Men and Women's Fashions

Note on Fashion: The storytellers do not expect perfect period dress from everyone. However, please avoid very modern elements, as they detract from setting. Sneakers, blue Jeans, digital watches, phones, gameboys, clothing with large logos, etc.

While the 1920’s is iconic for its fancy clothing, many people wore simpler clothing especially for working blue collar jobs. Don’t feel pressured to go overboard, and think of how your character (who is a werewolf) might dress.

Fashion

The Roaring Twenties was a time in which women first abandoned the more restricting fashions of past years and began to wear more comfortable clothes (such as shorter skirts or trousers). Men also dared to scale back on highly formal daily attire and even began to wear athletic clothing for the first time. In the early part of the decade, change was slow, as many were reluctant to adopt new styles. However, from 1925 onwards, the public passionately embraced new lifestyles and fashions associated with the blooming era that was the 1920’s.

Women

Society matrons of a certain age continued to wear conservative dresses, but the young women of the masses now freed themselves with an evolved form of shorter skirts with pleats, gathers, or slits to allow motion.

The most iconic fashion trend of the Roaring Twenties was the Flapper look. The Flapper dress was functional, with a higher skirt, and flattened the bust line rather than accentuating it.

For performers and the common-folk alike, the straight-line chemise topped by the close-fitting cloche (bell) hat became the uniform of the day. Women bobbed their hair short to fit under the popular hats, a radical move in the beginning, but standard by the end of the decade. Low-waisted dresses with fullness at the hemline allowed women mobility.

Proper attire for women was enforced for morning, afternoon, and evening activities. In the early part of the decade, wealthy women were still expected to change from a morning to an afternoon dress. These afternoon or “tea gowns” were less form-fitting than evening gowns, featured long, flowing sleeves, and were adorned with sashes, bows, or artificial flowers at the waist. Evening gowns were typically slightly longer than tea gowns, in satin or velvet, and embellished with beads, rhinestones, or fringe.

A growing trend, however, was found in dressing with a boyish figure. Especially for the working women, a complete disregard for corsets and constraining cuts led to baggier and flatter clothing with less emphasis on showcasing individual bits and pieces of the female body. Bold takers to this trend wore trousers instead of skirts, as well as anything with practicality and freedom of movement.

Men

Throughout the decade, men wore short suit jackets, the old long jackets being used merely for formal occasions. In the early 1920’s, men’s fashion was characterized by extremely high-waisted jackets, often worn with belts. Lapels on suit jackets were not very wide as they tended to be buttoned up high. This style of jacket seems to have been greatly influenced by the uniforms worn by the military during the First World War.

The general dress of Americans was becoming more youthful looking. Men were abandoning the hefty-looking, broad-shouldered suits for skinnier, unpadded, more boyish looking jackets.

Trousers were relatively narrow and straight and they were worn rather short so that a man’s socks often showed. Creases appeared on the front and the sides while cuffs replaced flat hems. Pants were fastened by buttons or hooks. Belts also started to replace the suspender as the device used to hold up pants.

During the 1920s, men had a variety of sport clothes available to them, including sweaters and short trousers, commonly known as knickers. For formal occasions in the daytime, a morning suit was usually worn.

Men’s hats were usually worn depending on their class, with upper class citizens usually wearing top hats or a homburg hat. Middle class men wore either a fedora, bowler hat or a trilby hat. During the summer months a straw boater was popular for upper class and middle class men. Working-class men wore a standard newsboy cap or a flat cap.

Men and Women's Fashions

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