About the Decade: 1920-1929
In the 1920s women got the right to vote, prohibition made drinking the nation’s favorite pasttime, and with the radio hitting home across America everyone was dancing. Fortunes were being made and spent recklessly and the cinema was giving rise to a whole new kind of celebrity and glamour. The automobile finally became affordable and accessible to most people, and it was everyone’s duty to drive a natty new car or look as though they were. All of these elements had an effect on the fashions of the 1920s. In the early twenties hemlines were just above the ankle and waistlines were relaxed, but as the decade progressed hemlines rose until they reached just below the knee and the waistline dropped to mid hip. The silhouette was boyish and straight. Women wore corsets to flatten their chests and narrow their hips since their new sense of liberation rendered breasts and hips unfashionable. Many even forewent the corset entirely. They cut their hair into bobs both for shock value and for its fresh boyish appeal. Men’s fashions in the early twenties were not all that different from the previous decades as they have never been known to change as rapidly as women’s clothing. Their collars were stiff and worn high, their jackets were high waisted and sometimes belted. Slacks were narrow. As the decade progressed, the suit became more relaxed and the waistline more natural.