Have you ever wondered what fashion was like 100 years ago? If so this is your chance to find out. What were the fashion trends that made up pre and the 1910s? Why are the 1920s considered to be one of the most progressive times in women’s fashion? Let’s find out!
The fashion of the 1910s had much of the class and style that previous fashion eras had but drastically changed to being practical after World War One. Women of the time notably wore large wide brimmed hats, a major trend of the time. These hats would be decorated with feathers, ribbons, veils, and other accessories. The dresses women wore changed from hoop skirts to skirts that tightened around the ankle. Instead of being full-length ball gowns, the skirts sat above the ankle, much higher up than previously. The main shoe style worn by women of the 1910s was boots that resembled men’s church shoes. However, they added feminine touches to the boots like rounder shapes, thinner heels, and decorative bows. Men also had a notable trend among hats during the 1910s. Bowler hats and felt derby hats were extremely popular among men. Before the war, the popular suit worn by men was the sack suit, a loose-fitting and long suit. After the war the style among younger men changed to tailored-fit, colored suits. Most men’s shoes of the time resembled the same dress shoes seen today; however, their shoes often resembled the same trends as women’s foot wear with a high, curving heel.
The fashion the 1920s saw many major changes, similar to what was going on during the time period. The roaring twenties was a time of glitz and glamour to combat the previous gloom of World War One. The most well-known women’s fashion trend of the time was probably la garçonne, a style popularized by Coco Chanel, also known as the flapper style. The flapper dress was a dress made with economical fabrics that dropped waistlines and creeping hemlines. There were many other trends in dresses among women of the 1920s, but every trend aimed to do the same thing - show how the body itself was fashioned. Every trend used simple lines and androgynous shapes to make the body look curve free. Women’s hair also had a drastic change as women cut their hair very short into bobs or the Eton cut. In the same way that women’s fashion valued simplicity in the 1920s, so did men’s fashion. Men’s fashion moved from three-piece suits to one or two-button suit jackets without a waistcoat. The biggest trends among men’s fashion at the time was the Oxford bags and the plus fours. Oxford bags were a type of pants popularized by Oxford undergraduates in the 1920s. These pants were wide-legged, being 22 inches wide at the bottom some even reaching up to 44 inches. The plus fours were short-legged trousers that gathered around the knee. They had four extra inches of material, hence the name plus fours. The trousers were fastened around the knee to allow the extra material to hang over the band giving the pants a bag look to them.
The fashion trends of the 1910s and 1920s are like nothing we see today a century later. Despite the incredible difference it is easy to see why these trends dominated their time. Maybe in 100 years, the fashion of the 2110s and 2120s will go back to flappers and oxford bags. One can only wonder!
Hansen, Annelie. “1910s Fashion: Clothing Worn 1910–1919”. Family Search. 9 April 2020. https://www.familysearch.org/en/blog/1910s-fashion-women-men
Reddy, Karina. “1920-1929”. Fashion History Timeline. 18 August 2020. https://fashionhistory.fitnyc.edu/1920-1929/