most memorable fashion trend of the Roaring '20s was the flapper look which was functional and flattened the bust line rather than accentuating it.
The straight-line chemise topped by the close-fitting cloche hat was the uniform of the day. Women bobbed their hair short to fit under the popular hats, a radical move in the beginning, but standard by the end of the decade. Low-waisted dresses with fullness at the hemline allowed women to literally kick up their heels in new dances like the Charleston. In 1925, shift dress with no waistline, and a hem approximately one inch below the knee emerged.

Proper attire for women was still enforced for morning, afternoon, and evening activities. In the early part of the decade, wealthy women still expected to change from a morning to an afternoon dress. Afternoon gowns featured long, flowing sleeves, with sashes, bows, or artificial flowers at the waist. Evening gowns, slightly longer than afternoon gowns, featured satin or velvet, and were embellished with beads, rhinestones, or fringe.

Clothing styles consisted of more than just the cloche and flapper. Casual clothing was introduced to the public. Women began to wear pants. Certain styles of women’s shoes were unique to this decade. Some of the breakout shoe styles included the ankle strap button shoe, the t-bar shoe, and shoes trimmed with sequins or other materials.
Men began to abandon formal wear when more and more men opted for suits with long suit jackets for special events and shorter suit jackets for casual occasions.
All in all the decade brought in practicality and fun. The US was young, lively, and full of expectations. Nothing was impossible.
Would you have enjoyed living during the 1920s? Leave a comment for a chance to win Anne’s newest book release, Marriage By Arrangement. This makes a lovely Valentine's Day gift for a loved one.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines.  
Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at Or at Visit for information on writing an award-winning novel. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at


  1. Anne, I love your post and I would have loved the 20's. the world was certainly changing then and how exciting it must have been. Learning the Charleston, wearing the flapper dress, getting that fashionable bob haircut or even wearing slacks now and then, I think I would have enjoyed it all.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. Anne, this was very in interesting to read about the changes in styles of hair, dresses, and lengths. And, no, I wouldn't have likes living then. I like looking at the beautiful dresses of long ago, but would hate wearing them all time. and, especially the many layers of clothes. Especially corsets. Can you imagine how uncomfortable they were? Maxie

  3. Anne, loved your post. I've always been fascinated with the twenties. That was an exciting time for women. I would have made a fine flapper!

  4. I'm sure that if I were a young adult, I would've loved throwing off the corset and opting for more active/freeing clothing. However, that business of changing your clothes several times a day would not be my cup of tea. I guess what that means is that I would enjoy the roaring 20's only if I were also a "roaring 20-something", but not if I were an older woman confined to more traditional clothing, and such customs.

    1. And An,, I love your posts being short and to the point. Very educational and interesting. Thanks for sharing bits of history with us! pudy68 @ gmail dot com

  5. Anne, Interesting post. I agree the corset would have been great to throw away! no, I don't think I would have liked living in the 20's. I am not a glitzy kind of girl and would have been totally out of my comfort zone. But I did like reading about it. Thanks

  6. I think I could live in the 20's IF air conditioning also lived in the 20's!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

  7. I like reading about it and think it would be fun to visit the 20's but really hard to live in! thanks for the chance


  8. I love the pictures and your research. I think what I like the most about that time is the shoes! LOL. I'm a shoe girl and those are so lovely I want them. :)
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  9. I probably would NOT want to live during the 1920's because I like to wear what I want! In California that's easy to do, as it's all pretty casual. Thanks for the interesting post. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Hi, Anne! Thank you for sharing another informative post. It is so interesting to see how trends change over time. In the 1920s, I think I would have enjoyed kicking up my heels in the new dance steps!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  11. I've always been fascinated by the roaring 20's and I know I would have adored living in that era! Ah the freedom of ditching the corset, losing some layers of clothing -not to mention shortening the skirts and letting your legs breathe for once! I just love how women finally stood up for themselves, gained a voice, formed an opinion, became more than "arm candy," and really began to make a mark in history! Plus, I love the dances from the 20's as well as the music and this high pictured are my kind of heel! I can walk in that kind of shoe--not the "suicide stilettos" they make now! Thanks so much for such a fabulous post, Anne!
    kam110476 (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. I remember seeing some pictures of my grandmother in the flapper styled dresses. I love to dance, so I would have been right in there having a good time.

  13. Kam110476 you won a copy of Marriage By Arrangement. I'll email you for your address! Congratulations!