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Women's Clothing

Although the flapper is most closely associated with 1920s fashions, a number of other clothing styles were equally as popular during the decade. Skirt lengths fluctuated quite a bit, women donned flashy evening attire, comfortable sportswear, and conservative work suits, and dresses either hung straight or flared at the hip. But despite the variety, women's 1920s fashions all broke free of the physical and social constraints of the previous century.

The boyish, or garçonne look, was quite popular from 1925-1926 and again from 1928-1929. Straight, curveless dresses were worn with bust flattening brassieres. The waist completely disappeared, and belts were worn around the hips. The chemise type dress was popular from 1925 to 1928 or 1929. The chemise (French for shirt) hung straight down to the knees.

1920s Garçonne Fashions 1920s Garçonne Fashions

1920s Garçonne Fashions: Image courtesy of Jenna Weissman Joselit, A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America, 2001

1920s Garçonne Fashions 1920s Garçonne Fashions

1920s Garçonne Fashions: Image courtesy of Elizabeth Ewing, History of 20th Century Fashion, 1992

Skirts rose to the knees during the first two years of the 1920s, fell to the ankles again in 1923, rose up to the knees again in 1925, and were again long by the end of the decade. Seen below are a number of ankle-length skirts that were popular between 1923 and 1925.

1920s Ankle Length Skirts

1920s Ankle Length Skirts

1920s Ankle Length Skirts: Image courtesy of Elizabeth Ewing

Tailored suits for the working woman also featured the straight, curveless cut.

1920s Tailored Suits

1920s Tailored Suits: Image courtesy of Elizabeth Ewing

1920s Tailored Suits

1920s Tailored Suits: Image courtesy of Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye, 20th Century Fashion, 1999

The straight skirt was the dominant shape of the 1920s, but flaring skirts were also in fashion. Waists, however, were still quite low, and the form was still quite narrow and drooping.

1920s Full Skirt 1920s Full Skirt

1920s Full Skirt: Image courtesy of Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye

Separate sweater and skirt ensembles, having plain or pleated skirts, also reflected the popular straight cut of the decade.

1920s Sweaters 1920 Sweaters

1920s Sweaters: Image courtesy of Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye. Image courtesy of Elizabeth Ewing

Casual sporting attire was introduced in the 1920s. In addition to bathing suits, tennis uniforms, and golfing outfits, simple, comfortable skirts, sailor blouses, and large-brim hats were worn by women.

1920s Sporting Attire

1920s Sporting Attire: Image courtesy of Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye

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