United States

Expressive Power

Do you think you know fashion? Have you ever heard of the roaring twenties? It was a time of partying and luxury for Americans. More importantly the 1920’s was the gateway to some of our culture today especially fashion. Fashion is a way to express yourself and your personality and it’s very important in society. Fashion in the 1920’s was a gateway for women to be able to express themselves and ultimately gain more power in society.

Before the 1920’s, women did not have a lot of options when it came to fashion. They were supposed to wear certain clothes and were not allowed to express themselves. They had to fit a certain look to appeal to men. Women were not allowed to wear pants so the only options they had were long skirts and high necked blouses and long dresses. Women would wear long dresses that cover their feet and legs. Dresses were long sleeve and also cover the neck. They wore big hats and had very long hair. The ideal woman silhouette resembled the letter “S” and bodies were boned and corseted into an hourglass shape with a waist forced into tiny circles measuring less than 20 inches. Smaller girls had to add padding to their dresses to make them have more of a shape. Larger women were forced to squeeze their curves into less of a shape. Women were belittled by society and were not allowed to use clothing to express themselves. When the 1920’s came around, women started to get tired of looking bland and being controlled by society. They began to wear shorter dresses and began to wear short sleeve that exposed to more of their body. These brave women also cut their long hair to make a statement. Women also begin to use much more makeup and cosmetics. Women in the 1920’s were known as “flappers.” These women started to smoke, drink, party, openly date and wore more risqué clothing. Women who party was a very new thing in this era because of the sexism that existed before this time. These women were known as New Women and they wanted equality with men and didn’t want to feel inferior to anyone anymore. Women also expressed themselves using jewelry such as pearls and feathers. These changes in women’s fashion and daily life gave more meaning to life and allowed them to show the world who they are!

Today, women are allowed to freely express themselves through the clothes they wear and what they do all thanks to the brave women in the roaring twenties. Women no longer feel obligated to wear certain clothes based off of the opinions of the men in our society. Women are also no longer restricted to partying and openly dating. The twenties also inspired many items of clothing we wear today such as the drop waist dress, decorative headbands, and T strap shoes. Colors and fabrics such as pastels and silk also came straight from the twenties. Big designer names such as Coco Chanel and Jean Patou were brought up from the twenties and are still a big hit in the fashion industry today. The effects that the twenties had on today’s women is very positive and it is only getting better with time.

Fashion in the 1920’s was the gateway to women being able to freely express themselves through fashion and daily life. It’s important to teach young girls to be themselves and to not let people tell them how to dress. We need to encourage girls to wear what they want and do what they want so that they can be the best person they can be and achieve happiness!

Article by Bella Bertsch and Maggie Sand

Work Cited:

Calloway, Cabell. “About Just The Swing.” About This Website. Cabell Calloway, 2004. Web. 02 Nov. 2017

Nissan, Slavena Salve. “The Influence of 1920s Fashion.” The Macaulay Messenger. A Newspaper for the MHC Community, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 02 Nov. 2017.

Zajac, Gabriela. “1920s in Fashion.” Fashion Allure. Conde Nast, 08 Dec. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2017.

Scott, Robert. “1920s Womens Fashions.” 1920’s Womens Fashions. N.p., 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2017.

Comments are closed.