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The Casual Fashions of Men and Women in the Twenties

The twenties was a time of fun and craziness among the young

generation. The fashion fads of the time created a path for the fashions of today.

Before the twenties women wore ankle-length skirts, corsets , and other restricting

garments, men wore ovewrcoats that fastened in the front, double breasted coats,

and long pants. Then the twenties came and that all changed. Hemlines went up,

makeup was worn in abundance, hair was chopped off, and for the first time a flat

bosom was what every stylish woman wanted. Men’s basic attire became the

business suit. These styles gave way to the fashions of today. Today women wear

miniskirts, panty hose, short and long hair, makeup, and dyed hair. Men still

wear business suits, but only for work or special occasions. The styles of the

twenties created a new frontier in men and women’s fashion.

Searching for information on twenties fashion was a fun experience for me. I

did not find it very hard to do, because I had a lot of information about the history

of costume already at home. My best find was an actual magazine from the

twenties. My family and I were out at antique stores when I found it. I was looking

through through old magazines trying to find a Life magazine with the Gone With

the Wind cover, when I saw the Vogue with a girl dressed in flapper costume. I was

very excited about this find because I was worried that I would not find a

magazine source. The toughest part of my research was finding someone to

interview. I remembered that my great aunt was really old, but I did not know

what year she was born. When I found out what year she was born I was very

happy that I found someone old enough to remember the twenties. Then I had to

talk my parents into letting me call long distance to Missouri, which was easy as

long as I did not talk longer than thirty minutes. I think the best part of

researching was getting to know my great aunt a lot better.

Women’s fashion changed dramatically in the twenties, mostly due to social

change. More practical attire evolved from the more “liberated lifesyle” women

began to live. Petticoats and corsets disappeared, making way for elastic girdles. A

“boyish silhouette” was the figure that sylish women strove for (Tierney 12). Some

young women would tie rags around their breasts to try and flatten them (Todd

int. 4:20PM). I could not understand why a woman would try to stunt her growth

for the sake of fashion. It seems like the way Chinese mothers used to wrap rags

around their daughters feet to prevent them growing because small feet were a

mark of beauty in a young woman.


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