1920s Fashion-100 years on

by | 26 Mar 2021 | 1920s fashion

two cartoon ladies wearing 1920s fashion

Written by Moira O'Toole

I am a part time milliner and colour and image consultant with an interest in all things fashion related.


Will we be influenced by 1920s fashion-100 years on? People are talking about a revival of the roaring twenties style celebrations and partying when we finally emerge from this pandemic.

Women of the 1920s era wanted everyday wardrobes that were simple and practical. Everyday dresses became a casual housedress while fancier dresses were worn for special occasions. Hemlines were also raised and dresses were looser with dropped waist style. Shoes were more decorative as they could now be seen.

“Fashion adjusts to mirror our times.” (vogue.com)

We may not have the flapper dresses now but it’s predicted, style will be more rebellious.

What was fashionable in this era?

Headpieces were popular in the 1920s as were necklaces, rings, bracelets, cigarette cases, powder compacts and lipsticks. Layering of necklaces was a big trend. Just think of Coco Chanel and how she wore pearls.

The bob hairstyle was everywhere to be seen, possibly to suit the hats of the time. Some bobs had finger waves and more women kept their long locks and created a faux bob with pin curls around the head.

During this hats were worn in public. Straw hats with wide brims for outdoors and turbans, berets and Tam O’ Shanter hats were also worn but the cloche hat is the most iconic of the decade. It was invented by milliner Caroline Reboux. They were especially popular from 1922 to 1933. I have always been fascinated with these hats growing up admiring the photo of my grandmother on her wedding day wearing a cloche.

The cloche hat

Cloche hats were usually made of felt, worn low on the forehead with the wearer’s eyes peeping out below the brim. Later on a summer cloche was made with sisal and straw and a cloche made of beads or lace was worn for evening wear. They were decorated with embroidery, applique, brooches or feathers. Different styles of ribbons affixed to the hats had symbolic meanings. If the wearer wore an arrow like ribbon, it indicated she was single but had given her heart to someone.  A firm knot signalled marriage and a flamboyant bow indicated the wearer was single and interested in mingling.

Would you like to see the revival of 1920s fashion?

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