The Roaring 20's

The 1920s was a decade full of social changes and cultural conflicts. It was a period characterized by rapidly changing lifestyles, financial excess and a fast technological progress. “Roaring 20s" or "Jazz Age.", when the youngest generation rebelled against traditional taboos.
Surrealism and Art Deco movements, Jazz, Charleston, Flappers, Hats, shoes, stockings, handbags, short dresses, jewelry, short hairstyles including "the bob", defined the 20’s. Many women turned to fashion as a vocation in order to support their fatherless families or to earn extra income to spend on the new luxuries. Twenties redefined womanhood: a new woman evolved; it became more acceptable to smoke and drink in public, closer body contact in dancing, shorter hair, make-up, different styles of dress, and greater participation in the workforce. All contributed to the new woman.

Women’s Fashion

The flapper stereotype is one of short bobbed or shingled hair, straight loose knee-length dresses with a dropped waistline, silk or rayon stockings with garters, heavy makeup, long beaded necklaces, and smoking. Flappers are also associated with Jazz and 1920's dances like the Charleston.

The movies, radio shows, sophisticated advertising, and popular magazines all had an influence on the lives of 1920's youth who saw themselves as different from the older generation. Young people began to model themselves on movie and sports stars who represented a glamorous new age, but they also took on many of the negative traits of their idols like smoking, bad language, immorality, and selfishness. And so the new female culture manifested themselves as the flapper and the male equivalent was the sheik.

Thirteen qualifications:

1. Hat of soft silk or felt
2. Bobbed hair
3. Flapper curl on forehead;
4. Flapper collar;
5. Flapper earrings;
6. Slip-over sweater
7. Flapper beads.
8. Metallic belt.
9. Bracelet of strung jet.
10. Knee-length fringed skirt.
11. Exposed bare knees.
12. Rolled hose with fancy garter.
13. Flat-heeled, little girl sandals.

Beautiful coordinated and accessorized outfits were a feature of 1920's ladies fashions. Hats, shoes, stockings, handbags, dresses and jewelry all came together in perfect harmony to create a unique and elegant style that can only be appreciated when seen in real-life or in color illustrations. The vibrancy is lost in black and white photographs that typically showcase the era.

Womens fashions in the early 1920's experienced dramatic changes following the end of the First World War, in a period often referred to as the "roaring 20's", the era of the "flapper". 1920's Dresses were lighter (due to less material and new synthetic fabrics) and brighter and shorter than ever before. Fashion designers played with fabric colors, textures and patterns to create totally new styles of dress. Evening dresses, coats and jackets were often trimmed with fur. Hemlines rose for most of the decade but dropped slightly toward the end.

Many women turned to fashion as a vocation in order to support their fatherless families in the case of war widows, or to earn extra income to spend on the new luxuries. Working women also embraced the relatively inexpensive ready-made clothes as mass production of contemporary clothing became common.

Shoes and stockings assumed a greater prominence now that they were more visible. Silk stockings in all the colors of the rainbow, often with patterns, were designed to match the coordinated outfits of stylish women. Pantsuits, hats and canes that gave women a sleek look without frills and avoiding the fickleness of fashion were popular for a while.

Women´s underwear changed as a result of this move towards practical clothing, with corsets becoming smaller and more flexible, and modern style bras being introduced. The new bras provided shape and support whereas the older style tended to flatten breasts and constrict the chest.


Vintage hairstyles like fingerwaving and the Marcel wave that were developed during the 1920s have seen a resurgance in modern times as hair fashions turn full circle. In the early nineteen twenties long-hair predominated but with every year that went by more and more women adopted shorter hairstyles including "the bob". Techniques like shingling and layering were turned into an art form that resulted in beautiful coiffures. This hairstyle showed hair with bangs, smooth and cut to the height of the cheekbones.


For womens in the 20s, the makeup was smoky eye effect; very ornate and intense and dramatic delineated. The skin showed her naked, flawless, with a little color and lips, of course, always some dark red or dark color. For eyebrows, they were thin and straight delineated.

The Roaring Twenties redefined womanhood — a new woman evolved; it became more acceptable to smoke and drink in public, closer body contact in dancing, shorter hair, make-up, different styles of dress, and greater participation in the workforce - all contributed to the new woman.

Men's Fashion

Although women's fashion certainly experienced the most dramatic change, fashion for men in the 20s also became more striking and less charged. Men still wore suits for daily activities, but started wearing more casual styles for leisure time, which increased following the end of the First World War

Business Suits

Although he had great fashion sense in the 1920s, men dressed to impress, especially for business. Worksuits were adjusted to be more personalized and conservative than those used for social events. Work jackets were square shoulders and narrowing at the waist. They were also short, ending at the top of the hips. The suits jacket lapels were narrow, more pointed and pants were cut more narrow and not too baggy. Business suits were often dark, conservative colors like navy or gray, or classic wool flannel worn with simple or smooth stripes.

Informal and formal gowns

For social occasions, men wore tuxedos for formal events and others who were already much more extravagant. Evening jackets without tails were fairly new and became the rage. With or without glue, tux used many men with bows and sashes, which replaced the tight vests in popularity. For casual outings, men wore suits that were cut to give comfort. The jackets had broad shoulders, were very large in the arms and waist and long enough to cover the hips. Informal costumes were often brightly colored or patterned such as checks or stripes. Fabrics ranged from cotton to shiny silk.

Sport and Leisure

Before the 20s, men rarely wore anything other than a suit outside the home. Still dressed formally in their free time, comparing what happens today, but not compared with full costumes used for work or holidays. The designers started using colored and patterned shirts man with buttons, making them the focus of a set, instead of the plain white shirt worn under a jacket. Men wore shirts without a jacket, often with bow ties for informal parties or picnics. For sports outings, such as golf or cycling, men wore knee breeches with button-down shirts and sleeveless vests.

Shoes and hats

The men were proud with every detail of their sets in the 20s, including shoes and accessories. The designers were creative with male shoes and began making styles that went beyond dress shoes brown or black. Men wore pointed flap with topstitching and two-tone loafers in black and white or brown and white. The designers even created patterned dress shoes as pictures in black and white. Men wore hats everywhere in public.


This haircut requires perfection in every detail: very short sides and neck, neat sideburns and long hair volume in upper zone. Her hairstyle, especially at night, require order and shine

We choosed to write the artice about the flapper stereotype because we think that this was a really important influence in fashion. We are all very interested in world fashion and this article is a way to show how clothes, haircuts, shoes have changed along the time such as for men and women...

"So granny, what did you do when you were a girl?"

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