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1920's Fashion

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II. Body (Fashion)

A. According to History Magazine, The nation's wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929 and in within those years were many new social, cultural and political changes. One of those changes in particular was that of the American people's fashion. Women, men and even children started to rebel against traditional clothing and began a revolution of a more free style, modern wear.

1. The 1920's was the first decade in which women began to abandon the traditional restricted clothing and instead dressed more comfortably and freely. As women's roles in society began to change in the 1920's, so did their clothing.

a. Women were expected and enforced to wear proper attire for each part of their day; morning, afternoon and evening, especially wealthy women of the 90's. They were often expected to change from a casual afternoon dress to a more embellished and extravagant evening dress on a daily basis.

b. Because the Charleston was such a popular dance in the 20's, women began to wear low waist line dresses that were hemmed approximately one inch below the knee so that they were able to lift and kick their legs up during the dance.

c. The tubular dresses that were worn throughout the 1900's were transformed during the twenties by shortening the skirts and even adding slits, pleats and gathers to allow for more free range of motion.

d. A straight-line dress that hung from women's shoulders along with a tightly fitted bell shaped hat became the popular uniform wear of the day for the women of the 90's. Women then began to bob-cut their hair short to fit under their hats

e. And of course, the most memorable and appreciated piece of clothing by women of the roaring twenties was the flapper look

1. According to a book written by Charles Panati, called Panati's Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias (1991), Flapper women were known as the rebellions of the 1920's. They acted out and wore a little bit of everything that was considered to be inappropriate at the beginning of their area. Short skirts, bobbed hair, wore excessive make-up, smoked, drank and treated sex in a casual manner; all of which were outside of the social and sexual norms of the twenties.

2. Of course, women were not the only people stepping outside of the social norms in the twenties, men also began to transition in their fashion sense as well. According to Time Magazine, there were two specific, distinct periods in the twenties where men began to change their style.

a. In the early 1920's, men wore high-waisted jackets that were buttoned up high and worn with a belt; the look was influenced by the military wear of the First World War.

b. Trousers worn by men in the early twenties were straight-legged and narrow, and short enough that their socks usually showed - a popular shift in this trend began as men began to wear their trousers that were cuffed at the bottom.

c. In the mid-twenties, men began to wear wider trousers called Oxford trousers, jackets were worn longer, at a normal waist line and the sleeves were worn more loosely rather than tightly cuffed.

d. Just as the Women of the twenties, Men were also expected to change clothes based on the time of day.

e. Men began to accessorize their tuxedos

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