The end of WWI ushered in a new age for women’s fashion as modern production methods and synthetic fabrics made fashion more affordable for the new women of America. Gone were the ankle-length dresses with restrictive corsets and emphasis given to the fitted form. As women entered the workforce in record numbers, new and comfortable clothing with a boyish appearance was desired to match their break from the past. The right to vote along with a disregard for the confinements of prohibition prompted women of the 1920’s to seek new fashions in keeping with newfound freedoms.
One of the essential style elements of the 1920’s was the drop waist dress that had a loose, boyish look. This fashion statement was carried over into skirts, tops, sweaters, tunics and the quintessential flapper dress. Fringe, pleats and slits became popular as were items that played on menswear such as oxford shoes. T-strap shoes enabled women to dance the night away without fear of losing their footwear. Costume jewelry, bejeweled headbands, necklaces of stringed pearls, and ornamented footwear became some of the popular wardrobe accessories of the day. Contemporary hair styles included the bob haircut, Eton crop, and marcel wave.
Although a radical departure from the fashion dictates of the past, the 1920’s set a fashion trend that continues in many ways today. Dresses, blouses, skirts, sweaters, shoes, jewelry and hairstyles of today reflect that new and liberating trend that began to create the new women that we are today.