What Did They Wear in the 1920's?

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In the 1920s, women raised their hemlines, bobbed their hair and wore cloche hats. This direction in fashion reflected American prosperity and changing attitudes towards women.

As women began to gain new social freedoms, their outfits became less conservative. While women of older generations continued to wear old-fashioned dresses, young women developed a taste for sportswear. The previous decade saw the tubular dress rise to prominence. In the 1920s, this silhouette was given slits, pleats and gathers. This gave young women a greater range of motion and allowed them to join in dance crazes like the Charleston. One of the most prominent fashion designers of the time was Jean Patou. He specialized in morning dresses, sports suits and luxurious sportswear.

In the 1920s, the standard uniform for young women included the cloche, the drop-waist dress and the bob. Short hair was seen as a radical fashion choice at the beginning of the 1920s, but by the end of the decade, it was an accepted style.

The changes in fashion during the 1920s were instigated by the shifting social climate. The stock market was booming, Prohibition was ignored, new music gave way to new dances and women were finally allowed to vote. Women took advantage of the increasingly liberal social atmosphere and wore clothing to suit the time.