Fashion of the 1920's and 1930's

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Fashion of the 1920s and Early 1930s Few periods demonstrate the way fashions reflect their own time as does the 1920s. The fashion of the 1920s was focused on social realignments and youth; it involved feminine liberation. Wars and technological developments produced rapid changes that led to a quest for the excitement, to restlessness and even to violence and destruction. The war years had brought on harsh realities and evoked a desire to do one's bit that touched all levels of society. People found their prior sedentary life boring and had little desire to return to it. To fit into the pattern of this new version of the good life, fashions became more informal and less complicated. Feminine liberation found freedom in discarding the corset. For the first time in centuries the women's legs were exposed and freed for mobility and action. To gain equality with men and to resemble them, women flattened their breasts and hips and cut their hair. The 1920s bob and boyish deal were the period's own version of unisex. In the 1920s motion pictures exerted an ever-increasing impact on the American scene. Movie stars brought viewers adventure, a shimmering aura of wealth, beauty and romance. Films gave a semblance of reality to fantasies and aroused the public to new hopes, tastes, and appetites. Catalogs, such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. began to include fashion worn by movie stars such as Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, and Joan Crawford. In the year of 1920, skirts became a little shorter, figures somewhat slimmer, bosoms smaller and waistline being naturally placed. In 1921, dresses were designed to fall in an unbroken line from shoulder to hem. Worn loose, slightly belted at the normal waist, this was to be the silhouette of most of the decade. Coats had become shorter, and some hair was obviously cut but was kept soft-looking with side curls. There was an increasing interest in oxfords and pumps. 1923's fashions harked back not so much to those of 1913, but 1909. Wide sleeves, tassel and braid trimming, and lower hemlines nearly ankle length, came back. Lanvin's robe de style, with its low-waisted bodice and long full skirt came in many options and was very popular. In 1924, an added surface decoration and geometric insertions that would serve to break up the stark simplicity of the coming rectangular silhouette. Beltless jackets were shorter and worn with slim untrimmed skirts. "Bob" hats for woman with bobbed hair and sports pants for women were also introduced. 1925 brought on the lure of the automobile. Technology advances and unprecedented growth of prosperity, the automobile came within the reach of the average middle-class American. This affected the way people reached fashion and the way it was marketed. People could now drive into town to shop at the local city store, with started the competition with Catalog companies. Those with money, the more discriminating customers, preferred buying in department stores or in specialty shops which had mushroomed all over the country. Not only could they find a richer selection there, but they could also try on and examine the clothes and, having paid for them or charged them, walk out of the stores with their purchases. The silhouette, the hairstyle, hats, shoes, gloves, and the jewelry, as in the paintings of Picasso, Braque, Leger, and Matisse, the accent was on the geo

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